Our school year has come to a close and I thought I would take some time to reflect on my first year as an instructional coach. Last April when I considered stepping into this role, I felt very nervous and uncertain. I loved being a classroom teacher. My classroom was a safe and comfortable space for my students and me. As somewhat of a quiet type, I don’t typically embrace risk-taking or being in the spotlight so the idea of doing a job that involved conducting whole staff professional development and coaching teachers was…intimidating. If it hadn’t been for the friendly nudging of my friends and family, I may have passed this opportunity up. And I definitely would have kicked myself for it later (thanks guys!).
This year has been just, well, great. I have grown so much as a professional and educator. I have had the opportunity to build great relationships with teachers throughout the building. Maybe most importantly, I have learned how to flex my “risk-taking muscle” and step outside of my comfort zone. My risk-taking muscle isn’t exactly huge now, but I know it’s there and I plan on flexing it more often. It’s not always easy, but it’s good for you. It allows you to better serve yourself and those around you.
A piece of my reflection this year included creating a trailer and digital story using iMovie to summarize our work at Tollgate. Check it out! If you’re an instructional coach doing something similar will produce a product to help you reflect on and share the work involved in your role with others. If you’re a teacher, you can use something like this as an end of year gift for students. The following year you could use it as part of your back to school night to give parents an idea of what their children will experience in your classroom. If you’re not really comfortable with “techie” projects like this, who cares! I wasn’t either. Take a risk.
As educators, it’s important to keep taking risks in order to grow as professionals. What risks have you taken lately or are considering taking?