Fall is officially upon us! We've raked through a pile of coaching articles from September's weekly coaching roundups and have the best of the best for you. Learn how to foster relationships, introduce coaching and mentoring into your organization, some helpful strategies to grow new or experienced teachers, and more!
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"As coaches, we must go slow to go fast. . . . Offering ideas is valuable, but relationship building must come first. . . . New coaches may assume that veteran teachers won’t want or need their help. Believing instead that every teacher is receptive to coaching is a simple way to establish a framework for success."
"Since it's almost impossible to conquer everything at once, we have to target our coaching for the best results. I've found that narrowing my attention to three basic areas and creating some standard questions to guide my observations and conversations helps tremendously. The areas I focus my attention on are curriculum and planning, instructional practices and routines, and professional development and resources."
"One of the biggest mistakes made in coaching is not delivering positive feedback. We may make a note of the positive things we saw in the classroom for a future conversation or just as a note, but often times we don't communicate that with those we are working with. . . . By opening up positive communication with your teachers, you are opening the door for better communication all around."
5 Student-Focused Tips to Prepare for the School Year
"At the beginning of my career, I can state that I built lessons and units first and then, hopefully, adapted the learning to the students during the lessons. As I reflect back on this approach, I should've thought about my students first, identified their barriers to learning, and used their interests to plan more effectively. After all, it's my job to understand my learners and plan accordingly. . . . We must assess, make observations, and have conversations. We cannot be too rigid in our long-range vision as our students may not achieve at the speed with which we have planned."
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"This newsletter was created to provide another tool for communicating and providing educational resources and articles that are relevant to our work. . . . The purpose of this first issue is to tell you a little about myself and the many ways I can provide support through coaching. As your Instructional Coach, my role involves partnering with you, the teachers, to provide instructional support in various ways."
"It's important for the beginning teacher to discover that making him or herself vulnerable to input from colleagues is a career-long path to great teaching. It's critical that the beginning teacher not see the mentor as an evaluator, not see the mentor holding some measuring stick up in front of the teacher saying when you meet these criteria, mentoring will be over. . . . Coaches can work with mentors to introduce coaching and mentoring as a gift. All teachers deserve coaching vs need coaching."
"My Wildly Important Goal for this year is making sure that every learner (adult and child) in my school community ends the year knowing at least one strength they are incredibly talented at. This is not going to be an effort that I can do alone. It will definitely be a team effort including all staff members as well as our parent community. . . . Every time I visit a classroom I'll put a checkmark next to the staff members' name followed by an email with positive feedback."
"When we critique, evaluate, or provide feedback to them in such a manner that raises their defensive walls for self-preservation, there's little to be gained; the interaction isn't constructive. . . . Let's empower teachers (ourselves) by getting these reflective coaching skills and insights into their (our) daily repertoire. The ultimate goal here is our self-efficacy: We can self-monitor/analyze/reflect, revise practices based on those reflections, grow professionally, and ultimately, improve student learning in our classrooms."
"While instructional coaching itself can differ between districts and their schools, each of us does have the ability to carve out an identity that matches our philosophies, talents, and skills. . . . We're all passionate about learning and students or none of us would be here! So dig deep. What specific skills or passions do you have that lend themselves to coaching others?"