Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 4: January 29, 2021

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Weekly Coaching Roundup - January 2021 (Seasonal)

We wrapped up the last full week of January by learning how you can use teacher badges to encourage collaboration and build relationships, the importance of truly listening as an IC, how to use Michael Bungay Steiner's "7 Essential Questions" to guide coaching conversations, and more. Enjoy!

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Encourage Teacher Learning with Badges

Teresa Engler promotes teacher badges as a fun way to encourage collaboration, build relationships, and support ongoing learning with teachers in her organization.

"Building relationships with teachers is one of the very first challenges any new coach can face, and it is often tricky. . . . The implementation of teacher badges at my school helped kick-start communication, allowed for vulnerability, established trust, and most importantly, led to the establishment of strong relationships with teachers in a fun and enticing way."

Kick-start Your Instructional Coaching

Allison Peterson shows how to use Michael Bungay Stainer's seven "essential questions" to guide your coaching conversations.

"When a teacher comes to you with a problem, it's normal to immediately give them a solution. However, we should replace this urge with a questioning strategy. . . . By asking Michael Bungay Stanier’s 7 Essential Coaching Questions, you can turn every conversation into a coaching conversation! In fact, using these questions in your next coaching conversation can open the doors to another meeting next week, and another meeting the week after that. Wait, did you just start a coaching cycle? I think you did!"

Vital To-Dos for ICs

Shannon McGrath passes along a few ways to build relationships with teachers (beyond providing chocolate, which pretty much always helps!). 😜

" Teachers rarely get focused feedback on the practices they devote so much of their time to improving. Be constantly on the lookout for small moves your teachers are making that shift students, efforts that go above and beyond expectations, or relationships that are making the difference for students. Highlight these positive moments for those teachers via face-to-face conversations, written notes, or emails—or, even better, emails on which you copy administrators."

Things Good Listeners Do

Vicki Collet believes listening is a super useful skill that ICs need to have, and shares three traits you can focus on to improve yours today.

" Listening is key to effective communication. Without it, a conversation devolves to ineffective parallel talk – like parallel play, words are happening side-by-side without truly intersecting. There’s no movement or power in such talk. Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. When coaches listen to gain the full meaning of what is being said, teachers feel heard and understood."

Facilitating a Virtual Data Discussion

Ashley Taplin shares how Jamboard has made it easy to create engaging and collaborative discussions with teachers.

"I learned about the Fishbone Diagram from Steve Ventura who presented it as a way for teacher teams to "tackle a problem and identify all of the reasons that caused that problem before looking for a solution." In this protocol, after discussing reasons for the problem, teachers circled the causes they have control over to then move forward with next steps. . . . After circling those factors, teachers naturally discussed their last "Now What" steps, generating authentic, concrete, and collaborative ideas for moving forward."

5 Ideas for Using Jamboard

Jamboard isn't only an incredible tool for ICs but also for teachers! Learn from Monica Burns about a few quick activities teachers can do with the tool to make learning engaging for students.

"This school year I’ve worked with both educators and students remotely, and Jamboard has been high on my list of most used tools. . . . A favorite things activity is lots of fun, and it's one I often use with educators when talking about engagement strategies and showing off Jamboard for the first time. Students can add sticky notes, or search for images of the book cover of their favorite book. You might leave this anonymous or ask students to even place their favorite book in a category based on the genre."

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