This week we learned a fun PD idea inspired by a TV show, a few strategies for supporting new ICs, six ways leaders can grow their questioning skillset, and more. Enjoy! 🍀
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Five Practical Ways to Support New ICs
A coach's impact relies heavily on their support both in and out of their organization. Shelby Denman offers some advice for instructional leaders on how they can support, develop, and retain ICs.
"Great mentors possess the following qualities: empathy, experience, wisdom, and alignment to the values and practices of the program. . . . Helping to connect new coaches with the larger body of instructional coaches can reduce the isolation and loneliness associated with the position while simultaneously providing opportunities for collaboration."
Compass Points Protocol
Stephanie Affinito promotes a simple activity that sparks individual and group reflection and how ICs can use the results to respond to their teacher's needs.
"Archive teachers' initial thinking by saving the reflection forms, keeping the charts posted or saving the digital documents. Revisit these documents later in the learning process for a check-in on how things are going and as a way to reflect on the learning as a whole. . . . Taking stock of our progress compared against teachers' initial reflections ensures that you are responding to their needs and honoring their voices in the learning community."
Amy Storer spotlights an interactive PD session that pushes teachers to be creative on the fly.
"It was an idea inspired by the Food Network show, 'Chopped' Each team was tasked to select a 'basket' and to work together to create a lesson. . . . I love what the teachers came up with! I especially loved the teamwork and the creativity!"
Asking Great Questions
Charles Mason shares six ways leaders can sharpen their listening skills and establish good question-asking habits.
"As leaders, when we start with our own conclusions, we’re basically putting team members in a position to either agree or disagree. . . . I very rarely know more about a given subject than the combined wisdom of all of the people around me. Learning from them is an efficient way to broaden my knowledge of whatever the task is we're working on because each of them has specific technical knowledge related to their primary responsibilities that I don't have, and they also have a wealth of practical experience that can inform our decisions."
One Size Fit None
Jim Knight believes teaching is adaptive, so ICs must also be adaptive in their work to meet the needs of every individual they partner with.
"One concept that helps me understand adaptive coaching is the idea of freedom within form. Yes, coaching is adaptive, but 'adaptive coaching' is made possible by powerful underlying structures. While it may sound counterintuitive, effective structures actually increase freedom."
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