Guest Blogger Eric Sandberg: Take a Chance on Instructional Coaching
Posted by Jill Lubow on October 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM
Working with an instructional coach represents a risk for many teachers, and teachers are often reluctant to take the chance. Why might this be?
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
Take a chance on me...
There are likely as many explanations as there are teachers. To name just a few, teachers may view coaches as reserved for struggling colleagues, as curriculum police, or as administrative spies. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand the reluctance to welcome coaches with open arms.
If an attitude of hesitancy or resistance persists throughout your school, your work as an instructional coach will fail to positively impact teacher practice and student achievement.
You can only fulfill these goals when instructional coaching is embraced as personalized professional development: two (or more) people, in a positive, collaborative relationship to learn and grow as professional educators.
How can you personalize professional learning?
The next time you work with a particular teacher—be they resistant or welcoming—collaborate to create a personalized coaching plan. You might consider the following:
- Personalized Mode: Will you focus on conversation, classroom modeling, co-teaching, or feedback?
- Personalized Goals: Will you focus on a particular instructional strategy, student skill, or content knowledge?
- Personalized Delivery: Will you collaborate using face to face meeting, using a journal (paper or cloud), or online platform?
- Personalized Calendar: Will you work together on a regular schedule or as needed?
- Personalized Pacing: How will you know if you are working too fast, not too slow, or just right?
By working together, you can roll out a personalized PD plan with patience, persistence, and mutual accountability.
If both teacher and coach will just take-a-chance, take-a-chance, take-a take-a chance-chance.
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down...
About our guest blogger
Eric Sandberg is an instructional coach with Erie’s Public Schools in Pennsylvania, and the owner and author of yourinstructionalcoach.com. His blog is wonderful, and the TeachBoost team are big fans of the way he uses song titles in his posts. Connect with Eric on twitter at @ecsandberg11.