Search results: coaching work plan

Creating a Coaching Work Plan

As part of my summer reading this year I read the recently published book, “The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation” by Elena Aguilar. Elena writes a great blog over at edweek that I enjoy reading so I knew her book would be a good one to spend some time with. She offers a ton of helpful information in her book, but the chapter that really caught my attention was on developing a coaching work plan. This can be a tricky process and one that really needs to be thought out and planned for carefully as it provides a road map for the work you’ll do with teachers. Elena provides ten steps in developing a work plan and explains that they do not have to be sequential. But rather, the process should be flexible and circular. After reading through the steps, I jotted down some notes on how the process made the most sense to me in the context of coaching at my school. Because a good visual always helps me make better sense of information, I created one to represent my thinking and am hoping it will be helpful to other coaches as well.

Work_Plan_Infographic

Once the work plan is created, it’s doesn’t have to be set in stone. You may choose to revise or narrow it along the way given any number of reasons which may present themselves.

What are your thoughts? Does this process make sense to you or do you see it differently? To comment, just click on the comment box above.

Thanks for reading,

ms-houser

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!

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.

Introduce Your Instructional Coaching Role Planning Kit: PDF AND DIGITAL

Details

Introduce Your Instructional Coaching Role Planning Kit – 4 documents: PDF & Google Drive

  • PD Planner PDF
  • PD Planner GoogleDoc
  • Example Agenda
  • Introduce Your Instructional Coaching Role Slides–> Google Slides Template, 14 slides, guidance on how to use slides

**PDF prints standard letter size, 8.5 x 11″

**Google Docs version –> a link to access the Google Doc version of the planning forms will be provided

Delivery

Once your payment has been processed, you will receive an email with a link to download the planner. If you don’t see the email, check to make sure your junk mail didn’t grab it.

Terms of Use

I’m a hard working educator. 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.

Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role: PDF AND DIGITAL

Details

Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role and Responsibilities Planning Kit – 4 documents: PDF & Google Drive

  • Meet With Your Principal –> planning and prep
  • Meet With Your Principal –> create an agenda how-to
  • Brainstorm
  • Clarify Your Role –> planning form

**PDF prints standard letter size, 8.5 x 11″

**Google Docs version –> a link to access the Google Doc version of the planning forms can be found on the last page of the included PDF

Delivery

Once your payment has been processed, you will receive an email with a link to download the planner. If you don’t see the email, check to make sure your junk mail didn’t grab it.

Terms of Use

I’m a hard working educator. 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.

3 Steps to Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role and Responsibilities

Are you wanting to head into the school year with a clear vision of your instructional coaching role and responsibilities? Let’s walkthrough three steps to help you do just that.

instructional coaching roles and responsibilities

Clarifying your role and responsibilities as an instructional coach can feel exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. As a coach myself, I understand how important this is as a first step in setting yourself up for a successful school year.

As coaches, we are capable of doing a lot of things, but not everything! Lack of clarity and focus will leave you stretched too thin in your work and frustrated in your efforts.

Now that I’ve worked through clarifying my own  coaching role and responsibilities several times in my career, I can share three steps to help you do the same!

3 Steps to Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role and Responsibilities

1. Define What Instructional Coaches Do

Instructional coaches can play many roles and assume multiple responsibilities in a school building. It is helpful to begin with brainstorming what these roles currently are in your building or could be. For myself, I have found it to be most helpful to pair up with a coaching buddy or colleague and do some brainstorming.

Questions to ask during this time could include:

  • What is the work we do on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis to support the school?
  • Where are we feeling stretched too thin?
  • What is needed most by teachers and students this year?

If you are new to a school, you might talk with the previous instructional coach. You could also use the Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role and Responsibilities Planning Kit to support you with this.

 

2. Meet With Your Principal

Now that you have a better idea of what you believe your coaching role and responsibilities should be, the next step will be to meet with your principal.

During this time, you will want to present what you’re thinking, ask clarifying questions, and get on the same page.

If you need support for creating a “Meet With Your Principal” agenda, I’ve created one for you in the Clarify Your Instructional Coaching Role and Responsibilities Planning Kit

Record your communication and any needed next steps, so you have a record of the conversation and are prepared to move forward.

3. Share With Staff

Now that you’ve done some personal reflection on your coaching role and responsibilities, and you’ve gotten on the same page with your principal, it’s time to share with staff.

I would suggest holding an all staff meeting to share your clarified role as an instructional coach for the building and how your work connects to the school’s overall support structure. This way you and your principal are able to share the same unified message, and answer any clarifying questions as a team.

Working through these three steps will help you build a “culture of coaching” at your school.

Here are a few other related posts you may like:

Happy Coaching!

 

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!