By Ellen Eisenberg

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

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hello, school year 2018. To celebrate the new school year, The Professional Institute for Instructional Coaching (TPIIC) has launched. Please follow us as we, too, begin our new journey!

Summertime and the living is easy… at least until August when we go into hyper mode and try to capture our thoughts about new beginnings, a new school year, our new classes, many new celebrations, and expected new challenges. Our bodies may not be ready to go back to school but our hearts and minds never really left in June… the plight of all educators! We continue to think way past the end of the school year.

Knowing that we need to continue driving the movement for improved teaching and learning, please keep Zeus and Skiffington’s inspiration words in mind, “Coaching is a conversation, a dialogue, whereby the coach and the individual interact in a dynamic exchange to achieve goals, enhance performance and move the individual forward to greater success” (Instructional Coaching in Action: An Integrated Approach That Transforms Thinking, Practice, and Schools, May 2017 pg. 97). So, whether you are a new coach or a veteran, let these words be your guide as you begin your coaching interactions for the year.

Think about these things:

1.      Schedule time to meet with the administrative team to revisit the plan for school wide improvement and how coaching helps to achieve those goals.
2.      Think about reminding the staff about instructional coaching and your role.
3.      Design a coaching cohort approach for the teachers with whom you work, especially if you are working with several teachers.
4.      Create a needs assessment by walking around and talking to your colleagues; the needs will have changed from last year so build on those successes.
5.      Plan some mini professional learning sessions to start the year and generate your one-on-one and small group BDA cycles of consultation.
6.      Create a schedule for support around the BDA cycle, e.g., what is the school schedule for PD days; when and where can you meet each PLC, department, grade level, or individual teachers; when are prep periods, lunch periods, and early dismissal days, etc.?
      Remember, be transparent and always reiterate your role as a non-evaluative, confidential learning partner. I know you'll have a wonderful year!

What are your first steps for the new school year?