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How to Engage in a Coaching Kick-Off Meeting

The kick-off meeting is a key piece in setting up a successful coaching cycle. Let’s talk through a few “key look-fors” for engaging in a successful kick-off meeting.

The primary purpose of a coaching kick-off meeting is to identify a focus for your upcoming coaching cycle with a teacher, familiarize your coachee with the logistics of the cycle and give them the opportunity to ask clarifying questions or express any concerns.

Engaging in a successful coaching kick-off meeting with a teacher lays the foundation for a successful coaching cycle.

In this video, I give you a peek inside a coaching kick-off meeting I conducted with a Kindergarten teacher, Tyler, as well as the coaching tools I used.

How to Engage in a Coaching Kick-Off Meeting

A coaching kick-off meeting is a little bit like a dance, and no two meetings are exactly the same. However, there are a few key coaching moves you can plan for.

1. Ask Clarifying Questions

Asking clarifying questions will help you guide the teacher in identifying a focus. It is helpful to plan questions you might ask in advance, especially if there is a more specific focus you would like to steer the teacher towards.

2. Identify a Target Standard

Identifying a standard and unit of instruction to anchor your coaching cycle to is very helpful. This will also help you in identifying what data or evidence you will use to monitor your progress towards the goal.

3. Identify and Create a Pre-Assessment

In this kick-off meeting video, you’ll notice Tyler and I discuss what pre-assessment data we could collect to help us understand where students currently are in relation to our target standard. We also discuss how we can work together to create this pre-assessment.

4. Discuss the Trajectory of Using Student Evidence Throughout the Cycle

Connected to identifying and creating a pre-assessment, I also helped Tyler understand the purpose of the pre-assessment and how we would continue to look at student work during and at the end of the coaching cycle to track and reflect on our progress.

5. Share Strategies for Coaching and Collaboration

During the kick-off meeting, review logistics of the coaching cycle with your coachee such as coaching tools you’ll use together and scheduling. This is also your opportunity to ask teachers about any concerns they have, any questions on their mind, or anything else they would like you to know as their coach before moving forward.

The Coaching Kick-Off tool I share in The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit, will help you plan for successful kick-off meetings of your own.

And on to the video!





I hope this video helped you get a better idea of how to engage in a successful coaching kick-off meeting.

Good luck, and talk to you soon!

 

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.

Other Posts You May Like

Talk Soon!

How to Introduce Yourself and Instructional Coaching to Staff

Has your principal asked you to kick-off the year by introducing yourself and sharing what instructional coaching will look like for the year? Let’s talk through how you can create an agenda to confidently respond to this request.

instructional coaching

If you’re new to a building or new in your role, introducing yourself and your instructional coaching program to staff can feel SCARY. Gah! However it’s a really important beginning of the year step, as it will provide the foundation for a successful “culture of coaching” within the school.

But have no fear, I’ve created a super helpful planning structure you can follow to create your own all staff introductory PD session. This is the same structure I used myself when introducing coaching at my school.

A clear agenda and supporting slides for your presentation will help you feel confident and in control of your opening presentation.

Agenda for New Instructional Coach Introduction

1. Plan for Logistics

Before getting into the meat of your introductory PD, it’s helpful to iron out all the logistical details ahead of time.

This could include:

  • How much time will you have?
    • In my experience, I have found that an hour time slot is about right.
  • Will your principal be supporting you with facilitation?
    • If not supporting you with facilitation, the presence of your principal at this PD will be essential. If any questions are asked, you can both answer with unified messaging.
  • Who will be asked to attend this PD?
    • It is important for ALL teachers in the building to be present for this PD to ensure everyone has a chance to ask clarifying questions, and everyone leaves with the same understanding as to how instructional coaching will be used as a professional development support structure within the building.
  • What materials will you use to anchor the work?
    • Texts? Key school documents?

