We wrapped up October by learning how to set targeted goals with teachers, strategies for incorporating social and emotional learning into your coaching partnerships, a few tips for creating engaging and reflective virtual professional learning, and more. Enjoy!
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How to Set the Right Kind of Goal for Your Coaching Cycle
"Over time, I realized that the driving force of a coaching cycle is the type of goal we work towards with teachers. I picture these types of goals building on top of each other, ultimately leading children and their teachers to be more successful when working towards an academic goal. . . . Students' basic needs should be met before we can turn our attention to standards-based goals, which focus more around the skills, content, standards, and knowledge that we want our students to learn."
Embedding Social and Emotional Learning into Online Instruction
"SEL addresses five main areas—along with learning standards—called the CASEL Core Competencies. . . . More specifically, SEL is a set of explicitly taught skills that are designed to meet the needs of students based on observable data, just like in content areas. They create a lasting impact on a learner's life. It's not 'fluff,' it's not 'extra,' and it's not 'filler.'"
"Think about it. We work so hard to connect and collaborate within a coaching cycle, but then often evaluate our shared efforts using an arbitrary document that doesn’t account for our unique coaching contexts. . . . Can't you just envision how the entire feel of a coaching cycle can change if teachers were completely involved in the co-creation of how it would be evaluated? Me too."
"As a teacher, when I open my classroom door, virtually or in the school, I am in some way putting my ego on the line. Similarly, when my students’ work is displayed for my peers to assess in a PLC, there is a discomfort connected to seeing the learning outcome as an indicator of my teaching abilities. . . . If we are a team, then when you are observing my instruction, I know that your goal is for me to achieve my (our) learning goals with students. Leaders and coaches should model vulnerability by being the most coached members of the faculty."
"We've learned to make sure that we don't spend time together on things participants can easily do on their own. For example, participants should read excerpts from professional texts and work on math problems in preparation for a discussion independently. This leads to deeper discussions and effective collaboration in the virtual space. . . . Just like in classrooms with students, it is vital for us to seek consistent feedback and make adjustments in order to achieve expected learning outcomes."