Instructional coaching is an art; just like every type of art, there are several different models you can use to be effective. While there are several different models of arts, it is important you find the right type for the occasion. This holds true for instructional coaching. It’s important that you find a model that works best in your school and in your position.
One of the biggest struggles in life is not having enough time in a day. This holds true when you are an instructional coach. Upon first getting hired or first getting into the field, the amount of time, paperwork, and observation was probably overwhelming and maybe it still is. Time management is one of the most difficult aspects of being an instructional coach and often times we find ourselves asking: what should I be doing?
Being an Instructional Coach can be taxing to say the least. We are teachers of teachers. We are data bases. We are advocates for students. We wear so many hats that sometimes the ones that are most important get put on the backburner. It’s important we remember to pull out the “I’m still a person” hat, “mom/dad” hat, or any other hat we previously enjoyed wearing before school started up again. Not getting to wear all the hats you want to can be frustrating, but wearing too many hats can be downright stressful.
Being an instructional coach is all about helping teachers maximize their time and resources to create engaged students who become life-long learners. The best way to accomplish that is through taking a dive into a nice pool of data!
As Instructional Coaches and Leaders, we have busy schedules that keep us on our toes and watching the clock. Because we are so busy, sometimes we forget we should be doing different types of “observations” for our teachers and each one has its own purpose.
The biggest and most important job we have as instructional coaches is to give feedback to the teachers we work with. While it can be easy to focus on the areas teachers need to improve on, it is always important to provide teachers with positive feedback. There are many ways and reasons to provide positive feedback to teachers and in doing so, you will create stronger relationships with those you work with.
Whether or not you are a teacher, coach, aide, doctor, secretary, or truck driver, I think we all have a common thought. How can we make our job a little easier?? Partnering with the principal is one way to help make life more manageable.
Some of us are born with a natural gift of gab, an ease to every passing moment into a conversation. There are some who fit in the “can’t get a word in edgewise” category. And then there are all the rest of us.
Education, as it’s been known for years on end, is ever changing. Most recently, the change has shifted to include instructional coaches as onsite job-embedded professional development for classroom teachers. We are seeing more and more schools adapting to this quickly spreading idea of bringing in an outside brain for one common goal, the one thing that continues to stay the same in education….student achievement. As with any new idea, there are important strategies to use and to NOT use.
Now that we are wrapping up the end of the year, I like to think about how I can improve my coaching for the next school year. One of the questions I start with…
Who am I coaching for? Am I coaching for Me? Teachers? Students? Community?
This question is more than just a quick reflection for current coaches. If you just snagged your first coaching gig “Congrats!” and this is the question you definitely need to get answered...