October 2020 Instructional Coaching Must-Reads

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All treats and no tricks from October's Weekly Coaching Roundups. 🍭 Read below to learn a few tips for building teacher capacity, the benefits of using coaching choice boards, how you can take control of remote learning, a six-step coaching cycle for rolling out new classroom technology, and more! Enjoy. 👻

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How Instructional Coaches Can Build Teacher Capacity (and Why It Matters)

Genevie Rodríguez-Quiñones offers three tips for building teacher capacity, while both reducing the pressure on coaches and empowering teachers at the same time.

"As a coach, I feel the greatest success when teachers can turn to their teams for support and guidance on their instructional practices. Building teacher efficacy takes time, and it's an ongoing process as a team develops their ability to collaborate around student achievement results, and to adjust planning and instruction based on those results. As teachers dialogue and discuss possibilities for instruction, they're deepening their capacity as educators."

Choice Boards for the Win!

Pam Hubler provides video overviews, templates, and resources for creating your own tool to give students a choice in their learning.

"Choice Boards aren't new, but they have become a life saver since education changed drastically last March due to Covid-19! The current trend for a lot of the teachers I work with or follow through social media is to create digital Choice Boards so students can have some options in the activities they do from home based on a certain topic or subject area. . . . Remember, the purpose is to give your students choice and be able to differentiate whenever possible."

Modeling One-on-One Student Conferencing for Teachers

One-on-one support—whether for students or teachers—is extremely helpful but often not a skill we're all comfortable practicing. Elizabeth Janusz shows teachers how to take conferring to the next level by modeling individual reading and writing conferencing with students.

"Working one-on-one with a student to uncover their greatest areas of need, while providing specific and targeted instruction, is something that takes time and practice to feel comfortable with. . . . . When teachers learn to work one-on-one with students, the real magic in the classroom begins to happen. It's important to keep checking back in to see how this work is going, and to support teachers as needed."

Teaching Takeaways

Liz Janusz created a great infographic detailing 10 of her tips for taking control of remote instruction.

"Try to frequently provide feedback or create multiple opportunities for peer feedback from your students. Whether you use platforms like Seesaw or Flipgrid, providing relevant and focused feedback will ensure that your students are getting the instruction that they need."

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A Teacher-Centric Approach to Technology Integration

The rollout of technology is never easy, especially as COVID has forced organizations to do it quickly. To help, Greg Jung shares his fantastic blueprint for technology integration and the six-step coaching cycle process he put together for a successful rollout.

"The goal of any technology integration coaching cycle is for teachers to think intentionally about how they could improve their instruction and make their lessons more engaging, efficient, and effective with the use of technology. This year I've found myself hearing teachers, but not listening to them, and I wanted to change that. As a result, the cycle I've created puts the teacher at the heart of the process from the start. It allows for teachers to have the initial voice in instituting a new idea, goal, or strategy and to keep the focus on them through every phase of the cycle."

Lessons From Teaching in the Age of COVID-19

Krista Senatore relays five tips educators can use to take control of their classrooms this school year.

"I found that giving students choice not only of topic but genre revealed their strengths and identities as writers. My conferences focus on how and whether students see themselves as readers and writers and from there, I support them in setting goals. They know their strengths and needs, all I have to do is ask and listen."

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Virtual Conferences

While in-person conferences and PD can have a lot of advantages, Brandy Alexander believes you can still get the same relationship and connection-building benefits by knocking your next virtual event out of the park. ⚾

"When presenters move into a virtual space it can be very intimidating. . . . Keep yourself on mute when you're not talking, but use nonverbal cues to encourage the presenters and communicate your interest in the material."

Coaching Choice Boards

Pam Hubler uses Coaching Choice Boards to empower her teachers in the coaching process and choose their level of support. Find out how she's found success with them!

"Once I understood what my job included, however, it didn't mean teachers in my building knew how to utilize and work with a coach. This is why I decided I needed to create something that would help guide their requests in the right direction! This process really made me think of the services I wanted to focus on as a coach and how to describe them to teachers. . . . Gathering teacher requests via a Google Form means that I'll be able to see all the data for this school year in one place, which I can't wait to see! It will help me to determine which services are needed the most so I can structure my coaching schedule better and better each year."

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