This week we learned about some powerful pandemic-related introspection and coaching adjustments, the value of content-based coaching cycles and how you can get started, took a deep-dive into all of the qualities that drive a coaching implementation, and more. Enjoy!
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Adapting to Coaching Changes by Working with Ego
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused educators to abruptly change their routines and practices to meet the shift to distance learning. 💻 Fiona Hurtado reflects on what she's learned during the pandemic and how it's shaping her approach to coaching moving forward.
"I was one of the few that was able to return to school before the end of the academic year, but it was not a return to business as usual. Curriculum was adjusted to match new timelines and learning environments and daily changes in district guidelines meant constant planning meetings. Coaching interactions remained "lite" for the majority of the teachers I worked with, even once I was back in the building.
What I strived for—deep coaching cycles—was not what teachers wanted! . . . This is when I realized that I needed to find a way to let go or work with my ego, rather than steadfastly holding on to it."
"A content coaching cycle follows the same sequence of a classroom coaching cycle with just a few tweaks. We still have initial conversations around the shared vision for our work together and end the cycle with reflective discussions around what we learned and what might come next. The difference?
Rather than work together in the classroom with students, we collaborate around content in new and different ways, from individual book studies, creating instructional resources, reflecting on videos of classroom instruction, watching webinars and replays and more."
"In my experience much of the training available to coaches circles around building trust and conversations within a coaching cycle. These skills are absolutely necessary, but what is available to the coach that has already built relationships and is ready to move past coaching light? The final competency driver is coaching. Coaches need coaches too!
Coaching can be a very isolated position and it is important to have networking opportunities. This can be achieved by creating peer coaching programs or hiring an external coach."
"If your fall instruction plan includes any kind of virtual teaching, then building and maintaining relationships will be more crucial than ever. In order to engage and motivate students, we must work to genuinely connect with kids (and their caregivers… but that’s another post!) before we focus on academics. . . . However,
building a community is the most important thing you can do to help your students be part of a true learning community even when they’re sitting in different places."
Virtual Coaching Cycles
Kathy Perret breaks down remote coaching cycles and why sharing a "we're in this together" mindset between a teacher and coach is key.
"The role of an instructional coach is often misunderstood.
The more we work together with teachers, the more they will come to understand the role and that your main focus is them (and their students). I see co-planning possibly taking a more substantial role within coaching cycles this year. Teaching remotely, using a hybrid model, or even face-to-face teaching will look and feel different. Both teachers and instructional coaches are going to need to learn together, plan together, and implement together."
"Regardless of the reopening plan that your district's schools pursue, there's no denying the fact that students will need to make up for the time spent away from the classroom this past spring. And this goes beyond just academics, extending to mental health and social-emotional learning. . . . As you move forward into 2020-2021,
continue shaping the future of education by focusing on striking the right balance between maximizing student learning and ensuring student and staff safety. And remember, your own social-emotional learning and self-care matters, too."