Saturday, March 28, 2020

What to do When You Feel Like a Failure, The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 11

When you ask instructional coaches how they feel, you get some pretty depressing answers. "Lonely", "frustrated", and "overwhelmed," are common, but so is "I feel like a failure." That is such a terrible feeling! If you're feeling like a failure, just know that we've all been there. We've all felt like we're spinning our wheels, trying to motivate ourselves to solve the same problems and work with the same challenging teachers, year after year. Instead of wallowing in despair, listen in to these nine strategies that you can use to stop feeling like a failure. Because we're all learning how to do the tough work of coaching, and you're not a failure. Frustrated. Lonely. Unsure. Bummed. Defeated. Ineffective.  Overworked. Overwhelmed. How often have you used these words to describe how you're feeling about your coaching work? I know I have.
    
Coaching is hard and it brings out all sorts of emotions. Even though you might be feeling down, there are ways to boost yourself up when you are feeling like a failure.
  
#1 Plan It Out

A big reason you might be feeling stressed and bummed is because we simply spread ourselves too thin as coaches. There are so many things we have to do that being overwhelmed is sometimes just part of the job. To combat these feelings there are a few things you can do:

1. Come up with three goals you want to accomplish this year on your campus.
2. Write down everything you have to do on your calendar. These are things you have zero control over. Do this on Friday afternoon or Monday morning so you know what your week is going to look like ahead of time. 
3. Look at your discretionary time. Plug in your goals at least once a week. If you know where you're headed and you actually take the time to do that work, you will feel more effective in your coaching work!
 
If you’re unsure what kind of goal you want to set or maybe you’re not sure what those “have to dos” truly are, tune into Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 11 for some helpful hints.
 
#2 Count Your Impacts

 
This is a lot like counting those blessings but with a twist. When you’re feeling down, think about a teacher that you’ve made a big impact on. Then, write down all of the wins you have had with that teacher and those students. When you are feeling down, check them out and remind yourself why you coach.
   
#3 Step Into Positivity

 
Do you need a quick pick-me-up? One of the best ways to get yourself into a great mood is to visit a great classroom. Choose a classroom that you really, truly enjoy and step inside for a while. When you get there, tell the teacher and students that you just want to see some great kids doing some awesome learning. This will not only make you feel great, but it will make the teacher and the students feel great as well.
   
Feeling down is never good. As a coach, your plate is full, but you need to take care of your mental health. A healthy coach is a happy coach after all. There are so many ways to boost yourself up when you are feeling like what you’re doing is not enough. I have six more amazing tips just for you! All you need to do is tune into Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 11 to hear them all.
Do you have a coaching community? We all need one. We need someone who understands the challenging, emotionally and mentally exhausting work we do. That's why Nicole S. Turner of Simply Coaching + Teaching and I created Coffee & Coaching: the Membership.
 
This is a one-stop shop! With this membership you have access to coaching instructional videos that teach you how to do the work of coaching, along with a community of coaches who get it. Check it out and put yourself on the road to happy coaching! You'll be glad you did.
http://www.coffeeandcoachingmembership.com/
Ready for the how-to? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 



Ready to learn more?

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Two Different Models of Testing Support, The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 10

The conventional model of testing support usually looks like pulling small groups out for intervention. The instructional coach identified a group of kids who needs specialized support and works with them in their room, targeting their needs based on data. But is that the best, most impactful way to grow our students? In episode 10, I share two different models of testing support that could be exactly what you need to shake up your test prep. Instead of working with kids in an isolated group, make an impact on classrooms and the work of the teacher for the rest of their life. Change teaching and learning by implementing one of these methods on your campus!Testing season is upon us. If you'd rather sit in the closet crying than talk about it for one more minute, I am right there with you.
  
Testing is rough on everyone: students, teachers, and coaches. While testing is like walking through a dungeon with shackles on the walls, there is a way to get out of the traditional testing mode and make turn drudgery into something purposeful for teachers and kids.

You may have a principal who loves the "intervention model." In this model, you would probably end up pulling around five students in a gruop out to do an intervention group in hopes of boosting those test scores. If you have more than  one intervention group, you're stuck in the drudgery zone of test prep all day.
 
While this is the “tried and true” method, is it really effective? What does it really do? I have an unpopular view. From my perspective it takes you out of where you should be: in the classroom growing teachers.
  
When you have test-prep plans designed around this model, you're creating four problems. Listen to Episode 10 to discover what four mishaps are created with this traditional method!
 
If you’re tired of the “old fashioned” way and you’re ready to get onto something new, try one of these two methods: Push in Support or Co-Taught Test Prep
 
Push in Support

The Push in Support method puts you back into the classroom instead of pulling you out of it. With this method, you use data (learn more about data on Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 8) to determine who your target and bubble students are as well as what concepts need to be retaught or reviewed.
  
