"The work of a special education instructional coach is grounded in the same practice as an instructional coach. While there are additional layers upon which we engage with our work, overall it's similar to the way an instructional coach at the building level would use their school's improvement plan to guide their work for the year. We look to collaborate with all teachers in supporting some of our most complex learners."
"I usually use the Say-Mean-Matter protocol to focus on comments students made during the lesson, but it can also be effective when capturing the teacher's role. It is a great tool for drawing out positive insights. With care, it can also be used to focus on less-effective aspects of the lesson."
"A coach's presence in peer coaching represents the ideal balance of power between teachers and coaches. However, when the coach moves left into mentoring or supervision, the balance begins to tilt left and power becomes more concentrated in the hands of the coach. When the coach moves right into consultation or information gathering, the balance begins to tilt right and power becomes more concentrated in the hands of the teacher."
"I think building up a teacher's craft in content as well as their thinking is one of the greatest gifts we can give as coaches. I feel like one of the best things I can hear from a teacher is sentiments around, 'Yes, I understand this, I can do this!' and having the teacher follow up by saying 'And not just now, but tomorrow, and every day after that.'"
"Have you ever been presented with what I'll call here the 'closed dandelion' type of coachee? . . . Such coachees need time to settle down and relax, are wary of perceived insensitivities, alive to interpreting apparently neutral words as cynicism, and often close in on themselves again with just the slightest excuse. . . . If we do not sense more than the 'closedness' of these uncommunicative 'dandelions', we do ourselves and them a disservice."