This week we learned about the benefits of innovation on new teaching practices, the hallmark qualities of an instructional coach, perks of collaboration among all staff, the impact of classroom technology, and more!
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"In order for innovation to thrive in our schools we have to build school environments that foster idea generation, collaboration, reflection, and risk-taking without fear of repudiation if something doesn't go as planned. . . . It starts with foundational best practices for anyone in a school: build relationships, be present, and get to know those you serve."
"Not only will team collaboration influence more students, it will also impact colleagues—both new and experienced. On a highly effective collaborative team, new teachers are not left alone to make critical instructional decisions, defend why they have selected their essentials, or come up with intervention and extension plans. Experienced teachers get an infusion of new ideas and will leave a legacy of their vast skills with their colleagues when they retire. Otherwise, when those experienced teachers walk out the door upon retirement, all of their skills go with them."
"A key component to remember when integrating technology into the classroom is that
the idea comes before the tools. Always start with a solid instructional idea, and then look for ways to enhance with technology. Meaningful technology integration should engage students, enhance relevancy and build capacity for the 4Cs— collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity."
Should Targeted Coaching Support Focus on Instructional Leadership?
"I believe that leadership coaching needs to be more targeted toward instructional leadership because that is where everyone will get more of a bang for their buck, and I also believe that leaders want that kind of help. . . . What would even be better than a leader working with an outside coach is when that coaching philosophy turns inward and teacher leaders, instructional coaches and leadership teams can be open and honest with each other, and coach each other while focusing on a goal to help improve conditions in their school. That is where collective efficacy truly comes into play."
Seven Qualities of an Instructional Coach
Amy MacCrindle and Jacquie Duginske identify the key attributes of coaches and why it's important to remain student-focused when beginning your coaching initiatives.
"Everybody needs a coach. Coaching is commonly thought about in terms of sports, however, coaching in the education setting has the ability to inspire, impact change, support, push thinking and be the cheerleader everyone needs. Sometimes, though, it is difficult for educators to recognize a personal need for a coach. It takes the right person with the right character traits to be able to support teachers and help them be successful."