Search results: coaching tools

Instructional Coaching Tools

Last week I shared the instructional coaching data tracker I use to help organize and reflect on my work in coaching cycles throughout the year.  In the post I mentioned that I use a variety of other coaching tools to document and organize work with individual teachers.  Here are a two of my most important.

Coaching Kick-Off Meeting

At the start of instructional coaching cycles, two of the most important things we can do as coaches is to establish a respectful and trusting rapport with our coachee and also show that we honor them as an adult learner. You can work to implement these two practices in part by setting up a Kick Off coaching meeting.  The first purpose of this time is to get to know your coachee as a teacher and learner.  The second purpose is to work together to identify a goal for your coaching cycle. In having this kick off coaching conversation, you are establishing yourself as a “thinking partner” who is there to learn along with them. Additionally, you are setting routines and norms for your work together and clarifying logistics, which I have found helps in preventing potential misunderstandings down the road. Creating an agenda for this meeting helps to ensure that your time is purposeful and action-oriented.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Download your FREE Coaching Kick-Off Printable Here

Coaching Work Plan Tool

This is a great tool to help you craft a plan for your coaching goals, how you plan to arrive at these goals, and the results of your work.  After the Kick-Off meeting, I set-up a Goal Setting meeting with teachers and use this tool to guide our conversation.  I’ll revisit it throughout the coaching cycle to ensure that our work is staying on track.  In the final coaching wrap-up meeting I have with teachers, we review and document the results of our work using this tool.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Observation and Debrief Tool

This instructional coaching observation form is my go-to tool for all of my coaching observations and debrief conversations.  I record our coaching cycle goal at the top to ensure alignment between learning targets and look-fors in the lesson.  The listed debrief questions always serve as anchors for post observation conversations.  As far as instructional next steps, one thing I have learned is fewer is better!  Ensure that the teacher you are working with has identified and committed to 1-2 instructional next steps they feel will support student progress, but also feel manageable.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Tools

Download your FREE Coaching Kick-Off Printable Here

And for the complete
Simplified Coaching Planning Kit …

Simplified-Coaching-Planning-Kit-cover-image

Talk to you soon!

 

 

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A Peek Inside a Coaching Kick Off Meeting. And the Tools I Used to Do It

A few weeks back, I was asked to record a video of myself conducting a coaching Kick-Off Meeting.

First thought…eh. I was complimented by the ask, but I get a little squeamish about being recorded on video. Not just because I feel like my voice sounds weird and I’ll usually catch myself saying or doing something that I want to go back and erase, but also because showing your work to others can be scary.

There’s this feeling that you have to be perfect and if it’s not you’ll be judged. Whenever that fearful feeling comes up for me though, I’ll acknowledge it, but then kick it to the curb quick.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone and showing your work to others whether it’s modeling a lesson, interviewing for that coaching position, blogging about your work, or sharing a video of your coaching, is one of the best ways to grow and get better.

So I responded “Yes! I can help” and off I went to grab the video camera and tripod.

Thanks a million to my coachee Tyler for his willingness to take part in this video. He’s a super star teacher, always looking to learn, and an all around real cool guy.

So as an initial coaching meeting goes, this was the very first time I met with Tyler to kick off our coaching cycle. The primary purpose of this meeting is to identify a focus for your coaching work together, familiarize your coachee with the logistics of the cycle and give them the opportunity to ask questions. It’s also your chance to hash out any potential concerns, challenges or anxious feelings the teacher may have about going into coaching.

The kick-off meeting is a key piece in setting up a successful coaching cycle.

You’ll see this video is made up of two different meetings, as we had a few next steps to follow up on before we were able to narrow down a focus. I also did quite a bit of editing as I didn’t want to make you sit through a 45 minute video. Although that’s about the average time for an initial coaching meeting.

So here it goes:





And for the tools I used:

We got into defining our goal a bit, so this tool was partially used, but we completed it further at a later session.

I also brought along a few resources I thought would be helpful for us in narrowing down a focus, such as a list of the Common Core Standards for Kindergarten and the 2nd Quarter report card.

Beyond that, the conversation could go in any direction, and you’ll just have to use your coaching prowess to support the teacher in landing on a meaningful and high leverage focus area and goal. There will be some on the spot thinking to do to get there, but don’t worry, you can totally do that.

If you have any questions or thoughts, definitely let me know in the comments below.

Cheers to kicking off successful coaching cycles!

