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!

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!