This week we covered questions that help a coach define their identity, the value of responsiveness in teachers, tips for starting a collaborative coaching cycle, how one coach built an ongoing partnership, and more!
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Defining Your Coaching Identity
Kristy Gaudio asks three reflective questions that help a coach identify their role.
"While instructional coaching itself can differ between districts and their schools, each of us does have the ability to carve out an identity that matches our philosophies, talents, and skills. . . . We're all passionate about learning and students or none of us would be here! So dig deep. What specific skills or passions do you have that lend themselves to coaching others?"
Coaching for Responsiveness
Vicki Collet explains the importance of reflecting on the in-the-moment decisions a teacher makes.
"Responsive teachers reinvent educational theories and practices and adapt them to the needs, interest, experiences, and cultures of their students. . . . There is no such thing as a perfected lesson that can be served up again to the next class period or to a new group of students next year. Instead, responsive teachers will adapt and adjust as they plan and teach. Student learning will increase as coaches support teachers in developing this attribute and avoiding cookie-cutter lessons."
Preparing for the First Day
Amanda Joyce identifies five tips she wishes she knew when she began her journey as a teacher.
"Every year on the first day of school I would greet all the kids with a big smile however, behind that smile was an overwhelmed and highly anxious teacher who was already exhausted from all the last minute leadership decisions. . . . Don't be afraid to reach out to your most experienced or veteran grade level teammates as well as the instructional coach and/or principal in regards to new initiatives."
Conducting a Coaching Cycle
Chrissy Beltran shares five ways a coach can create a collaborative coaching cycle with a teacher.
"Start with a good, solid teacher who'd like to learn a new thing or two. It helps if they have a positive influence over their grade level, too! . . . If you need to make changes, do it! Don't stick to modeling for the duration of the cycle, and don't stick to 50/50 coteaching, either. Change the type and level of support to respond to the needs of the teacher and students."
A Kindergarten Teacher and Literacy Coach's Journey Onward
Krista Senatore reflects on the partnership she built with a teacher that all started with a book.
"Basically, without a good introduction to my role as an instructional coach, there was a lot of misunderstanding as to why I was even on that campus. And it made doing my job very difficult. . . . Make sure you and your principal are on the same page when it comes to your coaching roles and responsibilities. It's important to have a conversation before you introduce your role to your teachers."
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