This week we learned some tips for first year instructional coaches, three ways to build your PLN, seven ways to strengthen your coaching relationships, why thinking aloud during coaching conversations is productive, and more. Enjoy! 😀
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3 Ways to Build Your PLN as a New IC
Being a new IC can feel like you're on an island with few resources. 🏝️ Violet Christensen and Courtney Groskin eagerly share three tactics for making connections—both in-person and online—and even suggestions of whom to follow online.
"The transition from educator to coach can feel like you are jumping across the great divide all on your own. As coaches who have experienced this and who are now on the other side, we can let you in on our mantra: every coach needs a coach. . . . The key is to build in with both administrators and educators with intentionality, creating a symbiotic relationship in which both sides are informed, supported, and heard."
"My focus was on working with fellow teachers and their students in their classrooms. However, the 'backwards' part came in once I realized that I wasn't the lead teacher anymore, these students weren't truly my students, and my new responsibility was to establish and monitor specific goals with teachers and students. . . . The simplest and most counterintuitive advice I can give is this: focus on the students."
"One of main jobs that you have as an instructional coach is to give feedback. However, it is just as important that you receive feedback from the teachers you are working with. Create a survey or be open during your coaching conversations about receiving feedback. Ask those you coach how the relationship is going and how you can support them better. This type of two-way feedback is essential to building trust. In addition, you are modeling the openness you are hoping to see in your teacher."
Vicki Collet encourages ICs to put their brain on display by verbalizing their problem-solving methods during coaching conversations. 🔎
"Making thinking audible demonstrates processes that are possibilities. Coaches can model expert thinking and problem solving as they work with teachers. Just as important as the instructional practices they model in the classroom are the decision-making strategies used to design and guide instruction."
"If you're new to a building or new in your role, introducing yourself and your instructional coaching program to staff can feel SCARY. Gah! However it's a really important beginning of the year step, as it will provide the foundation for a successful 'culture of coaching' within the school."