This week we learned how coached working across multiple buildings can maximize their impact, why we need to sometimes shift our thinking to connect with teachers we work with, the impact of video for promoting growth and reflection, and more!
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The Traveling Coach: Coaching Across Multiple Schools
Bridget McDonald shares three key principles to help a coach maximize their impact when across multiple buildings.
"Building relationships is the backbone of any successful coaching partnership. This can be especially tricky for coaches who work across multiple buildings as you often feel like a visitor and not a full member of any one building's staff. The first relationship you must foster is the one with your building principal to ensure they support your role when you're not there. The principal can also help you understand their staff's strengths. This, in turn, helps you leverage those strengths when you work with each teacher. Without that foundation, it can be really difficult to foster relationships with them."
A Culture of Inquiry vs. a Culture of Learning
Christina Podraza suggests asking "why" before going straight into a solution to help create opportunities for new ideas and ways of thinking.
"From an educator stance, an inquiry-based culture would mean that we would take the time to ponder the why first before jumping into solutions. . . . In education, many times we are quick to jump to solutions before thinking about what might actually be causing the issue in the first place. Sometimes this fixes the problem, but other times it makes us appear like we are a "squirrel-based" culture, jumping from one new best practice to another. This results in frustration from many parties, and in many cases does not actually fix the issue."
What Do We Mean by Coachable?
Stephanie Affinito reminds us that sometimes we need to shift our thinking to better connect with teachers.
"As instructional coaches, understanding our own tendencies can give us insight into our work and how we interact with others. It can also help us redefine what we mean by coachable. It can be quite easy to work with teachers who think and act like we do, but it can be quite another to coach teachers who respond very differently. That does not mean they are not coachable, it simply means we have to understand those differences so we can work together more effectively."
Using Video Recording as a Coaching Tool
Michelle Shave shares her experience using video to promote growth and reflection.
"I was discussing a coaching observation with a teacher about how he managed response rates and monitored students' understanding. . . . He was passionate about his abilities and I didn't mean to make him feel otherwise. It was difficult to explain with objectivity the lack of monitoring, so I suggested we record a portion of his lesson. . . . It was a good exercise in objectivity and being able to focus on the actions taking place rather than just hearing what I had to share."
Lessons I Learned from a Perfectionist Coach
LesLee Bickford offers five lessons she learned from embracing perfectionism as an instructional coach.
"I love control! I love solutions! I love being able to jump in and say, "here's what we can do…" and make things better. That's not coaching and actually undermines the development of the people I'm working with. . . . So I'm adopting an approach of being as prepared and present as possible and then trusting the client to get exactly where they need to be."
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