Tag Archives: Coaching Planner

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

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!

2015-2016 Simplified Coaching Planning Kit – It’s Here!

I couldn’t be more excited that The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit for the 2015-2016 school year is now available in my coaching shop!

Simplified Coaching Planning Kit

This is the second edition of the planning kit and I’m super excited about some of the changes and additions I’ve made this year. It has many of the same great planning tools as last year’s version, however, has evolved with a new design and new planning tools.

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new-tools

This year’s version has five new cover options for you to choose from.

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One of the big changes I made this year was color coding the entire planning kit! I thought I’d give you a bit of a brain break on how to set-up your planning kit, by organizing it for you.

Using the table of contents as a guide, you can divide your planning kit into six different sections: Planning, Observations, Debriefs, Meetings, Projects, Reference. You could also color code your dividers to match the planning pages if you wanted to get really fancy.

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The planning kit is editable again this year, so you can fill in your planning tools directly on your computer then pop them into your planner, or just print and write!

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The planning kit has everything you need to organize and centralize all of your important coaching materials.

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And with all of the different tools that I personally use to plan and implement coaching cycles, you’ll be totally on top of it!

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This year’s planning kit does not include a calendar, as I’ve designed an even better option…The Time & ToDo Planner! This Kickstarter project recently reached it’s funding goal within 12 short days and the project is officially a GO! It’s not too late to pre-order this planner either. If you prefer to have your calendar within your planning kit, there is digital version available for you to print on your own {includes June and July for you to get a head start on planning this summer}.

I intentionally designed the Time & ToDo Planner to compliment The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit, in both functionality and style. The weekly planner is lightweight and ultra-portable, which will allow you to easily carry it with you wherever you go. At times you may need your weekly planner and your planning kit, or just your planner…now you have stylish options, without the bulk.

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I’m confident The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit will help you achieve your goals as an instructional coach.

And with the planning kit available earlier this year, you’ll have plenty of time this summer to get set-up and ready to rock it next year!

Keep me updated!

ms-houser

 

 

 

PURCHASE HERE

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Planner FAQs:

  • I print on standard letter size, 8.5 x 11″ paper {98 bright, 32 lb}
  • I use the discbound notebook system.  A three hole binder would also work well though!
  • The Levenger punch works for the discbound system. This one is a bit less expensive than the one offered though Levenger.
  • This is the label maker I use.
  • I love the Pilot G2 pens.

3 Keys to Finding the Time for Quality Coaching

I was doing some reading earlier this week from one of my favorite new books, Leverage Leadership, and got all excited when I flipped the page and landed on Chapter 8: Finding the Time. Why was I excited? Because I really like reading about time management strategies for educators, and good info on this topic is hard to come by.

As we reflect on the past school year and look towards the next, it’s helpful to consider what worked and what may need to be improved for next year in the area of scheduling, time management, and “making it all work.”

3 Keys to Finding Time for Quality Coaching

So what did the chapter have to say? Here is an overview of the three key tools discussed in the book {along with some tid-bits of my own}, to finding the time for quality leadership and coaching.

Lock in your schedule

The idea here is that your weekly schedule should be intentionally built to reflect the work that best supports building excellent schools. I would say that of the six “levers” discussed in the book, the three that most apply to coaches include: Professional Development, Observation and Feedback, and Instructional Planning. Here are the steps for getting them in place.

Step 1: Lock in Your Group Meetings

The first set of events to schedule are regular group meetings: PD, leadership team meetings, grade level team meetings, data meetings, and so on. Which meetings will you be facilitating? What communication needs to be sent to staff and how much time might you need to prepare? Be careful about too many meetings…planning to attend all grade level meetings every week might not be the best use of your time. Identify your priorities, and keep the focus there.

Step 2: Lock in Your Observations and Debriefs

Now it’s time to lock in your observations and debriefs with teachers for the week…arguably the highest leverage driver of your work. For each coachee, I like to schedule two observations per week, and two debriefs. The time you have scheduled for a visit doesn’t have to be concrete, and will likely depend on your coaching goal. For example, if I’m working with a teacher on guided reading I may only need to be in their room for 30 minutes, whereas if I’m working with another teacher on reader’s workshop, I’ll likely be in there for a full hour.

Something else to keep in mind is how closely you schedule your debriefs to your observations. I always leave some space between the two so I have time to plan and prepare my notes.

Step 3: Build in Time for Planning

The final piece is to build in blocks of time when you’ll work on instructional planning. For coaches, this could include preparing yourself for an upcoming coaching cycle with a goal you need to do some reading and research on. You might also consider building in time to throughly prepare for the debriefs you have scheduled, planning for next week’s PD, or working with a teacher to problem solve why a certain student isn’t making growth. There isn’t really a set amount of time to dedicate to this piece each week. It really just depends on what you have already built into your schedule after completing the first two steps.

Here’s an example of what your weekly schedule might look like with all three levers in place:

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Defend your time

Alright, now that you’ve got a clear calendar for the week and some mental white space, let’s defend it! You’re already ahead of the game by having mapped out your time, but here are a few quick tips for sticking to your game plan.

  • Get On The No Train: Here’s the thing…whatever you say yes to, means you’re saying no to something else. Yes, coaches need to be flexible and you can’t always say no, but it’s important to be mindful of the trade you may be making.
  • Plan Blocks for Communication: Email is seriously distracting. It breaks your flow and takes you away from often more important work. Since the majority of communication takes place via email in a school though, you can’t really just ignore it. But you can be more strategic about it. How about blocking out one chunk of time each day to process all of your emails, then just take a peek a few more times during the day to monitor for anything urgent, but hold off on responding. I know, that takes big-time discipline and I’m not even there yet. But we can work towards it!

Manage your tasks

You’re in the home stretch! You’ve locked in your weekly schedule and defended your time. The last piece is to get all of those tasks in order: your daily tasks and your monthly tasks.

To keep track of it all, coaches need a way to map their actions and build a plan beyond the daily and weekly level. Leverage Leadership discusses a tool they’ve seen leaders use called the monthly map. It’s a nifty little tool that helps you keep your eyes on what matters most.

Here’s an example of what your map might look like for the first month back at school, using the monthly map offered in The Simplified Coaching Planning Kit.

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Design Coordinates with the Time & ToDo Planner

Exceptional coaches thrive not by working more hours, but by making their hours count.

So how will you make yours count?

See you next week,

ms-houser