Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! Kick it off by learning how you can use pineapple charts to inspire a school-wide culture of collaborative PD, why mentors are valuable for teacher growth, how administrators can support teachers who feel stressed or anxious, the role of trust in coaching, and more! Enjoy.
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Increase Peer Observation with Pineapple Charts
Jennifer Conley encourages the use of "pineapple charts" to help teachers show hospitality in their classrooms and inspire a school-wide culture of collaborative PD.
"In some traditions, the pineapple has come to symbolize hospitality, which is what inspired the pineapple chart—a way for teachers to show hospitality in their classrooms. The pineapple chart itself is really simple. It's just a calendar, made of a dry-erase board or something similar, located in a high-traffic area, like the staff room. . . . Pineapple charts are an open invitation to share and be inspired by the amazing work in all our classrooms."
Hey Instructional Coach, What Do You Do?
Jim Knight shares what he believes to be the five principles that empowering ICs endorse.
"The learning catalyzed by instructional coaching doesn't happen in workshops, but in classrooms. It's driven by teachers' energy. While this may seem radical, we can validate why instructional coaching works by thinking of our own experiences. We know that the most important changes we make in life are ones we choose for ourselves, and that we respond best to people who treat us like equals."
Helping First-Year Teachers
Laurel Schwartz provides four ways veteran educators can guide and support new teachers to flourish both in and out of the classroom.
"First-year teachers who have mentors are significantly more likely to be successfuland return for a second year. And it's not just the mentees who benefit: Mentoring often empowers veteran teachers to grow in their practice by pushing them to be more reflective about their own teaching."
The Role of Trust in Coaching
Nicole Turner highlights seven of her go-to strategies for showing teachers that she believes in them and their expertise.
"Teaching and coaching are about relationships and relationships are a two-way street. . . . When you provide feedback to teachers, show that you value the things they are already doing well. Find ways to weave the new strategies you’re suggesting into their existing teaching schema."
The Impact of Stress & Anxiety
Susan Simmons reminds us that teachers are human, and we must be mindful of how they're feeling. 💆
"Prolonged stress can cause teacher burnout, job dissatisfaction, poor performance, and a lack of engagement, which can negatively impact students as well. Teacher stress and burnout can create classroom environments that are less conducive to learning. . . . Anxiety can be exacerbated when individuals feel isolated and unsupported. For these reasons, it's essential for school administrators to support distressed educators. For example, districts can offer wellness programs and sessions on yoga, healthy eating, and mindfulness."
Setting the Tone for Coaching
Chrissy Beltran passes along a few of her practiced tips for building long-lasting relationships with teachers.
"All relationships require trust. . . . To gain trust and build a relationship you must be empathetic and credible. One of the ways I showed empathy as a coach was listening without judgment. I built credibility with the staff by being real and realistic."
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