Monday, September 16, 2013

So...You Want to Be an Instructional Coach?

I am not sure if I have said it formally, but I am officially an Instructional Coach. I should probably update my blog information, huh? I am so very excited about this new chapter in my school life.

So, you are considering a career as an Instructional Coach?

Consider this post a gentle reminder to myself. As a new (emphasis on the NEW) Instructional Coach, I may need to reread this. And reread this. And reread this.

Here are a couple of things that you (I) should know:

1. It is not about you
It is about increased student and teacher outcomes. It isn't about your ideas being adopted. Your ideas are the opposite of what you need to push. You should be striving to guide teachers to understand their teaching and how to improve it.

2. It is about you
It is your responsibility to cultivate trust with teachers. Being vulnerable and putting yourself out there are crucial to leading your teachers to take risks. Building a climate of trust and risk-taking may require you to be uncomfortable. Get over it and get to work.

3. More with the listening, less with the talking
I have a teacher friend who says, "Zip it, lock it, put it in your pocket." Nuf said. Allow the teacher to talk. Bring it the conversation back to focus when needed.

4. Use your data
When you are in the beginning, middle, and end of a preconference...look at the data. Refer back to it. Make it easy to manage.

5. Collaboration, Collegiality, and Celebration
This job is all about the relationships. Collaborate often, value your colleagues. Teachers are the key to all success you experience as an instructional coach. Teacher success equals higher student outcomes. Celebrate any and every success!

My question to you you work with an Instructional Coach? Can you tell me more about your experiences?

All the very best,

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