Take a breath and make a list!
As a coach, take a minute to refresh your memory about the school’s goals for school wide improvement. I’m sure changes have been made to last year’s goals… maybe the goals have been enhanced; maybe the goals have been changed; maybe there are new goals to meet the needs of all students. However the goals were determined and shared with staff, take a moment to reflect on the goals and what you need to do in preparation for working with teachers so they support them.
Build on the strengths of each previous year and remember to honor the teachers’ voices. You are not the expert; you are creating a culture where collaboration is the norm and collective problem-solving is the theme for the year. Every teacher has something valuable to contribute to the conversation; bring your teaching colleagues together so that the learning is shared, questioning is encouraged, and practice is discussed – all without risk!
Coaches visit, not observe. Leave that to the administrators. Focus on creating a place where you model positive and valuable relationships, understanding that instructional coaching is not a cookie cutter model… not everyone is ready at the same time for the same amount or level of instructional coaching support. You need to take time and assess what the teachers need which generates what you need to prepare for a productive school year.
How do you reflect “on, in, and about” your coaching role in preparation for working with your teaching colleagues?