The last Weekly Coaching Roundup of April offered seven techniques for reducing educator stress, three ways to connect with fellow ICs for peer coaching, tips for tackling difficult conversations, and more.
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Prioritize Your Own Professional Learning with Peer Coaching
"Periodically record yourself in a coaching conversation with a teacher and watch the entire exchange back. . . . This private, personal reflection is a powerful practice, but it is amplified when shared with a trusted coach who can objectively offer feedback, too. The coach might watch with a general coaching focus or, again, you might offer a specific lens for them to view the conversation and provide feedback on. Based on the feedback provided, you can set a goal and plan for a follow-up review, as appropriate."
"I was so nervous about the conversation! However, afterward I felt gratified; destructive comments had been addressed, potential plans were brainstormed, and relationships seemed intact – maybe even improved because of our honest conversation."
"Systematically examining instructional problems can be part of the level setting needed for long-term sustainability in order to avoid brainstorming fuzziness. It can also clarify needed steps and provide chronological order to design and implementation. . . . I highly recommend including teachers—it's best not to make decisions about teachers without some in the room."
Creating a Culture of Feedback
Sanee Bell believes three ingredients are necessary for a school environment that thrives on practical and formative feedback.
"People in any organization need to see their leader often. If your role is to provide feedback that is focused on supporting the growth of your direct reports, make yourself present where they work. It is very difficult to provide constructive feedback, especially feedback based on patterns of behavior or practices, if you take a drive-by approach."
"Instead of 'make space to restore your balance' or 'find time to exercise more,' schools need to acknowledge their role in the problem and put in place the structures, practices, and time for self-care, reflection, and general well-being among educators, school staff, and the leaders themselves. . . . Carve out a few minutes from the schoolwide schedule for meditation or quiet time each morning before the school day begins. Intentionally building these few minutes into the schedule, perhaps by lightening teachers' workload elsewhere, takes the burden off teachers and signals that wellness is a priority in the school's culture."
"If I am going to be effective in meeting the needs of teachers, I have to know what needs teachers have. I have to know what they want from adult learning and whether I have succeeded in providing it. And, I have to actually take that survey feedback and do something with it. I have to change my behaviors to better meet their professional needs."