2. Identify Outcomes

how to introduce yourself as a new instructional coachBefore going any further, you’ll want to identify the key outcomes or learning targets for your introductory PD.

In the sample agenda I created, I identified three guiding learning targets to anchor what I really wanted teachers to walk away with.

In the image above I created a few learning target starters to get you thinking. One or two would be good, but no more than three!

how to introduce yourself as a new instructional coach

3. Create a Support System Document

how to introduce yourself as a new instructional coach

This doesn’t need to be fancy.

Just a one-pager explaining how coaching and your work fits into the bigger picture of professional development within your school.

You might additionally explain what your coaching model will be. Will you primarily use a student-centered coaching approach? Are you working with the New Teacher Center Model? Or perhaps you are more closely aligned to Jim Knight’s coaching model.

4. Put Together Your Agenda

how to introduce yourself as a new instructional coach

OK, time to put this all together into an agenda you’ll use to structure your time and work with teachers.

If you’d like to see a complete model of the agenda I used, you can find this in the How to Introduce Yourself Planning Kit. 

After you’ve created your agenda, share with your principal so you can continue to be on the same page with the messaging on instructional coaching that you will deliver to staff.

5. Create Your Slides

how to introduce yourself as a new coach

To go along with the agenda you have just created, you will want to create a slide deck to support you in visually communicating your message and learning.

If you’d like to use the slide template I created for this, you can find it in the How to Introduce Yourself Planning Kit. 

Use your slides to help you do a bit of rehearsing ahead of your PD session, so you are feeling confident and ready to go!

how to introduce yourself as a new instructional coach

Other Posts You May Like:

Happy Coaching!

Simplified Coaching Planning Kit

NOTE: This listing has 3 Format Options (Printable PDF, Digital, or Both).
Please see the images and product description to decide which is the best option for you.

Option 1: PRINTABLE PDF

Details

• TABLE OF CONTENTS (6 different sections, all color coded — PLANNING, OBSERVATIONS, DEBRIEFS, MEETINGS, PROJECTS, REFERENCE)
• 5 PLANNER COVER OPTIONS (Polka Dot in navy and turquoise, Stripes in navy, turquoise, and light grey)
• COACHING CONVO PLAN
• COACHING LOG
• COACHING SCHEDULE
• DEBRIEF TOOL
• COACHING WORKPLAN (2 pgs)
• GRADE LEVEL NOTES
• IDEA TRACKER
• KICKOFF MEETING
• LIST IT
• MEETING NOTES
• MONTHLY MAP
• NOTES
• OBSERVATION TOOL
• PASSWORD KEEPER
• PD PLANNER
• PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
• PROJECT PLANNER
• RESOURCE CHECKOUT
• SMALL GROUP OBSERVATION TOOL
• STUDY GROUP CONVO LOG
• TIME TRACKER

Option 2: DIGITAL

Details

• COACHING CYCLE SCHEDULE
• WEELY COACHING SCHEDULE
• PEER VISIT DEBRIEF
• RESOURCE CHECKOUT
• COACHING CYCLE CALENDAR
• WRAP-UP REFLECTION QUESTIONS
• COACHING DATA TRACKER
• CLASSROOM VISIT TRACKER
• COACHING WORK PLAN
• MEETING NOTES
• WEEKLY REVIEW
• COACHING CYCLE SET-UP CHECKLIST
• COACHING OBSERVATION DEBRIEF
• GRADE LEVEL MEETING NOTES
• IDEA TRACKER
• PASSWORD KEEPER
• PD PLANNER
• PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
• PROJECT PLANNER
• TIME TRACKER
• COACHING KICK-OFF MEETING
• COACHING LOG
• CLASSROOM OBSERVATION
• BOOK STUDY CONVO LOG
• SMALL GROUP OBSERVATION TOOL

Option 3:  PRINTABLE PDF & DIGITAL

Details

All instructional coaching tools listed in both the Printable PDF and Digital are included.

