By Ellen Eisenberg

By Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of The Professional Institute for Instructional Coaching (TPIIC)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Last week, one of the PIIC coaches started an IU Instructional Coaching Chat on Twitter.  We were trying this communication thread to see how we can engage more coaches in conversations about their practices. This particular chat was about the coach’s reflection of the past year and strategies for summer engagement for coaches to initiate with teachers.

I must admit… I am a real neophyte (or dinosaur) when it comes to virtual communication. I am okay with email and text messages but not so much with Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! I do know, however, that I could ask any tween or teenager to help me navigate social media and s/he could do it easily!

The first question of the chat ( asked coaches to think about the “year in review” and reflect about the coaching role. This is so similar to how I felt when I reflected on my teaching for the year. Were my goals realistic and attainable? Did I have short range, mid-range, and long range goals? Did I accomplish what I set out to do? If not, what were the obstacles that stood in my way? If I accomplished my goals, did I accomplish them in the ways I thought I would or to the extent that I projected I would? What should I have done differently or not at all? What changes can I make for the next year both in content and process? What have I learned about myself as a learner and about my students as learners? As a coach, what have I learned about my teaching colleagues as well?

To me, reflection equals change. And that change requires some action. Sometimes, minor changes are needed and sometimes, a major overhaul is needed. Either way, the important “note to self” is that every action takes planning, delivering, and debriefing. As a coach, this process can be accomplished with your own coach, the IU mentor, or with another trusted colleague. Make sure you take this step in reviewing your coaching work and preparing for your own professional growth. Remember, no change takes place without reflection and modification.

What are some of the things you have learned about your coaching work this year? 

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