Just because the school year is winding down doesn't mean learning has to as well. Tonya Moody, instructional coach in Westfield Washington School District in central Indiana, believes end-of-year coaching cycles are the perfect time to encourage risk-taking and promote a culture of learning.
oaching cycles happen throughout the entire school year and can look different based on the needs of your district and teachers. Additionally, the time of year that a coaching cycle takes place can be a very personal decision for a teacher. Most cycles, however, last 4-6 weeks, contain a student goal and learning targets, have learning (i.e., about students, best practices, the craft of coaching) as the heart, and are supported through co-teaching and planning to increase student achievement around set goals.
End-of-year may not seem like the perfect time to dig in and collaboratively learn together in coaching cycles, but it may be the best time to do the work. Here are three great reasons that can encourage teachers to use the end of the year for learning.
1) Classroom communities are strongly formed
Classrooms that are full of student voice and choice can practically run themselves by April as procedures are internalized and classrooms function with little management.
This allows the goal of the end-of-year coaching cycle to be focused on student learning. Why? There will be less concern that classroom management will interfere with the type of learning that the teacher and coach want to facilitate moving forward.
2) Instructional risk-taking for the next school year
If classroom management is strong, it's an ideal time to take a risk! As teachers, we often see ideas and worry that it may not be the best time to try something new.
However, there's no better time to try out a new instructional practice then the end of the year because it can give teachers the confidence they need to start the school year strong. In turn, you become the coach that partners with teachers to accomplish all they yearn and desire for their students current and future!
3) Instruction stays strong through May
The end of the year is full of field trips, guest speakers, projects, field days, etc., and students deserve to have classroom instruction until the very last day! An end-of-year coaching cycle ensures that we have a strong student goal with learning targets and gives the teacher and coach a focus, despite all of the May distractions.
With school winding down, we, as coaches, must remind teachers that our building is a culture of learners who are continually looking to improve. Now, get out there and let teachers know that there is no better time than Spring to enter into amazing, embedded professional development!
About our Guest Blogger
Tonya Moody is an instructional coach in Westfield Washington School District in central Indiana and has over ten years of teaching experience. Prior to coaching, she taught Kindergarten and Second Grade and worked as both a reading specialist and literacy coach.
She has a passion for encouraging her colleagues and collaborating with fellow educators. Tonya loves growing her PLN on Twitter and would love to connect with you!