Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 40: October 8th, 2021

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Weekly Coaching Roundup - October 2021 (Seasonal)

This week we learned why ICs need clear job descriptions, how instructional coaches can relieve teacher anxiety and drive data-driven conversations with the "D.A.S.H." coaching framework, a six-step plan for developing a PD calendar, and more. 😌

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Encourage Communication with the D.A.S.H Model

When teachers feel like you're on their team, they're more willing to partner with you. Michael Sonbert promotes the "D.A.S.H." coaching framework for coaches to relieve teacher anxiety and drive genuine, data-driven conversations with those they support.

"All communication about what's happening in the teacher's room should be grounded in data. Data is neutral. Data is non-judgmental. Collecting this effectively is the basis of constructive communication with your teachers. . . . Share data precisely and eliminate any sugar-coating—even if it is tougher to engage students during the period right after lunch, it’s certainly not impossible."

Coaching Attributes

Vicki Collet surveyed teachers to learn what traits they do and do not value in an IC.

"Teachers often valued attributes in their coaches that they viewed as positive in themselves. . . . Teachers don't want a coach who is high-anxiety, someone who gets easily frustrated, or someone who is a natural complainer. They don't want a coach who continually points out the negative."

Instructional Scouting

Ashley Taplin speaks to the benefits of pairing up with teachers to do "scouting walks" that combine peer observation, feedback, and reflection all at once.

"I decided I'd try rebranding learning walks to 'scouting' and explain to teachers how excited I am for them to 'scout' with me- together scouting out ideas and practices from each other that they wanted to take back to their own classroom. . . . I felt that the entire process in which we would identify each other's successes and collaboratively debrief them into actionable steps to improve student learning, modeled steps of peer observation with a strengths based mindset."

Creating Your PD Calendar

Nicole Turner shares her six-step process for planning professional development topics and sessions for the school year.

"Plan a meeting with your administrator to talk about the school's mission, vision, and core values. Then, make sure that you are both on the same page about where the school is currently at with respect to these overarching goals. . . . For the sessions, each month choose topics that are on a continuum. Make sure that you have enough sessions to front-load information and follow up with actionable support during implementation."

Hiring ICs and Firing "Scope" Creeps

Sharon Thomas emphasizes why ICs need clear job descriptions and responsibilities from the start to have the highest impact.

"Scope creep means that people are now unsure of what the project or role is, unsure about who is responsible for it, and definitely unsure about how to measure whether it's successful because no one is sure what 'success' is anymore. For those of us who live in the world of instructional coaching, scope creep is a daily reminder of perhaps the biggest problem coaches face: a lack of role clarity."

Valuing the Complexity of Education

Steve Barkley believes that teaching and learning are complex, so organizations must focus their coaching culture and feedback around it.

" Educators deserve coaching and PLC teaming support. . . . There is rarely a simple conclusion when a teacher raises a question in coaching. Maybe a simple starting point, then with the coach, the teacher explores the complexity and learns. And the coach learns too."

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