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 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 Folders 

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!

Other Posts You May Like:

Talk to you Soon!

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.

My Instructional Coaching Kit Set-Up

As I was walking through Target the other day, I got all excited when I came across the “back to school” aisle. I’m pretty much like a little kid when it comes to back to school prep. I love it!

One of my back to school purchases for this year was a new discbound agenda to use for setting up my Coaching Kit.

I’ve been using an Instructional Coaching Planning Kit now for the past several years, and it’s one of the most important tools in my “stay organized” coaching system.

For the past few days, I’ve been working on getting mine set up for this year, and I thought I’d give you a little walk-through of how it’s coming along.

Let’s take a look!

As I mentioned, I highly recommend using a discbound notebook for your Coaching Kit over a clipboard, three ring binder, or really anything else. They lay flat, and fold over nicely which comes in so handy when I’m in classrooms taking notes, meeting with teachers, or need my PD agenda ready to reference.

I love discbound planners so much, I designed one for Time & ToDo Planner. These discbound planners are brand new for this year!

I made a customized cover for myself to place in the front. I chose Turquoise to compliment my Time & ToDo Planner. In the shop, I’m offering customized covers if you’d like one as well!

Customized Covers - Cover

The Coaching Kit’s table of contents has a suggested order for setting things up. However, feel free to identify and order your sections in whichever way makes the most sense to you. And remember, you can always tweak and adjust as the year goes on.

I have both “school” and “personal” tabs in my Kit, as I find that my school and personal lives overlap in many ways. For example, I like to keep my Weekly Meal Planning sheets as a section, so I can stay on track with my goals for the week.

For the tabs themselves, you can use something as simple as white Avery label dividers, or you can purchase discbound dividers. To add a bit more color, I also like to use Washi Tape for making my labels.

Here are the current sections I have:

  • Coaching
  • Meetings
  • Grade Levels
  • PD
  • Projects
  • Flylady
  • Biz
  • Meals
  • Notes
  • Reference

Behind my cover page, I have a Vertical Year at a Glance. While I do keep all of my appointments and dates in my Time & ToDo Planner (TTP), I find that it is also helpful for me to have this Year at a Glance in my Coaching Kit for those occasions that I may not have my TTP on me. I also like the friendly overview of the school year that this calendar provides.

On to the first tab of my Kit, “Coaching.” To start, I printed off a copy of my First 90 Days as a Instructional Coach printable. Even though I’ve been coaching for awhile now, I still find it nice to have this as a reference to help guide me through those first weeks/months.

I also plan to use this printable to help me establish goals for the 1st Quarter. Goal setting I feel, is a great practice for all of us to take on in both our personal and professional lives. Having clear goals helps me stay motivated and driven in my work.

Although I won’t be starting any official coaching cycles the first few weeks of school, I’ve printed off a copy of my Coaching Schedule printable so I’m ready to go when I meet with our principal to discuss teachers to work with.

The next section is reserved for Meetings. Whether for an after school staff meeting, our weekly coaches meeting, or an impromptu meeting with a teacher, I have printed off a few of my Meeting Notes forms so I’m ready to go.

In my PD section, I have a copy of the PD Year Plan from my PD Planning Kit. It helps me to have a visual of PD scheduled for the year, as well as any sessions I will be responsible for facilitating so that I can give myself plenty of time to plan and prep.

I also have my agenda printed and ready to go for our first PD with new teachers this week!

I decided to include a Projects section this year, as I often find myself taking on different kinds of projects throughout the year. I use this sheet to help me plan, set timelines, and keep track of the different tasks connected to that single project.

Next up, I have my Flylady section. I use this as part of my home management/cleaning system. There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean and orderly house at the end of a long day, and this is one of the tools I use to help me with this. I plan my zone cleaning tasks weekly, and complete them after school. If you’d like to learn more about how I use the Flylady system, leave me a note in the comments :)

As I mentioned earlier, I do keep my Weekly Meal Planning sheets in my Kit. I actually find I glance at my meal plan rather frequently, either to remind myself of what we’re having for dinner and what I need to do when I get home, or to quickly jot down an item I’ve remembered that I need to get at the store that week.

My Notes section is reserved for any free form planning or brainstorming I might do during the day.

