This week we learned the importance of building relationships right away with new staff, why it's so helpful for coaches to "take a breath" at times and how you can do that, some tips for better bite-sized goals, and more. Enjoy!
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The Importance of Building Relationships with New Teachers
Working with some new teachers? Paige Bergin shares how she focuses on building relationships with new staff right away, and some tips to make that easier.
"I have come to value our new hires in a different regard than the teachers I have a history with. New hires need something different from me as their coach. I have to establish a relationship with them where they feel comfortable and safe being vulnerable with me. I need to be able to see potential blind spots, and rather than just telling them, to help them figure it out for themselves. They need to see me as someone who is not an evaluator, but a partner in the process."
How to Coach for Differentiation
Lisa Westman explains the importance for coaches and teachers to focus on smaller goals to achieve larger ones and what areas to focus on.
"In short, there is a lot of confusion about what differentiation is, how you do it, and what it looks like. . . . Once I realized the reason, however, my coaching practice improved. The reason is: differentiation in and of itself is not the goal; rather differentiation is the result of the achievement of a number of smaller goals."
What's Your "Enough"?
Stephanie Affinito talks about why it's okay for coaches to "take a breath" at times to focus on what they've accomplished, not what they still need to do.
"Most instructional coaches share one common strength: they want to help. They spend their days serving others in the best interests of students and are always looking for more ways to do just that: more professional learning sessions, more coaching sessions, more reading and writing, more paperwork and more you-fill-in-the-blank. And while it is admirable, it is also fairly self-destructive. . . . But in our never-ending-quest to strive for more, we do not give ourselves credit for what we are already doing. We do not lighten up on ourselves even though we have probably been quite successful and are already going above and beyond what is needed."
A Mentoring and Coaching Culture
Steve Barkley shows how a coaching culture practiced at all professional levels, even between peers, sets an organization up for success.
"Sufficient coaching cannot be provided to teachers if coaching is only done by the instructional coach and perhaps the rarer coaching from a building administrator. We need a culture where coaching is everyone’s responsibility and reward. . . . It’s important that principals work with instructional coaches to extend the coaching culture in a school. That culture increases the impact that the coach can have when providing feedback and reflection opportunities as well as increasing the coach’s role in being the 'coach of coaching.'"
The Coaching Cycle
Chrissy Beltran breaks down a coaching cycle into six steps and explores why planning each step is a must.
"The coaching cycle is a simple structure that gives you a lot of freedom to support teachers in different ways. This practical method has three parts: the pre-conference, the observation/modeled lesson/co-teaching lesson, and a debrief. . . . The coaching cycle without a debrief is like a pen without ink. There’s no point. The debrief session is where you make the learning stick!"
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