This week we learned how to create a digital coaching invitation, four ways to enhance our teachers' social-emotional and physical well-being, what a "conversation workout" is, a few techniques for addressing teachers' emotions, and more!
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Parallel Practice for Social-Emotional Learning
For teachers to take care of students, they must first be at one with their own emotions. Morgan Davis highlights four of her go-to practices that prioritize her teachers social-emotional and physical well-being.
"Teachers should anticipate a question about their self-care during our professional development sessions, our PLCs, and our coaching conversations. . . . With any change—no matter how small—we should take time to name our emotions, which both normalizes and validates them."
Courtney Groskin and Violet Christensen highlight three tools ICs can use to draft, produce, and edit their coaching vision over time.
"The focus is on the process, not on a polished product. . . . The main goal is to set aside time to think about what you want your year to look like and what things are important to you as an instructional coach. If you are clear on your vision then it will set you up on the trajectory for success."
Advice to a First Year Coach
Gretchen Schultek Bridgers cautions new ICs to slow down and remember that coaching is a marathon, not a sprint. 🏃
"When you rush into leading people whom you do not know and who do not know you, a rift occurs among the staff. This can be quite damaging in the long run. But, if you spend time getting to know those you will lead by being a human first and a leader second, you will create a solid foundation from that which you can work productively. So, take a step back and just be present and available as often as possible in the beginning."
"A rule of thumb I always follow in coaching a client to dig into emotions is asking permission. I do this by first offering my objective observation and followed by the ask. In my experience it is a rare occasion that a client says they would prefer not to talk about emotions, but if trust isn’t well-established or the timing is off, it is possible."
"Personalized invitations into coaching cycles send the message that you care to go the extra mile and put a bit of thought into your future partnership. Opening a beautiful digital invitation addressed to the whole faculty or customized for each teacher promotes a feeling of professionalism and quite simply, just makes you more tempted to open and read it."
The Rewards of Classroom Coaching
Beth Smith reflects on a memorable coaching moment that started when she took the time to truly listen to teachers' needs and not just give general support.
"As they prepared to leave that day, one of the teachers stopped and said to me, 'This is the first time during staff development that someone let us tell them what we needed and didn't just tell us what we had to do. Thank you.' . . . This is why coaching is such a satisfying role—I see an important need, I can provide the exact level of support that's needed, and then I am privileged to experience the achievements with both teachers and students!"
"Just like working out in a gym, a conversation workout involves committing to a plan, learning new skills, and then practicing and getting feedback until we become proficient at those skills. . . . Pick one idea and practice it until you become proficient, then move on to something else."