This week we looked at how you can focus coaching cycles by surveying teachers about their needs, a fresh approach for in-the-moment coaching using lab sites, a personal ice breaker to use during your next PLC session, and more. Enjoy! 👍
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Empower Your Teachers with "What I Need" Surveys
Struggling to know where to focus your next coaching cycle? Lisa Hockenberry and Rachel LeForce highlight why going straight to the source through surveys allows them to gain a more in-depth understanding of their learning community's needs.
"Many of the questions ask teachers to rate their confidence in instructional practices in their classrooms. . . . To provide teachers more voice and choice in how they approach professional learning, we added questions about how they would like to receive training e.g. planning, after school PD, bite-size PDs, etc. We also asked if they were comfortable sharing their strengths on particular topics with their colleagues. We know how dedicated and talented our teachers are and felt these questions helped us communicate trust and empowerment."
"The key is to make the lab site low-stakes. It should be a place where everyone feels comfortable practicing, making mistakes, and learning. It becomes a place not only to watch the coach and ask questions, but a place where teachers themselves can practice and get feedback in the moment. . . . Not only do teachers get to spend time in the learning zone, but so do you—making you a better teacher and coach!"
"Strong teachers want to get even better. . . . If you have access to an instructional coach on your campus or in your district, reach out now. Invite them in. Be vulnerable. You'll be amazed at the many ways you can grow as an educator, and you’ll see the benefits in your students’ engagement and performance."
"In the water cycle, H2O moves from liquid to vapor to liquid again in ongoing iterations, be it rain or sleet or snow or hail. The rhythm of coaching repeats in much the same way, hopefully as an upward spiral with new content or processes as the next focus. The GIR model circles through modelling, recommending, questioning, affirming, and praising progressively as needed."
"We all have unique characteristics, traits and experiences that make us who we are, elements that often change over time as we change, too. So that means this ice-breaker is not only for new groups of colleagues working together, but for any group at any time of the year to simply come together as humans, not just teachers. . . . It also builds camaraderie among teachers, not to mention it helps you get to know them even better."