November 2019 Instructional Coaching Must-Reads

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Must reads header - November 2019

We hope you still have room after your Thanksgiving meal—we're serving up a healthy dish of coaching articles! 🦃 Indulge in the best of November's weekly coaching roundups to learn some new routes you can run to promote collaboration during PD sessions 🏈, a recipe for building relationships that adds a dash of Bitmoji, the ingredients to kickstart your morning routine to boost your confidence before a day of coaching, and more!

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6 Must-Use Strategies for Professional Development

Chrissy Beltran shares some activities to help engage teachers and promote collaboration during PD sessions.

""Adults can be a tough crowd. If you're not engaging them, adding to their learning, giving them the exact right amount of time to talk and think, challenging them just enough, and making learning relevant and purposeful, you're toast."

How We Talk About Teachers Matters

Amy Ellerman explores how an asset-based mindset can help you recognize the value and uniqueness of everyone you work with.

"I quickly realized that how I choose to talk about my learners—whether it's kids or adults—communicates a great deal about my beliefs about learning and coaching. The use of deficit-based language reveals a belief that we might not expect all learners to be as capable or as ready for new learning. . . . When we do this, we're only noticing the ways their actions make our jobs more difficult, rather than the ways they might be contributing in an essential way to the professional dialogue."

Great Questions for Instructional Coaches

Jim Knight breaks down his "Impact Cycle" for coaching and provides example questions to guide the process.

"When I’m coaching, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do until my partner in the process says what they have to say. I ask a question, they say something, I respond, and so on. . . . Asking questions is a crucial task for any coach. However, every teacher, coach, and situation is unique, and they each have their own needs. There will never be any one set of predetermined questions that will be perfect for every coaching situation."

"Appy" Hour

Amy Storer adds some playfulness to her PD sessions with different themes, puns, and props! See how she promoted new technology tools this month.

"The best learning is a partnership guided by a teacher leader who differentiates the support according to need. . . . Coaches are not supervisory; they're skilled practitioners who understand adult learning, how to network, give and receive feedback, and have dedicated time to do 'it.' They help teachers become more reflective practitioners and learners at the same time."

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Daily Tasks to Coach With Confidence

Kathy Perret offers three tasks to kickstart your morning and boost your confidence before a day of coaching.

"Confidence is a funny thing. It comes and goes for many of us. Some days we can be on the top of our game and other days we question every little thing we do. . . . If you are an instructional coach, or educator for that matter, you get the paddling! You have so many tasks to do to keep you a float. If you experience lack of confidence in an area, it starts to weigh you down – slowing your momentum."

Putting a Personal Touch on Your Coaching With Bitmojis

Brandy Alexander promotes Bitmojis as a way to build relationships while creating a fun environment with your colleagues and school.

"Creating a positive coaching environment can seem daunting at first, especially on a new campus. Going in with some strategies like Bitmojis can help communicate your openness and willingness to have fun and work alongside teachers to bring out the best in them and their teaching practices."

Focus on Coaching Cycles

Stephanie Affinito offers her own checklist to prepare for coaching cycles and help make them more effective.

"Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more."

Teaching Practices That Influence Student Outcomes

Ellen Eisenberg says that recognizing the power of collaboration is important to promote a culture of social learning.

"Professional development does not influence teaching and learning unless and until the 'stuff' we share with our teaching colleagues transfers into professional learning which can only be accomplished when there is ongoing, consistent follow up to the PD. . . . When schools and districts recognize the strength of teaching colleagues thinking, planning, and working together, that's when there will be a change in teaching practices that will influence student outcomes."

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