Welcome back to TeachBoost'sCoaching Roundup! This month we're looking closely at coaching cycles with some great perspectives on suggested stages, using surveys to start them better, and going virtual.
Annie Forest walks through the stages of a successful coaching cycle and shares how clear goals and continuous reflection help power them.
"As instructional coaches, we're often tasked with doing lots of things: planning with teams of teachers, leading committees, giving professional development, and so on. But one of our most important tasks is working with individual teachers during a coaching cycle. By co-planning, co-teaching, modeling lessons, and more, coaches can really help to develop teachers' skills. . . . No matter the coaching model you follow, most present a coaching cycle as three parts: before, during, and after. . . . No matter the coaching model you follow, most present a coaching cycle as three parts: before, during, and after."
Stephanie Affinito explains the benefits of a virtual coaching cycle and why those who don't have in-person coaching opportunities should explore online options.
"With the help of virtual learning platforms, instructional coaching can be done online and offers educators a deeper level of support for their teaching. While virtual coaching shouldn't replace in-person coaching efforts wholesale and while there are many benefits to working with a coach in person, it can be used to complement current instructional practices or provide a new avenue to coaching when an in-person program or coach isn't available.
Gretchen Bridgers overviews what a coaching cycle is, what's included, and how you can conduct your own.
"A coaching cycle puts a framework in place to ensure teachers are improving in the classroom so that students can too. . . . The term 'coaching cycle' refers to a continuous series of steps an instructional coach follows when working with teachers to improve their proficiency in the classroom. Instead of a linear set of steps, a coaching cycle is circular. This allows for a repetition of these steps so that the teacher gains the skills necessary to be successful on their own. . . . Coaching cycles are the bread and butter of instructional coaching."
Chrissy Beltran shares five ways a coach can create a collaborative coaching cycle with a teacher.
"Start with a good, solid teacher who'd like to learn a new thing or two. It helps if they have a positive influence over their grade level, too! . . . If you need to make changes, do it! Don't stick to modeling for the duration of the cycle, and don't stick to 50/50 coteaching, either. Change the type and level of support to respond to the needs of the teacher and students."
Amy Rudd uses teacher surveys to help identify goals and discover trends to help create more successful coaching cycles.
"After teachers and the coach begin to make connections and build common experiences together, the coach can then use surveys to foster a deeper relationship. Sending them out by email or one of the many online form tools can be even more useful too. Once a teacher completes a survey, the coach can begin to gather data to look for patterns and trends across multiple teachers or even buildings."
Amy MacCrindle and Jacquie Duginske identify the key attributes of coaches and why it's important to remain student-focused when beginning your coaching initiatives.
"Everybody needs a coach. Coaching is commonly thought about in terms of sports, however, coaching in the education setting has the ability to inspire, impact change, support, push thinking and be the cheerleader everyone needs. Sometimes, though, it is difficult for educators to recognize a personal need for a coach. It takes the right person with the right character traits to be able to support teachers and help them be successful."
Even though the school year just started, take an early look at Tonya Moody's recommendations on end-of-year coaching cycles as a great time to encourage some instructional risk-taking.
"Most cycles, however, last 4-6 weeks, contain a student goal and learning targets, have learning (
i.e., about students, best practices, the craft of coaching) as the heart, and are supported through co-teaching and planning to increase student achievement around set goals. End-of-year may not seem like the perfect time to dig in and collaboratively learn together in coaching cycles, but it may be the
best time to do the work."
Bonus Articles 🎉
Last fall we covered a similar topic in our October Coaching Roundup. Take a look for six more articles on coaching cycles!
TeachBoost Coach to help with your coaching cycles!
TeachBoost Coach helps you manage your coaching cycles, goals, meetings, and evidence. It works on any device, making it easy to take pictures and videos in the classroom directly connected to your coaching cycles.