This week we learned the magic that happens when a teacher and coach are co-present, why a shared vision and clear anchor statements are essential for successful PLCs, the long-term benefits of effective listening, and more. Enjoy! 😀
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Coaching Co-Presence: The Flow Between Teacher and Coach
Have you ever been so in-sync with someone that you felt you were thinking and acting as one? Vicki Collethighlights the magic that happens when a teacher and coach co-presently bond together.
"During co-presence, our voluntary efforts align with those of others; we are reaching together toward the same end. We are alert and able, in touch with what is immediately before us and appropriately challenged. An instant–a particularly important moment–may feel frozen in time. Every perception is intensified. It's etched and essential, for everyone involved. There's unity. . . . Teachers and coaches cultivate moments of co-presence by directing their full attention to what is happening in the now, by observing with clarity and from a place of positive assumptions and empathy."
"In my experience, most leaders are hesitant to be tight about what happens in collaborative teams because they don't want to take away autonomy of their teachers. However, by not defining the expectations of the collaborative teams' work, they are actually inhibiting their teachers' ability to move from personal conflict to productive conflict. This prevents teachers from improving the art of teaching where autonomy really takes place."
"Better listening requires a shift from a reactive frame of mind to one which is more receptive. For school leaders, daily conversations can often be something that requires immediate action. But when moments allow, shifting thinking from, 'what is the solution?' to 'what is this person saying to me?' or 'what emotions is this person displaying?' can provide powerful results."
"Teachers are best motivated, and consequently learn the most, when they choose data gathered during coaching. This doesn’t mean that a coach can’t suggest types of data to be collected. . . . During coaching, it is most important that the coach and teacher agree on what data to gather, how to gather the data, and why the data are gathered. There should be no surprises when it comes to data gathering."
"This time of heightened uncertainty requires us to try new things and encourage others to do the same. We need to foster a growth mindset in ourselves and others now more than ever. . . . If certain individuals or teams are pulling away or outright resisting change, try what I call the 'nudge' approach, instead of trying to push them forward on your timeline. Figure out what their perspective is and build compassion and empathy based on that."
Three Steps for Developing Shared Expectations
Justin Baeder believes instructional leaders should build roadmap style rubrics that layout clear expectations on how teachers can level up.
"If you want people to improve their practice, you MUST be specific about what quality looks like. So instead of listing our key components in one row, and saying “do all of them all the time, really hard” we can simply be descriptive—providing great detail on what practice is like at each level of performance."