Welcome back to TeachBoost'sCoaching Roundup! As a coach, your principal can be one of your best friends in your day-to-day coaching efforts. Read below to learn seven different strategies to help make that happen. 🙏
Jim Knight identifies seven ways principals can support instructional coaches based on his extensive experience working with organizations over the years.
"Instructional coaching will be most successful in schools where there is widespread trust and transparency. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In settings where teachers do not feel psychologically safe, they will not be forthcoming with their thoughts and concerns if they feel their conversations with their coach are not confidential. What is most important with regard to confidentiality is that principal and coach clarify what they will and will not talk about, and that the principal clearly communicates that agreement to everyone involved."
Dennis Sparks shares a few actions principals can take to make or break the success of instructional coaching.
"Instructional coaching has the potential to dramatically improve teaching practice and consequently student learning. But in most cases, a coach's success is directly connected to how effectively she or he is supported (or not supported) by his or her principal. . . . The easiest way to increase a coach's effectiveness is to let the coach coach."
Steve Barkley provides example questions for creating and checking-in on partnership agreements for principals and coaches.
"The partnership of the coach and principal is crucial to a program's effectiveness. Instructional Coaches' time should be focused on increasing student success. The partnership should reach an agreement on how the coach will invest time in order to gain the desired student outcomes. While this agreement is not a full description of a coach's responsibility, it should serve as a prioritizing process for scheduling a coaching calendar."
The American Board highlights how a clearly defined coaching role and collaboration between a principal and coach are musts for instructional coaching success.
"In closing, collaboration is the heart of effective practice in schools today. The dynamic relationships between school administrators/principals, instructional coaches, and teaching staff are directly impacted by the quality of collaborative practice in a school building. School principals must set the environment/culture for collaborative practice to take place. . . . With well-planned structures in place, and the support of principals, and trust of instructional staff, instructional coaches are positioned to have significant impact on student achievement in the schools they serve."
Throwback: instructional coach, Grace Worrell and principal, Melissa Llano, reflect on their collaborative partnership together built on trust and respect.
"Our impact is felt, seen, and heard by most when we work together. . . . Relationships are the cornerstone of education. Without a collaborative relationship between a coach and the principal, coaching will not have the impact that the two hope to achieve."
Pasha Goodman offers a few benefits of having principal and coach partnership agreements and how they help create a positive school year
"Equipped with the knowledge on the importance of the partnership between the district, principals, and instructional coaches, our district engages each campus in a partnership agreement conversation at the start of each school year. . . . We've found that the more explicit we are in our partnership agreement, the more likely we are to avoid misunderstandings and surprises throughout the school year."
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