Continued from November 1…
Step six… write an action plan about how you will move practice forward.
Your action plan needs to include a short-range goal, a mid-range goal, and a long-range goal. Use the plan as a self-assessment tool and take the pulse of where you are at each point. To help create the action plan, look at the Levels of Intensity for Coaches (LOI and LOI) for guidance as you plan your schedule and activities. If you created a needs assessment as suggested previously and have that information, use it to populate the topics for your mini professional learning sessions.
These mini professional learning sessions will generate the coach’s one-on-one conversations and the BDA (before, during, and after) cycle of coaching is born!
Step seven…Rome was not built in a day! Welcoming a coach into a teacher’s classroom is not automatic. It takes time and work to build awareness and a shared understanding of what instructional coach is and is not. Think about the teachers with whom you will be working… what kind of support will they need and what preparation do you need to provide them with ongoing support. One-on-one visits can be challenging if the coaching relationship is not strong. Take the pulse of the situation and remember that instructional coaching is not a “fix it” model; it’s an opportunity for colleagues to work together in ways that strengthen instructional practice.
Work with the willing and build on the previous year’s successes. Remember, a coach is a partner, not a supervisor, administrator, whistle-blower, or evaluator. Keep reminding the staff through your actions and words that the coaching/teaching relationship is non-evaluative and risk-free. It’s a place where mistakes are encouraged so that learning takes place. You are not an expert and together, you and your colleagues will understand that two heads are definitely better than one! Establish those relationships first and then begin to move practice forward slowly and surely!
What strategy has worked for you in transitioning from a teaching position to a coaching position?