Updated Coaching Notebook

If you remember, I originally had my planner set-up to also hold my coaching notes. While the system was working out okay, for a lot of reasons, I wasn’t really diggin’ it. So I took some time to rework it. 

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Customized Covers Available at my Etsy Shop

The first thing I needed was more space, since I can be working with up to eight coachees at a time. I also have learned that I prefer to use both my computer and paper when taking notes in an observation, as it allows for more flexibility. So my system needed a good amount of note taking paper, but I didn’t want coaching notes for different teachers all muddled together for me to later sort through. I also don’t totally like having separate notebooks or legal pads for different teachers. After assessing these needs and a few more, my decision was to use an Arc Notebook set-up for coaching notes only. I still have my planner, but it now lives in it’s own notebook.

To avoid the muddling through notes problem, I created a different tab for each teacher.

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I inserted a coaching log behind each teacher tab, which I put on the left side of the notebook. I prefer this set-up, as it allows me to easily access notes from a debrief to add to the coaching log without doing too much page flipping. Also, when I go into a debrief, next steps from our last conversation are up front and center for me to see.

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Click Here to Download Coaching Log

I print out my typed up notes before going into a debrief and then handwrite additional notes from there. I used to type notes during a debrief, but wondered if it would help my coaching conversations feel more personal if I did away with the computer screen barrier. So far I think I made a good decision.

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Oh, and I put together this planning tool to help me think through my coaching conversations. It’s essentially a lesson plan for coaches.

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Based on thinking from the EL Network

Click Here to Download

I keep a copy of this handy in the reference section of my notebook.

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This Coaching Sentence Stems reference sheet (by Elena Aguilar) has been another good addition to this section. You can use it when planning for or even during coaching conversations.

 

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Note taking systems for coaches are obviously very personal. What works for me might not work for you. When developing/tweaking your own, I think the most important components to consider include:

  • ease of use
  • flexibility
  • keeps you organized
  • tracks progress
  • you like using it!

Check off those pieces and you’re good to go!

Thanks for reading,

ms-houser

 

 

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8 Responses to “Updated Coaching Notebook”

  1. Joy McDonald February 26, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Great ideas! I plan to use the coaching conversation planner and may try doing an electronic notebook like you used in this post. I am an instructional technology coach in Richmond, VA and I find your tips very useful!

  2. Kristin Houser February 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    Thanks Joy! Hope coaching is going well for you this year :)
    Kristin

  3. Michele Meyer March 3, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Thank you ! As the year progresses I find myself updating my system as well. Your ideas are a big help :)

  4. Kristin Houser March 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Thanks so much for commenting Michele!

  5. Kristin April 15, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    I love your organization. What size notebook did you use for this coaching notebook?

    • Kristin Houser April 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks Kristin! I use the standard letter size discbound. The junior sized ones are just a bit too small for me.

  6. Sarah November 29, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Thank you. I just found your website and am brand new to coaching and have been given no training or direction. I couldn’t agree more with taking notes on paper during a conversation as the laptop or iPad can be very obtrusive (just my opinion). Your suggestions are very helpful

    • Kristin Houser December 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Sarah and welcome to the MsHouser community! Hope your first year is going well :)
      Kristin

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