By Ellen Eisenberg

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

Thursday, January 7, 2021

 “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem” (Eldridge Cleaver). This has so many applications in today’s world.

A recent blog from goes further to explain the meaning and indicates that a longer African Proverb quoted the idea in this way, “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” One is either in the “solution camp” or the “problem camp.” Where do you sit?

In my January TPIIC Coaching Tip of the Month (here), I mentioned that we need to invest in education (social, emotional, financial, etc.) and turn our words into action. We need to do something, but not just anything. We need to be deliberate in our thinking, planning, and acceptance of things that we consider normal. We need to identify the problems; discuss ideas to address the issues; plan for the “what ifs”; and start taking action. We need to start small with a group of open-minded individuals who understand the importance of multiple perspectives and collective problem-solving. Tap into the human capacities of your teaching colleagues.

If you are a former instructional coach and have returned to the classroom during this pandemic, open your virtual or hybrid door and continue to foster collaboration and shared learning experiences. Take a step; evolve into the best facilitator/presenter/teacher you can be; learn from your past experiences, both positive and negative; embrace change and do it with compassion and reflection. Be that non-evaluative colleague and continue to move practice forward regardless of where that practice occurs. Be an active participant in your learning and the learning of your colleagues. Be part of the solution to ensure that your students are not underserved.

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