July 2019 Instructional Coaching Must-Reads

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July grilled up a healthy plate of articles from our weekly coaching roundups! Indulge in ways to introduce yourself as a coach, questions to kick-start coaching dialogues, a collection of various coaching strategies, the differences between a coach and consultant, tips for getting the most out of your summer PD, and more. Enjoy!

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How to Introduce Yourself as a Coach

Joseph Kanke shares a few ways ICs can introduce themselves to peers in order to build long-lasting partnerships.

"As a coach, the more seeds you can plant around your role and how you see yourself positively impacting the work already being done, the higher the yield of trust and buy-in you'll achieve. . . . The support of building leadership is essential to developing a vision of growth and a culture of coaching. Without a clear understanding of what coaching is and the research behind it, a leader may ask coaches to break confidentiality, act as an evaluator, or use the position as a substitute for all other positions and tasks."

Ringing In the New School Year

Steph Sukow offers a few ways she uses the summer to prepare for another year of coaching.

"Reflection is a constant and continual process. There's always an idea to revisit or reevaluate. Removed from the 2018-19 school year for a minute now has allowed me to reflect on my experiences, both a teacher and instructional coach, more objectively. . . . After creating a thorough picture of where I stand professionally and personally through the reflection process, my time has been allocated toward tapping into my PLN and seeking new strategies to incorporate into next year's playlist."

Conversations to Build a Partnership

Steve Barkley provides example questions to kick-start dialogues between a coach and principal.

"The alignment of an instructional coach's and principal's messages to staff is important in maintaining teacher actions what will drive increased student learning. Both principal and coach must make constant decisions and responses to staff during busy school days throughout the year. Rich conversations assist principal and coach in knowing their thinking is based on agreed upon goals and priorities."

10 Types of Coaching Strategies

Nicole Turner highlights a few coaching techniques that she's found valuable over her career and why they're effective to practice.

"Giving positive, effective feedback is essential to good coaching moving forward (like in finding new goals) and for building on the ever-evolving coach-teacher relationship. I'm not saying you have to be sunshine and rainbows, but you do want to make sure your feedback is constructive without being destructive."

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Beyond the Workshops

Ann Hoffman, Michelle Harris, and Sharon Thomas explain the benefits of embedded coaching to impact professional learning.

"Workshops are often both the first and final step in professional development for educators because schools rarely have enough time and resources to do everything they need to do to move students forward. . . . Building a connection between workshop and classroom results in a much deeper implementation of the coaching model, improved instruction, and improved student learning."

Coaches as Change Management Leaders

Jennie Magiera relays four key transformational coaching strategies to achieve school-wide improvement.

"The first step in activating our coaches was to rethink how they supported teachers. I began to work on a coaching model to reimagine this position to create both powerful skill and mindset growth. Through this work, I saw that when properly activated and supported, coaches can be the key leaders in systemic transformation."

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer PD

Brandy Alexander highlights five best practices to take full advantage of PD sessions.

"As an instructional coach, or aspiring leader of any kind, it's important to build your professional network, and conferences or local educator trainings are the perfect time to do so. . . . When you enter a session or room, look for people you may not know to sit near and introduce yourself. This helps the other participants feel more comfortable if there are partner or group activities ahead, helps the presenter(s) create a warm learning environment, and helps you make connections before the session begins."

Which Are You?

Ellen Eisenberg explains the difference between a coach and a consultant.

"The coach's role is to help the 'coachee' reach his/her fullest potential by being a learner and deciding the goals and direction to pursue. The coach helps the learner be the architect of the learning; they don't 'tell' the individual what is needed or identify the goals for him/her. There is no 'should' in coaching; there is only, 'what if' in a coaching interaction. There is a partnership that is formed for the purpose of resolving issues so that practice can move forward."

Four Strategies for Co-Teaching

Diane Sweeney shares a few different co-teaching techniques that create partnerships focused on student-centered coaching.

"In a classroom where co-teaching is occurring, it's hard to tell who the teacher is and who the coach is, because both are engaged and involved partners in the delivery of the lesson. To get there, the teacher and coach develop a shared vision through co-planning and then work side-by-side to ensure that they get the results they are looking for."

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