Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 49: December 6, 2019

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Weekly Coaching Roundup - December 2019 (Half) (Seasonal)

This week we learned how being grateful can help overcome barriers to co-teaching, why celebrating successes in PLCs is great for morale, how being conscious of the words we use as a coach can help create a culture of innovation, and more. Enjoy!

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Keeping Gratitude at the Center of Co-Teaching

Elizabeth Stein reveals three barriers to co-teaching and how practicing gratefulness can help overcome them.

"We can shift the way we experience co-teaching (and life in general!) simply by considering gratitude as a powerful antidote to the challenges and joys of co-teaching. . . . Always remember – co-teaching is built-in, job-embedded, potentially powerful professional learning! There is so much to learn from and with one another. Talk about being grateful…the possibilities are endless!"

Joyful Noise

Mary Ann Ranells strongly recommends celebrating successes with your peers in professional learning communities.

"We know that collaboration makes the difference between success and valiant attempts. . . . While visiting schools, I rediscovered the essence of professional learning communities from the joyful noise I heard, felt, and witnessed. The more time I spent in the schools, the more I became amazed and enthralled with the heart and soul of celebration. There seemed to be a tiered system of school-wide events, with teachers creating classroom memories, random acts of kindness, student voices, and more."

The Binary Myth

Matthew Kelly suggests that the challenges schools face are too complex for simplified either-or thinking, and shares how "adaptive solutions" that evolve over time are what really help address complicated issues.

"Binary thinking is a way of distinguishing all things as one of two mutually exclusive options. As in an either/or situation, but never both. . . . An adaptive solution is one that evolves over time and requires people to make changes. It’s a learning solution: we see what works, we change what doesn’t work, and keep moving forward."

The Role of Struggle

Steve Barkley shares a great analogy between a lifeguard and teacher, exploring whether it's more important to "save" struggling teachers or to provide tools to teach them instead.

"Often in my workshops with teachers, I ask for groups to generate a list of student production behaviors that increase student learning outcomes. . . . For me it illustrates the complexity of teaching. Now I’m wondering if instructional coaches might at times be in a similar complex role. When to be a saving lifeguard and when to be a swim coach promoting a struggle?"

Would You Be Willing?

Vicki Collet has some great advice for coaches on being more conscious of the language they use when working with teachers, so that they can better create a culture of change and innovation.

"Offering choice increases ownership and honors a teacher’s professional knowledge and her knowledge of her own students. A coach’s language about instructional decisions can enhance the willingness for change. Choosing your words carefully might help a teacher to see a situation (and even to see you) in a new light."

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