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

Results

The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit will help you:
• Centralize all your important coaching materials into one place
• Organize your coaching work into friendly sections
• Save time and get more done
• Plan and prepare
• Feel more in control
• Gain confidence in your work as a coach

Delivery

Your Simplified Coaching Planning Kit will be available to download instantly after your purchase as a ZIP file.

For the digital, you will receive a PDF with a link to each of the forms that will allow you to copy the forms and save to your Google Drive. You will need a Google Account to access these forms.

How to use

While there are no official rules for working with your Simplified Coaching Planning Kit, here are a few tips:
• Download your planner and save to your computer where you can easily access it
• Set your printer to fit the entire page
• Use a color printer if you can!
• Print on standard, letter size paper, 8.5 x 11″ (I like 98 bright, 32 lb)
• Fill in directly on your computer (form fields only, are editable) OR
• Use your favorite writing tool
• To keep you planning kit organized, use a three ring binder or discbound notebook
• Use and decorate cool tabs to separate the 6 different sections
• If using the digital, use your Google Drive to organize

The high resolution PDF documents included in this planning kit are editable (form fields only) using Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, or Preview. (Existing text that is part of the design cannot be edited. Nor can the PDFs be converted to Word)

The digital forms in Google Drive are editable, after making a copy.

Terms of use

This planner is for personal use only. You can print as many copies as you need, whenever you’d like. Please do not redistribute or sell. As this is a digital product, once the purchase is complete, I’m not able to offer refunds.

4 Tips for Coaching Outside of Your Content Area

Instructional coaching roles can look differently across school buildings and districts. Some instructional coaches focus solely on literacy, math, technology, or another content area. While other instructional coaches are “cross content” coaches and wear several different hats.

My instructional coaching has always focused on literacy, and at times, I have worked alongside a math coach. This year, I have focused on 3-5 literacy coaching and our new instructional coach is focusing on K-2. Considering what math coaching looks like within this new set-up, is something we have been thinking about as a leadership team.

Anyhow, we recently kicked off our quarter 4 coaching cycles, and one of the teachers I am working with was especially interested in a math focused coaching cycle. I took a moment to consider then thought, “What the heck?!” and decided to take the plunge.

Here are four tips that have helped me move into a coaching cycle outside of my content area.

As with all coaching cycles, I enter our kick-off coaching meeting through a lens of partnership and dialogue. As Jim Knight explains, through a partnership approach, neither teacher nor coach is the “expert.” Rather, we’re both equal partners and as your coach, I’m here to support you with your professional goals connected to student achievement. 

Entering this math focused coaching cycle through this lens, took the pressure off of having to be the “content expert”, and I felt more confident moving forward.

Part of our job, as instructional coaches, is being knowledgeable about high leverage and evidence based instructional practices that make a difference for students despite the content area. 

These instructional practices might include:

  • Formative assessment
  • Questioning strategies
  • Student Discourse
  • Differentiation
  • Feedback

With this in mind, I’ve been able to apply what I know about good instruction, in general, to my work in this math coaching cycle. Our focus in turn, has been on using small groups to intentionally differentiate whole group instruction.

When it comes to literacy, I feel very familiar and fluent with our curriculum, assessments, and standards. However with math, not as much! So I have been blocking off extra time each week to prepare and plan: reading, reviewing, and processing the math unit we’re working in. I’m learning a ton and enjoying the process!

A habit I’ve been working on more this year is taking time for reflection at the end of the week to support my learning and growth as an instructional coach.

As part of this coaching cycle, I’ve been reflecting on my coaching moves and feedback for next steps. Were they the right ones? Am I working with the teacher to navigate our work in the right direction? Reflection supports me with any needed course correction, week to week.

Fridays are asynchronous for us, so I coach from home

I hope you were able to make some connections from this post on coaching outside of your content area to your own instructional coaching work.

Happy Coaching, and see you back on the blog soon!

