This week we learned the value of curiosity in conversations, how you can showcase your impact as an IC, a few different approaches to coaching, and more. Enjoy! 😀
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The Impact of ICs
Have you ever struggled to share or summarize the work you do as an IC? If so, you're not alone! Learn from Lindsay Deacon how you can showcase the impact of your coaching to teachers and district leaders alike.
"Much of the work coaches do lives in confidential meetings or happens behind-the-scenes. It can be challenging to showcase coaching without crossing a boundary or appearing egotistical. At the same time, finding ways to share the progress and outcomes of coaching is a critical step in validating the work we do. . . . For instance, a coach's work can be showcased by asking a teacher to share a short coaching success story at the beginning of a staff meeting."
Approaches to Coaching
Jim Knight summarizes three methods of coaching and the focus of goals that go into each.
"Facilitative and directive coaching both involve conversation, but they do not involve dialogue. A dialogue is a meeting of the minds, two or more people sharing ideas with each other. It is not a dialogue if I withhold my ideas, and it is not a dialogue when I tell you what you should do. It is a dialogue when I share my ideas in a way that makes it very easy for others to share their ideas. A dialogue is thinking with someone."
Digital Coaching Menus
Kenny McKee recommends ICs use coaching menus to identify their teachers' needs before starting a coaching cycle.
"One excellent tool for organizing individual coaching cycles is a digital coaching menu (this one is for coaches supporting literacy across subjects). With such a menu, teachers are able to self-assess their students' needs and their preferred professional learning modalities. They then can communicate these reflections to an instructional coach before they ever have a first meeting together. The coach is able to frame the first coaching conversation around the teacher's assessment in order for both to more quickly come to a consensus on professional learning goals and methods."
Steve Barkley encourages coaches to be curious and to listen without creating a hypothesis.
"Quality listening requires being confident enough in your skills to not feel pressure to be forming your next question when you should be listening. . . . I especially encourage new coaches who are unsure of their coaching skills to allow their curiosity to guide them and the teachers they are supporting. Avoid the urge to be an expert, a problem solver, and to give the teacher a solution."
The Lowdown on Burnout
Elena Aguilar opens up about her experience being in a career rut and why we need to listen to our emotions at times.
"Being in the service profession and spending hours with young people means teachers might experience a wide range of feelings more frequently than people in other fields. And suppressing emotions doesn't work. Emotions find a way to come out and be heard, and sometimes they manifest as burnout. . . . Emotions deserve attention because they are sources of wisdom and information—not just because we don't want them to become a problem. We should explore our emotions so we can learn from them."
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