And lastly, I have a Reference section. As of now, I have our school calendar for the year printed off, a Resource Checkout Form which I know I’ll soon need, and an Idea Tracker. I use my idea Tracker to capture all those random thoughts/ideas that come up during the day, which don’t need to be recorded as a to-do in my Time & ToDo Planner, yet I don’t want to loose sight of them either.

So there it is! Having this ready to go for school beginning this week, has helped me feel much more relaxed and confident in starting the school year. There will be a lot to do, but my Coaching Kit will work its magic as always in helping me to stay organized.

All of these printables can be found in either my Coaching Kit, or other listings in my shop. Check it out, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Talk soon, and thanks for reading!

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!

Clarifying Your Coaching Role (And Adjusting to Change)

I haven’t told you yet, but this year we got a new principal.

Oh, and we also got a new Assistant Principal, a new School Designer, another math coach, and added another teacher to our Leadership Team.

So needless to say, the start of this year has been one of change and adjustment for me, and the school as a whole.

But it’s cool, because as Peyton Manning says, you always have to be prepared to adjust.

One of the pieces we had to work through, was the clarification of coaching roles and responsibilities. With all of the new folks on board, Deb (my math coaching buddy) and I felt this was an important to-do in supporting our work for the year.

The question, “how do I clarify my role and share with teachers?” is one I get often, so I hope this post will be helpful.

Coaching Roles and Responsibilities

Whether you’re a first year coach, a coach going through a period of transition, or even if you’re a fairly seasoned and stable educator, I believe this is important thinking for all of us.

Here are the steps we took to clarify our coaching roles and responsibilities, and get everyone on the same page in moving forward.

1. Set a Date and Create an Agenda

The first thing we did was request a day and time for the whole leadership team to come together.

An hour of time was requested and the outcome was defined as: To develop shared understandings of the roles and responsibilities of Instructional Coaches.

We felt that actually coming together to present what we do to our new principal and the other members of the leadership team was critical. Emailing a summary of our work for review didn’t feel sufficient, and we wanted to ensure that all questions were addressed.

2. Define and Clarify

Once we had a date on the calendar, Deb and I came together to define and clarify our work. We pulled up a Google Doc and began to get our thoughts down on what we do on a daily, weekly, and even monthly basis to support the school. Here is some of what we recorded:

And the list went on!

It was super helpful to talk with Deb during this step. Through our conversation we were able to expand and build on our thinking, reminding each other that, “Hey! We also do this!” or “Eh, we should probably clarify that a bit more.”

If you don’t have a colleague to brainstorm with, try using this list above to get some ideas going.

Download Your Free Coaching Roles and Responsibilities Brainstorm Sheet

3. Present and Get on the Same Page

The next step was to come together, present, and get on the same page.

In this discussion we were also able to clarify our beliefs that coaching is a partnership approach, non-evaluative, and the confidentiality of coaching conversations is to be respected.

Because we had prepared well, remained open, and clarified key points, the meeting was a success!

We recorded next steps on chart paper and were ready to move on to sharing with the staff.

4. Share with Staff

If you’re able to hold a staff meeting to share your clarified role as an Instructional Coach and how your work connects to the school’s overall support structure, my vote would be to start here.

I realize though, that in many cases an in-person staff meeting isn’t an option, and so email is your next best bet.

For us, we had a staff meeting a few years back, and since then have largely built a strong ‘culture of coaching’. So we didn’t see the need for this again.

To be transparent however, we did want to share the outcomes of our meeting with new and returning teachers alike. We delivered this via a simple and concise email.

From there, I have further worked to clarify coaching cycles with teachers on a one-one basis during our kick-off meetings.

OK, let’s pause here for a quick reflection. Where are your thoughts in connection to the following questions:

  • Can I easily explain the work I do as an Instructional Coach to others?
  • Do I feel clear on the work I am doing on a daily basis?
  • Am I on the same page as my principal and leadership team as to my coaching role and responsibilities?
  • Do teachers clearly understand how my work connects to the school’s overall support structure?
  • Do teachers understand how I am able to support them as a coach?

Hmmm. If you’re not feeling super confident in answering YES! to any of these questions, consider if there may be some further work to do on clarifying your Instructional Coaching role.

If you have any thoughts or questions that I may be able to help with, please share in the comments below. You can also always reach out to me through email. I’m here!

To clear skies and smooth sailing ahead,

 

 

PS: If you’re interested in learning more about Coaching Cycles, make sure to sign up for my Coaching Cycle Workshop! It’s available now!

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