4 Steps for Creating a Coaching Cycle Schedule

Earlier this week, I broke out the cool new pens I got for Christmas and got to work on putting together my coaching cycle schedule for this next quarter.

Creating new schedules throughout the year is a cool opportunity for us coaches. It’s kind of like having a mini beginning-of-school-year kick off more than just once :)

You get to reset and regroup for a new journey ahead with new “students” to motivate and move forward.

I know that sometimes creating a coaching cycle schedule can feel overwhelming, so I wanted to share the steps I use to simplify the process a bit and make it fun.

OK, now that we’ve got those steps and tips down, grab yourself a nice bright sheet of white paper and head over to the printer. I just designed a new Scheduling Tool I want to share with you.

It’s simple, fun, and includes space at the top to jot down a few goals for your upcoming coaching cycles. And because I think quotes are cool and inspiring, I included one of those too :)

Once you have it printed out, you can pop it in your Coaching Kit. I like to put mine front and center, along with a color coded index of the teachers I’ll be working with. You know me and color coding :) The colors help me quickly find the different “sections” for teachers. So when I head into a classroom, I can just whip my Kit right open to that color.

Want to learn more about how I work through coaching cycles? Check out the Walk Through a Coaching Cycle Workshop, where we walk through a full coaching cycle together.

I’ll also help answer some of those logistic questions that come up:

  • How many teachers do you work with during your coaching cycles?
  • How many observations and feedback meetings do you schedule x week?
  • Do you always set-up face-face feedback meetings, or do you use email at all?

Here’s what Nancy C. had to say about her Coaching Workshop experience:

“First of all, I want to tell you that I absolutely LOVE your documentation and your videos! What a fantastic package you’ve put together. This is only my second year as a Literacy Coach so I’m really just learning as I go along and your clear and concise way of explaining the coaching cycle is EXACTLY what I needed. I cannot thank you enough.

Here we go Coaching Cycles, here we go!! Whoop whoop.

Alright friend, I’m feeling really good about this second half of the school year. If there are any other topics or resources you’d like me to share heading into this year, be sure to let me know!

The Flow of a Coaching Cycle

I’ve got some big, exciting news for you today…

It’s here! The Walk Through a Coaching Cycle Workshop is now live.

And I could not be more excited!

As a coach who has fully experienced the overwhelming feeling of just starting out, not really knowing how to “put it all together”, and sifting through various books and resources to hep me find a clear answer…this is the resource I’ve been wanting to bring your way for a long while now.

I’ve done the sifting for you. So let’s join-up and streamline all the info out there on coaching cycles, and come to some friendly understandings around how they really work.

 

The purpose of the MsHouser blog has always been to support YOU and the important work you do as a coach in an approachable, “I get it” kind of way.

And I’m feeling super good about sharing this Coaching Workshop as one of my most supportive resources yet.

It could be just what you need to take that next step, make that next push, and coach to your potential.

I appreciate you! And hopefully I’ll see you in the Workshop :)

Walk Through a Coaching Cycle Workshop

Do either of these describe you?

Well, you’ve landed in the right spot!

In this 3-part video workshop, we’ll walk through a full coaching cycle together.

As a full-time instructional coach who went straight from the classroom into coaching, I totally understand those feelings of nervousness or uncertainty you feel when you’re just starting out.

And after eight years of coaching, I also get that drive to always want to get better!

That’s why I’ve created this workshop, just for you.

In the Walk Through a Coaching Cycle Workshop, I’m looking forward to helping you:

  • Streamline all the coaching information that may have been unloaded on you, and feel less overwhelmed
  • Create a clear, step-by-step plan for how to to get started (and get better) with successful coaching cycles
  • Answer those “odds-and-ends” questions about the logistics of it all – How often do you observe during a coaching cycle? Do you always do an observation before meeting with the teacher?

And the cool thing about this, is I’m an actual coach. Just like you! I’m not perfect, but I’m excited to share what I’ve learned, and work alongside you.

