Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 7: February 14, 2020

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Weekly Coaching Roundup - February 2020 (Half) (Seasonal)

Happy Valentine's! Our lovely coaches this week share how they use treats (topped with puns!) to remind teachers of the ways they can support them, why reflection is integral to a coach's day, how education unconferences can help teachers drive their own PD, and more. Enjoy! 💕🍫

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Fun(ny) Ways to Support Your Coaching Work

Looking to make your coaching interactions more entertaining? Kelli Schiltz gives her staff treats (topped with puns!) throughout the school year to remind them of all the different ways she can support them in their work.

"Naturally, when I began working with teachers, I saw the chance to use fun puns and treats as coaching reminders at key points throughout the year. . . . Even though this started out as a lighthearted way to remind teachers of ways we can work together, it has ended up being a really effective coaching tool. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of coaching forms I've received in response on the days I've handed out the monthly coaching treats."

Lessons I've Learned as an Instructional Coach

Megan Purcell reflects on five things she learned from her time spent coaching—some really great insights here.

"Teaching can be lonely, but what I have come to learn is that instructional coaching is even lonelier. . . . As an instructional coach, you need a support system. While the job may start out great and you’re getting along just fine on your own, there will come a day when your patience is tested and your bucket is full. In these moments, you need a cheerleader and supporter of your own. Building your professional learning network and filling it with other instructional coaches is critical to your growth and sanity in this job."

How to Reboot Your Coaching Approach

Geoff Knight offers a four-step plan to help rejuvenate your coaching routine.

"In order to get the most out of a reboot to your coaching approach, the first step is to examine your way of being. Take some time to consider and think through all of your coaching relationships from the previous semester, or previous year, using the perspective granted through the partnership principles. . . . Consider blocking off a couple of hours to think deeply about the following questions: What is my way of being? How do I approach people? What are my actions in these coaching relationships?"

Edcamp Style PD at School

Pam Hubler recommends "Edcamps"—educator "unconferences" that help promote informal collaboration—as a way for teachers to better drive their own PD.

"Last year, I started using this model so we could add choice to our professional development and really try to encourage teacher leaders. Afterall, you know how enjoyable 'mandatory' professional development can be! Yes, we still have to have those sometimes, but we try to mix it up a bit so teachers have some choice to make the day worth while. My favorite part is seeing how much other teachers enjoy learning from each other! I know that's how I was when I was in the classroom and I refuse to forget that! That's also what makes Edcamps so successful, so why not use the same method in our schools? Of course, I did not invent this model of Professional Development, this is just how we fit it into our set schedule."

Reasons to Become a Reflective Coach

Alison Newby says that reflection is integral to a coach's day, and that "reflective practice" is the best way to really figure out what prompts your teachers to act and respond in certain way.

"Listening is the coach homing in on the coachee – and reflective practice is the coach homing in on her or his own internal dialogue. . . . With the deepening of reflective practice and the cultivation of a reflective 'habit', it becomes possible to tease out the attitudes we bring to our coaching, as well as the strengths and weaknesses. The key point here is that we work with the reality of what occurs in sessions as our 'evidence' – the reality of our perceptions of events and conversations, as well as the reality of the feedback we gain from the coachee."

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