How to Set-Up Your Coaching Cycle Calendar for the Year

Do you have a plan for how you’ll work with teachers in coaching cycles throughout the year? Let’s talk through how to get these mapped out for the year.

In the last few years, I’ve started to map out my coaching cycles for the year, and I’ll tell you…I would never want to go back!

Only having to “launch and market” your coaching support once at the beginning of the year, sure takes a load off your shoulders, and also gives you so much clarity in your weekly and monthly planning.

I’m currently working with my co-coach and principal in preparing to map out coaching cycles for the year, and thought it would be helpful to walk you through our process.

How to Map Out Your Coaching Cycles for the Year

1. Determine How Long Your Coaching Cycles Will Be

The length of a coaching cycle often varies depending on your coaching model or approach.

You may also want to add in “intensives” or short cycles in between longer cycles to meet certain building needs.

For us, we structure our coaching cycles in four, 6-week rounds with the goal of engaging every teacher in at least one full coaching cycle during the year.

2. Create a Professional Development Calendar

As coaching cycles are a form of professional development, it’s helpful to have a calendar set-up that shows all of the professional development structures for your school. On this calendar, also add in holidays and any other “no-school” days.

You can then use this to map out where your coaching cycles would best be placed.

3. Add Your Coaching Cycle Rounds to the Professional Development Calendar

Now just ‘color in’ your coaching cycle dates for the year! You can see above how we used the color purple to indicate these days.

And as I mentioned earlier, this will depend on about how long you typically run your cycles.

4. Launch an Invitation for All Teachers to Enroll in One of the Coaching Cycle Rounds

Once you’ve done the pre-work of mapping out your coaching cycles or ’rounds’ for the year, you’re ready to launch to the staff!

We plan on doing this in a whole staff meeting this year, though I have also “launched” via email and a snazzy Google Form.

In our upcoming launch meeting, our principal will be leading the messaging, and my co-coach and I will be sharing our goals in working with teachers and how we believe teachers will benefit from participating in a coaching cycle.

5. Iron Out Logistics with your Leadership Team

Who will be coaching? Focus of cycle? Dates?

As a leadership team, you’ll want to figure out and agree on certain logistics of your coaching cycles for the year. This could include:

  • How many teachers each coach will work with during each round?
  • Who is coaching who and when? This helps ensure teachers won’t be “double dipped” and their time is respected.
  • When will you meet to debrief coaching cycles and plan for the next round?

I’ve include two helpful tools in the Simplified Coaching Kit digital to support you in structuring this work. As well as many other helpful forms!

6. Share Finalized Coaching Calendar with Teachers

The last step is to share your team’s finalized coaching calendar for the year with teachers so they know when they are slotted to participate in a coaching cycle.

This calendar is also supportive to use with your leadership team, as a home-base for adding notes throughout the year and tracking progress as you go.

In the next post, we’ll chat more about how to kick-off or launch your coaching cycles with individual teachers.

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Talk Soon!

How to Organize Your Simplified Coaching Planning Kit (Digital!) in Google Drive

Do you have a good system in place for organizing your DIGITAL instructional coaching tools and resources? Let’s talk through how to get your digital coaching life organized.

One of my most used coaching resources is my Simplified Coaching Planning Kit. I have used this paper based coaching kit for years now, and will continue to do so.

However, there is also a digital component to our work and planning as coaches, that needs to be attended to. Also, some of us just have a preference for digital based tools rather than paper. I get it!

This year I set up a digital extension of my Simplified Coaching Planning Kit in GoogleDrive, that I’m excited to share. Let’s take a look at my set up process.

How to Organize Your Simplified Coaching Planning Kit (Digital!) in Google Drive

1. Delete and Purge

First. The big delete and purge.

Go through all your digital files from the previous school year, and delete anything you didn’t end up using or know you won’t need going forward. We can think of this as digital clutter. Out it goes!

Everything else can be archived.

At the end of the school year, I create an archive folder for that year. Within the archive folder, I set up sub-folders so if I do end up needing to reference anything from previous years, I can quickly find it.

2. Create and Name Your Main Category Folders

Next up, I created my main category folders. I was intentional in “matching” these category folders to the sections I have in my paper-based coaching kit. This allows me to work flexibly with both components of my system.

A few notes:

  • I have enough folders to organize the different areas of my work, yet not too many.
  • Color coding support with visually distinguishing between categories, and it just looks pretty :)
  • I added numbers to the front of each folder title, to order my work, based on priority and importance for my coaching role.

3. Create and Name Your Sub-Category FoldersĀ 

I use sub-categories to keep my main category folders organized.

For example, I break my main coaching category folder into different folders for each round of coaching I expect to do throughout the year. Then within each of these folders, I will create a folder for each teacher I will be working with.

I also like to match my sub-category folder color to the main category color.

4. Create a Tools Folder

OK, this is important. Make sure each of your main category folders also includes a “Tools” folder.

This is where you will house all of your coaching forms and planning tools as templates.

The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit Digital has a collection of 25 Coaching Tools you can add directly into your Drive to get you started!

With this system in place, you’ll be ready to go for whatever your coaching work may bring you!

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Talk to you Soon!

4 Steps to Get Organized at the Beginning of the School Year as an Instructional Coach

Have you made a plan for getting organized for the beginning of the school year? Let’s talk through four key steps to get yourself organized for the beginning of the year.

instructional coaching get organized

My favorite thing ever…getting organized! It may definitely NOT be your favorite thing, but let’s not overlook the importance of organization to your instructional coaching success.

In my work, as a coach, I understand how important it is to get yourself organized at the beginning of the year. If you don’t, you may find yourself overwhelmed and not working as efficiently as you could be. No fun!

A structured and reliable organizational system will do wonders for your stress level, confidence, and productivity all year long. Ahhh… :)

4 Steps to Get Organized at the Beginning of the Year for Instructional Coaches

1. Decide on Your Organizational System

instructional coaching get organized

First things first.

You need a system.

A trusted system to capture your to-dos, organize your time, and keep it all together.

I created the Time & ToDo Planner when I first started as an instructional coach and needed an organizational system myself. The discbound Time & ToDo Planner is where I keep my schedule, to-dos, notes, project sheets, and coaching cycle notes. I love it!

2. Set-Up Your Calendar

instructional coach how to get organized

Once you’ve identified the primary organization system you will use, the next step is to get your calendar set up.

When getting your calendar set-up, make sure to include:

  • all appointments or meetings
  • hard deadlines
  • PD sessions
  • no school days or breaks

I like to set-up my calendar for the entire school year so I have a very clear vision of what is coming, and I won’t be caught off guard.

You can see in the image above how I used sticky notes in my planner to pre-plan for our beginning of the year PD days.

instructional coach how to get organized

3. Clarify Your Role and Responsibilities

instructional coach how to get organized

When you’re thinking about clarifying your role and responsibilities for the beginning of the year, focus on the first 30 days.

This will help you identify what to organize your time and coaching schedule around, without feeling too overwhelmed.

For example, one of my big roles and responsibilities for the first 30 days includes facilitating beginning of the year Professional Development. So I am planning for this as I think through how I am going to organize my first few weeks.

4. Create an Initial Schedule

 

instructional coach how to get organized

At the beginning of the year, it may not feel like you can yet create a schedule for yourself since the year is just getting going.

However, a big piece of getting yourself organized as a coach, is making sure you have a schedule. You likely won’t be given one by your principal and will need to make one for yourself.

Three responsibilities you can begin to organize your time around include:

  • meetings/PD
  • planning time
  • coaching and teacher check-ins

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Happy Coaching!