This week we learned a four-step guide for creating a personalized PD plan, a few misinterpretations of coaching and how you can handle them, tips for organizing end-of-year reflection conversations for teachers, and more!
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Create a Personalized PD Plan with This Four-Step Guide
ICs spend their days supporting the growth of educators, but who does the same for them? Stephanie Affinito believes that coaches can guide their own learning through her four-step processes built on self-reflection.
"As coaches, we're often left to our own devices when it comes to our professional learning, which means that it can get swept behind the myriad of other roles and responsibilities we prioritize. However, to lead well, we have to remain lifelong learners ourselves, by growing, stretching, and changing as professionals. . . . Here's the thing: there's no one right way to choose a goal for yourself. Only you know what your coaching needs and what your heart wants."
"To combat misinterpretation in its various forms, a coach must continuously strive for effective, reflective communication. This includes not only how a coach communicates to others, but also continuous awareness of how others are communicating, including what they are saying and what they are not saying. This effective, reflective communication builds strong relationships which are the foundation to impactful coaching."
"Whenever possible, let your staff personalize their professional development. This goes beyond providing breakout session choices. Give them time to work on the issues that impact students and time to hone the skills they feel they need to better support their learners—no specific schedule, just time."
"Plot out what you can do to build stronger relationships and what steps you can take when plans go astray. . . . Culture does not come from just one individual. It takes a collection of people—in a classroom, a boardroom, or a school— working together toward a common goal: growth."
"You'll know a teacher is ready for a recommendation if she asks for one (although a teacher's asking does not necessarily mean that a recommendation is warranted – but that's another story!). When a recommendation seems like the right move, you can also prime the pump by putting the focus on students."
"Encourage teachers to use the information from their reflections as talking points, and conclude the discussion by having teachers share one takeaway with their group. . . . Leaders can analyze the data from teacher takeaways and determine common themes in individual schools, grade levels, departments, and the district as a whole. In our district, staff development summarized the big ideas from the conversations to drive future professional development. The data was shared with administrators and teachers alike."