This week we enjoyed a coach's reflection on his transition back into the classroom, learned how "data walls" create a culture of collaboration, read about a district's journey creating a successful coaching program, and more!
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My Journey From Coach to Teacher Specialist
Jason MacDonald reflects on how his experience as an IC paved his transition back into the classroom as not just a teacher but a teacher specialist.
"As a former coach, I've decided that I'll never deny a visit to my classroom from a colleague; instead, my mandate is to be open, transparent, and reflective with my peers. I've decided that if a colleague notices something I can do better, I want to know about it. In turn, I'll let them know their areas for improvement since we're in this together and it's about the kids."
Using Data Walls for Literacy Coaching
Crystal Ceresani explains the benefits of powerful organizational tools called "data walls" for increasing teacher engagement and tips for successfully implementing your own.
"Teacher buy-in can make all the difference in the world when implementing a literacy data wall.. . . When introducing a literacy data wall, the expectations and procedures for each step of the process should be clear upfront. Confusion about this process can discourage teachers and lead to the wall not being as successful."
A District's Coaching Journey: From Implementation to Advancement
Steven Montemarano reviews what it took to build a coaching program from the ground up and how his district now uses video to complement ongoing efforts.
"We knew that any instructional program is doomed to fail without routine communication to all relevant stakeholders—including our teachers' union, administration, and Board of Education. I met with the union president to share our vision of a program where coaches work with teachers on instruction in a non-evaluative way.. . . This was important to the vision of our program in not letting our coaches be seen or perceived as quasi-administrators; instead, they are there to focus on instruction, not evaluation."
Maria Papiez shares the importance of collaboration among peers as a coach and why it's beneficial to seek out others to support you.
"Find the people that bring you joy! They may be other coaches in your district or surrounding districts, but regardless of where they are, connect with them. At some point you will need them for the good or the bad. Some of the things that you go through on your coaching journey, can only really be understood by another coach. Surrounding yourself with these people is supper important in order to help you weave through tough situations and share great ideas."
A Dare For All Coaches
Robyn Hartzell dares coaches to step out of their comfort zone and try something that will help them grow.
"It's never easy when something doesn't go right--especially in those classes where you really NEED it to go right, but that's life. It doesn't mean you are bad at what you do. It means what you make it mean, so make it mean that you're human and have off days sometimes."
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