This week we learned how to coach teacher clarity through backward planning, why giving teachers positive feedback is healthy for positive relationships that last, the significance of SEL for all learners (even adults!), and more.
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Coaching Teacher Clarity Through Backward Planning
Paige Bergin walks through a three-step process for helping teachers design lesson plans that articulate learning intentions, relevance, and success criteria for staff and students.
"This practice helped teachers get to the heart of their standards and objectives, think about what assessments could look like, and the steps in between. . . . When students have a better understanding of what success is, they have a higher likelihood of actually hitting that target."
Circles Within Circles
Vicki Collet reflects on a recent coaching conversation that started with broad questioning and gradually dove deeper into her desired focus area.
"Our brief conversation had ranged over many ideas, so I wanted to make sure we got specific before concluding. I gave Leslie a 3X5 card and asked, 'Of all the ideas we've talked about, what's something you want to hold on to?' Leslie jotted a thought on the card that she could put on her desk as a reminder. She read it aloud to me, and I made a note so I could ask her about it next time we met."
Combating the Pandemic Slump
Aaron Celmer highlights four negative habits many teachers acquired during the pandemic and how to help break them.
"In the world of education where we are continually being asked to do more without things being taken off our plate, it is vitally important to practice self-compassion to be the best we can to the young minds in front of us watching our behavior every single moment of the school day. As coaches, we can help foster self-compassion in teachers by reflecting on the positives with them."
Opening the Door for Better Communication
Nicole Turner believes positive, timely, and genuine feedback helps cultivate strong relationships with teachers.
"One of the biggest mistakes made in coaching is not delivering positive feedback. We may make a note of the positive things we saw in the classroom for a future conversation or just as a note, but often times we don’t communicate that with those we are working with. . . . When you talk to a teacher about what they did well, they are more willing to talk to you about what they may need to work on or concerns they may have for themselves."
Creating Standards-Based Lesson Plans
Jeffrey Bradbury breaks down the seven categories of the ISTE Standards for Teachers and how you can use them to guide your next PD session.
"When planning out a years' worth of professional development and creating a roadmap for success amongst multiple Instructional Coaches, there comes a time where a standard needs to be set for what is taught, when it is taught, how it is taught, and (most important) why it is taught. . . . When you create standards-based lessons using the ISTE standards for both Teachers and Students as a guide, you are going to be able to create a standard for what everyone in the district will learn and how they will learn it."
SEL for All
Chrissy Beltran and Haley O'Connor cover the five components of Casel's social-emotional learning framework and why it's important to remember that teachers are humans and have emotions too.
"Teachers are often treated very differently than students when it comes to social-emotional support. . . . They need to feel comfortable expressing themselves and asking for help when they need it. . . . Check-in with them and validate their feelings (even if you don't agree with them). It's important to be genuine and not condescending when working with teachers."
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