February's Coaching Roundup is on the art of building relationships! If you'd like to stay up-to-date on the latest coaching news, be sure to subscribe below to receive our hand-picked list of instructional coaching resources delivered weekly to your inbox!
Megan Ryder shares five great techniques to build and maintain quality coaching partnerships.
"At the beginning of the school year, I remind the teachers where they can find me when I am not working with a teacher in a classroom. . . . Just as important, to 'be present,' I've taken note where teachers in each of my buildings gather before, during, and after school. This allows me to join in personal conversations about everyone’s weekend, pets, children, etc.—getting to know teachers on a personal level is important when building relationships."
Elena Aguilar offers some insight into how empathy and good intentions lay the groundwork for coaching relationships.
"In order to build trust, a coach needs to empathize with her client. Whenever I'm going into a coaching meeting, I try to imagine where that teacher or administrator is coming from literally—no, where he has been that day, what he's been doing, and how he might be feeling. . . . Cultivate your empathy for whomever you're coaching and building trust will almost naturally flow as a consequence."
Claire Fassio reflects on what she learned during her first year as a coach to support healthy partnerships.
"I left my first year as a coach with a clear understanding of the importance of building good relationships with teachers. . . . However, it is always important to recognize and honor the strengths of colleagues because this lays the foundation for a relationship that can be the source of meaningful changes."
Amy Rudduses newsletters in her coaching practice every month to connect with teachers, share district news, and introduce teaching topics. Read more for her thoughts on how powerful these simple tools can be and where she finds her inspiration to keep them fresh.
"What's important to remember is that you know your audience best. If you see patterns or trends as a coach, then try to address them specifically to reach a broader audience through articles or inspiration in the newsletter that will resonate with a current need. Always remember to try and find balance when sending out the newsletters so teachers aren't overwhelmed and end up clicking it into the trash."
Lauren Vaclavik relays her tips to build relationships and establish a culture of coaching.
"As a coach, one of the most important factors in creating the culture of coaching is to know that you are not there to fix another teacher. In fact, you're there to find the good and make it stronger. . . . Always remember to keep the focus on the students and their reactions to the teaching."
Lori Ceremuga and Barb Wilkinson share 6 key elements that help teacher-coach agreements build strong relationships.
"As in any relationship, conflicts may arise. Try to find mutual ground by identifying what is important and discuss possible solutions to these conflicts. Open communication and transparency are critical in these situations."