At the end of our journey together, you’ll have that confidence and extra know-how you’re looking for to implement and execute effective coaching cycles.

Here’s what you’ll learn…

Part One: The Flow of a Coaching Cyclemshouser-workshop-coaching-cycle-graphic

  • The key components of a successful coaching cycle
  • How to create a clear instructional vision for you and the teacher, connected to your work
  • The importance of supporting teacher learning, and how to do it
  • Tools and visuals to help you understand and implement each of the coaching cycle components

Part Two: Coaching Cycle Case Studyme-and-matalin-pic

  • How to get organized for your coaching cycles
  • How to actually “put it all” together — step-by-step!
  • Visuals and coaching videos to support your learning

Part Three: Reflection and Documentationcoaching-cycle-worksheets-resources

  • Ideas and tools for documenting and tracking your progress
  • Considerations for what to share with your principal
  • Inspiration for moving forward

Workshop Specifics

icon-video
3 Instructional videos
(over 120 minutes) that will walk you through a full coaching cycle, from kicking-off to wrapping up.
icon-feedback
3 full-length, real-life coaching videos
to help you understand and implement each phase of a coaching cycle: Kick-Off, Feedback, Wrap-Up
icon-worksheets
Worksheets
to help you plan and put your learning into action
icon-observation
Workshop Slides
 for taking notes and improving understandings

“First of all, I want to tell you that I absolutely LOVE your documentation and your videos! What a fantastic package you’ve put together. This is only my second year as a Literacy Coach so I’m really just learning as I go along and your clear and concise way of explaining the coaching cycle is EXACTLY what I needed. I cannot thank you enough.
Nancy C.


Coaching Q&A

For Pro and Elite Workshop members there is a dedicated Coaching Question and Answer section.

Get direct, 1-on-1 answers to all your questions, as well as read from the growing list of Q&As from your fellow coaches, such as:

  • How many teachers do you typically meet with during a stretch of coaching cycles?
  • How soon do you start with coaching cycles?
  • I’ve just started at a new school, and there are no guidelines for my role. What do you suggest?
  • Teachers here have never been in coaching cycles before, how do I get started?

Workshop Plus

$49

per member


  • 1 Year
    Workshop Access
  • Downloadable
    Workshop Resources
  • Unlimited
    Video Streaming

Workshop Elite

$79

per member


Note: This workshop pricing is for single-seat membership.

Workshop FAQs

Do you offer Group Memberships?
Yes! Simply select the membership level you would like for your group. Then in the cart change the quantity to the number in your group. Discounts will be applied automatically. and I’ll work with you to get all members setup with access.

Do you offer Purchase Orders (POs)?
Yes, of course. Please email me directly with the level and number of members and I will send over a PO. Once payment has been received, I will help get all members setup with access to the workshop.

I’m looking forward to learning alongside you! Questions? Please email me at workshop@mshouser.com!

FREE Coaching Kick-Off Printable

coaching-kick-off-meeting

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And for the complete
Simplified Coaching Planning Kit…

including 6 different sections

Simplified-Coaching-Planning-Kit-6-sections

with 5 different cover options and the following tools to help you get organized, plan and prepare to be an awesome coach:

  • COACHING CONVO PLAN
  • COACHING LOG
  • COACHING SCHEDULE
  • DEBRIEF TOOL
  • COACHING WORKPLAN
  • GRADE LEVEL NOTES
  • IDEA TRACKER
  • KICKOFF MEETING
  • LIST IT
  • MEETING NOTES
  • MONTHLY MAP
  • NOTES
  • OBSERVATION TOOL
  • PASSWORD KEEPER
  • PD PLANNER
  • PD GOALS
  • PROJECT PLANNER
  • RESOURCE CHECKOUT
  • SMALL GROUP OBS. TOOL
  • STUDY GROUP CONVO LOG
  • TIME TRACKER

Get your Coaching Planning Kit Today!