We kicked off the final month of 2021 by learning from our Weekly Coaching Rounduphow to build relationships with teachers in a tasteful way, what a digital learning coach's day-to-day is like, a fun and strategic way to deliver PD on the fly, and more. Enjoy!
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The Role of a Digital Learning Coach
Have you ever wondered what a digital learning coach's day-to-day is like? Lisa Hockenberry overviews the rewards, challenges, daily motivations, and the ins and outs of her coaching role.
"As a DLC, I lend support with the curriculum and instruction, and seek opportunities to embed edtech tools along the way. I have to understand the direction of the Future Ready (FR) district framework to help teachers and students move toward being future-ready—with and without technology. . . . It's not just about the technology and the fun things you can do with it, it's learning the intentionality behind the tool and how it will benefit every student's learning experience."
"Teachers would fill out their room service cards and hang them on their door. Leadership students would then take the cart around to classrooms, read the door hanger, and deliver the treat. It was such a bright spot for both the students and the staff,and a great way for the students to see the impact an act of kindness had on their teachers.They loved doing it and often asked me when they could do it again."
"As a new coach, spend time fleshing out what your leadership style is. Are you direct and assertive, easily taking charge and making decisions or more analytical and organized, enjoy drafting detailed and strategic coaching plans, or empathetic and facilitative, asking questions to guide teachers to their action step? No one style is better than another. It's about what aligns to your persona."
"Usually, I'll try to locate multiple mediums to keep the content interesting and lively (articles, podcasts, videos, websites, etc.). I also try to include an interactive component that encourages teachers to communicate with me or with one another. . . . Once I've cultivated the information I want to provide, I consider all of the creative possibilities for delivery! This is the fun part! I take into account the time of year, nearby holidays, themes that match the content, or themes that match community events."
"Respect for the teacher comes through the coaching conversation. There is no easy fix to a problem the teacher might present or an opportunity the teacher wishes to explore. . . . Listening and generating reflection is what creates empowerment in coaching. It is why I describe the preconference as the most important component in a coaching cycle. Listening communicates that the teacher's agenda is driving the process."
"I encouraged them to use these ideas to write an aspirational letter of recommendation for themselves, using the third person (she/her/their name). I asked them to describe the teacher they hoped to be by the end of the school year and to send that letter to me if they were comfortable doing so. I suggested that writing the letter might help them recognize their current strengths and set some new goals, and sharing the letter with me would help me coach them toward these strengths."