This week we learned some strategies that coaches can practice to help improve new or veteran teachers, the importance of reflection and its value for teachers, why some coaching programs never take off, tips for working with a beginning teacher, and more!
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"As coaches, we must go slow to go fast. . . . Offering ideas is valuable, but relationship building must come first. . . . New coaches may assume that veteran teachers won’t want or need their help. Believing instead that every teacher is receptive to coaching is a simple way to establish a framework for success."
Building a Relationship With the Beginning Teacher
"On the first day back, I circulate the room before the first meeting of the day and introduce myself and get to know the new teachers a little. I also introduce the new teachers to at least one other member of their PLC (Professional Learning Community) if they haven’t met them already. . . . I regularly check in on the new teachers to our school, but I also love when they take the initiative to ask for help. I was looking forward to seeing this new teacher in action."
"Teachers who take time for mindful reflection are more likely to self-correct their own teaching skills. Reflection gives teachers the chance to consider recent teaching in relation to past experiences, opening opportunities for you and your colleague to thinking deeply together. Whether a teacher is a natural reflector or one who needs a nudge to turn on the power of reflection, having a coach as a reflecting buddy can strengthen the process!"
"Coaching can be a key lever for transforming school culture, for providing teachers with the support and nurturing they deserve, for retaining effective teachers, and for creating equitable schools where every child thrives. . . . For coaching to be successful, every teacher, administrator, and coach in a school, district, or organization needs to know what is meant by coaching—what it is, what it isn't, how coaching works, and what its goals are. Unless there's shared understanding, coaching is hamstrung."
"In my thinking, a mentors' work and time should be increasing throughout the year as the new teacher enters the ever- increasing complexity of teaching and learning. . . . Are we considering the soft skills of the people being asked to serve as mentors or is more attention paid to matching the new teacher with someone with similar content?"