July 2021 Instructional Coaching Must-Reads

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2021-07 July Must Reads header

The torch has been lit at Tokyo 2020! With a field of 8 bloggers competing for the top articles from July's WCRs, who should take home the gold? 🏅 We'll let you decide.

Learn how to foster cooperative adult learning with the Jigsaw Method, three easy steps to create a coaching menu, three ways to use collective efficacy for better coaching cycles, and more. Enjoy!

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3 Easy Steps to Create a Coaching Menu

Kayleigh Wright teaches us how to whip up a coaching menu to help explain your coaching role to teachers and share all of the different ways you can help support them. Bon appétit! 👩‍🍳

" My entrées include a site- or teacher-driven professional development training or some specific co-teaching in their classroom. These activities are really the 'meat and potatoes' of my coaching menu. Last, but certainly not least, are the desserts—a sweet little way to connect. This might be just a quick chat to debrief or time to reflect on a fun lesson or activity in the classroom."

Foster Cooperative Adult Learning with the Jigsaw Method

Miguel Guhlin walks us through the Jigsaw Method and how, in an adult learning context, it can increase collaboration and rapid learning among everyone involved.

"The goal of the home group is to divide up topics, then empower individuals to go to a more focused study group. That focused group is the expert group, where deeper analysis will take place. . . . After a brief discussion, learners return to their home group to discuss their findings, gather insights, and note them."

Create Good Habits

Jim Knight believes we can turn ideas into action through a three-part habit redesign.

" A habit begins with a cue, some prompt that triggers an action, like a green light on a traffic signal. Following this, there is a routine, a response to the cue or prompt. Then there is a reward for the action."

Designing Your Coaching Office

Chrissy Beltran shares eight of her must-have areas to include in your coaching office space.

"Before planning out your room, you want to figure out your role and the responsibilities you have this year. You need to understand the things you're trying to accomplish with that room before you get started planning out your space. I recommend making a physical list once you've gotten a firm grip on your role and responsibilities. You can then turn that list into a map. The map can help you think about flow and movement in your space."

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Collective Efficacy Leverages Teamwork for Better Coaching Cycles

Virginia Soukup highlights three foundational elements of a coaching cycle that help guide a group of teachers to achieve their collective goal. 👏

"As a coach, it's imperative to help teams devise a plan and take ownership of the process. With this particular team, we had an initial meeting to set a goal and our objectives. . . . In the end, the fundamental reason all the teachers felt this partnership worked was that they all shared similar teaching philosophies driven by student achievement."

Words to Avoid as a Coach

Vicki Collet believes offering choice while expressing your curiosities is crucial when providing recommendations during coaching conversations.

" Offering choice develops feelings of power and efficacy. These are important aspects to consider if our coaching seeks to gradually increase teachers' responsibility. Being asked to make a decision rather than being told what to do is an encouraging approach that exhibits trust in the teacher's ability. . . .Another benefit of offering choice is that it usually increases motivation."

Coaching is Teaching

Morgan Davis highlights the similarities between an IC and a teacher, plus a few of her beliefs that guide her coaching work.

"When my husband talks about my job, he starts by saying, 'She's a teacher's teacher.' And, as usual, he's right; I am constantly seeing and seeking the parallels between my job as coach and yours, as teacher. . . . Just like you do for your students, I design and enhance learning experiences– for whole-group, small-group (think PLCs) and 1:1 coaching opportunities – to ensure that you realize a year of growth."

Creating a Culture of Coaching

Your friends at TeachBoost put together a list of 5 things an IC and principal can do right now to build a stronger partnership. 🙏

" Partnership agreements are a fantastic way for principals and coaches to lay out their core responsibilities and create transparency in their work. Whether it's a sitdown conversation or formal agreement, be sure to find time to meet early on to set the tone for a positive partnership throughout the year."

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