Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 36: September 4, 2020

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

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! Start it out strong by learning how one coach re-frames trust-building, the impact of a personalized and blended learning model, why peer-to-peer learning is so powerful for students, and more. Enjoy!

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Building Trust: Going Inward to Go Outward

Before we can focus on relationships with others, we must first look inside ourselves. Carolyn Beardsley re-frames trust-building as a continuous cycle of self-reflection and reaching out to others.

" I go inward to see where my strengths lie and where I can grow. This process has helped me develop in a number of ways. I'm a recovering over-deliverer and I've had to learn to simplify my promises so that they are realistic and doable. . . . I am currently learning to press the brakes, be present, and open my mind up to where I listen to learn."

The Benefits of Differentiation in PD

LaKetra Robinson believes lasting change in teacher development starts with a blended, personalized learning model.

"Every teacher deserves personalized learning they can engage with at their own pace, in a community that provides opportunities to collaborate with peers. . . . Blended learning combines in-person and digital off-site learning. The key benefit of blended learning for teachers is flexibility—educators can control the time, place, and pace at which they learn. Incorporating blended models for professional learning creates an environment that caters to the individual needs of each teacher."


Amy Ellerman reflects on her first remote co-teaching lesson this year and the obstacles her students and colleague faced with technology before the "a-ha" moment.

"The whole time I was reading, I was focused on the screen—on my reflection—making sure the book was in the frame, ensuring that kids would be able to see the stunning illustrations as I engaged in that awkward I-think-I-need-to-go-left-but-really-I-need-to-go-right-because-the-image-is-mirrored-dance. . . . It was very strange, sitting in an empty room, reading aloud to what felt like myself. After the read aloud, I went back to gallery view so that we could talk about the book. Kids had plenty to say—they seemed engaged—but something didn’t feel quite right."

7 Strategies to Start a New School Year

Esther Wojcicki emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer learning this year and why students need to feel comfortable in order to excel.

"Experienced teachers know that classroom culture affects the way kids feel about the class and about themselves, and it also affects whether or not they learn. Classroom culture is even more important during the pandemic, when kids have been out of school for months. . . . Be sure to include the class in the creation of class rules. Collaborate. Collaboration is the most effective way to get kids to follow the rules. If they come up with them, they tend to follow them. I have tried this idea out for decades, and it works."

Building Community and Engagement

Emelina Minero spoke with educators to gather their insights on the benefits of Bitmoji classrooms and how they plan on using them this year.

"As teachers prepare for the fall, many are considering ways to bridge virtual and hands-on learning to keep kids engaged—and Bitmoji may provide the leg up to do so. . . . Every teacher's Bitmoji classroom is unique. Some teachers have made them resemble their real-life classrooms or homes, while others have leaned toward fantasy."

Purposeful School Leader Actions

Steve Barkley shares why transparency and humility are traits leaders need to focus on this year in the face of so much uncertainty and new challenges.

"Learning is hard work and hard work can feel good. It can be like the feeling of satisfaction following a physical workout. To reenergize we need to frequently pause, reflect, modify, and celebrate. Leaders need to purposefully plan to make the time for these opportunities."

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