The Push in Support method allows you to work with either the target or the bubble group with the teacher supporting whichever group you’re not. It also provides sneaky coaching opportunities without stressing the teacher out. Find out how to provide Push in Support and how it can build lifelong skills for your teacher by listening to Episode 10 of Buzzing with Ms. B.
 
Co-Taught Test Prep

This method is hard but it has huge reward! With this method, you pull out students from a variety of classrooms who are struggling with the same concepts and work with them as one class! You identify one classroom teacher (who could use the co-teaching experience) and make them your buddy. You plan together, deliver lessons together, and then divide and conquer in small groups!
  
While using this method, you will have to change some schedules around. The two weeks of intensive learning will be hard on you and your schedule but it is so worth it. I have seen teachers completely change their classroom instruction and teaching philosophies after a couple weeks of co-teaching test prep.
   
Testing is one of the worst times of year. No one likes it, but (at least for now) it’s something we have to deal with in the teaching world. You can learn more about testing methods, co-teaching, and collaborative work by checking out Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast! Until next time, happy coaching!

Ready for the how-to? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 


It's free download time! With this download, you can support your teachers in figuring out which students need intervention and what you're going to focus on, too!



Ready to learn more?
Getting Started with Data
Bridging Guided Reading to Test Prep
The Instructional Coaching Binder MegaPack: data forms and more!

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Creating Structures to Support Coaching and School Change, The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 9

Instructional coaches do their best work in environments that are set up to support coaching. But what does that environment look like? My guest on the podcast for episode 9 is Lynn Musel, my incredible principal. Lynn talks us through establishing systems for school change in which instructional coaching can thrive! Learn about how to work with teachers in a changing school and what characteristics are helpful for instructional coaches to demonstrate. Get the down low on how to initiatie conversations with teachers who aren't walking the walk and make a plan for talking to your administrator about how to support teachers through coaching!Coaching is hard work. It’s even harder if the structures you need to make the most impact are not in place.
 
In Episode 9 of Buzzing with Ms. B I sat down with my first principal as an instructional coach, Lynn Musel, to learn more about what structures should be in place to ensure coaches are being as effective as possible.
 
Lynn Musel has been in education for the last 30 years as a teacher and an administrator. Although she has recently retired, she still spends time mentoring teachers who are new to the profession.

One of the first things I asked Lynn was a pretty important question: what is the role of a coach? According to Lynn an instructional coach is everything!
 
You live in two worlds: the leadership world and the team member world. While living in both worlds you are wearing all of the following hats: supporter, cheerleader, analyzer, researcher, and friend.
  
These helpful, multiple-hat-wearing people are a huge asset to the school. Because coaches are so essential to growth, we need the structures there to to make sure we can accomplish the work of coaching.
      
So what structures matter the most?
 
To start, you absolutely need to create a professional learning community (PLC). This is a place where teachers can get together, plan together, and grow together. In addition to teachers meeting together, leaders need to meet as well. Leadership meetings give administrators and other support staff, like coaches, the opportunity to sit down and celebrate growth and to pinpoint some areas of concern. What do you do in PLC and leadership meetings? How should each of these be structured? Tune into Episode 9 of Buzzing with Ms. B to get the full scoop.
 
Data is another area you need to look at when you’re trying to help a campus grow. You need to have a structure in place that allows you to look at the data from the district all the way down to the student level. You can do this in a variety of ways and you can learn all about them in Episode 9.
  
A big part of data is accountability. Don’t be afraid to post your scores for each classroom in a place where only teachers and leaders will see it. Knowing that you are going to reflect on your scores, and that people are there to help you is vital to setting up a supportive and growth-based system for your teachers.
 
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Learn what Lynn means when she says, "Inspect what you expect," - which she said all the time- and so much more from this experienced mentor! This episode is packed with amazing tips, anecdotes, and more! Check out Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast Episode 9. Happy Coaching!
  
Ready for the how-to? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 


Are you ready to make an impact with those hard-to-get-to teachers? Check out the Coaching Resistant Teachers Five Day (plus one) Challenge! It's got everything you need to change the trajectory of your coaching relationship.



Ready to learn more?

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Eight Tips for Digging into Data, The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 8

Data, data, data. Are all instructional coaches sick of talking about data yet? Sometimes we spend so much time working with the numbers that we don't get to the point of a data meeting: creating the plans. In episode 8, Eight Tips for Digging into Data, I share the most essential ideas for getting the most out of your next data meeting. Facilitate a data dig with your teachers that actually results in improved teaching and learning, and makes a difference to those students who need it most. Learn how to make plans that reflect the needs of the whole class as well as those of the individual students who need small group instruction. Make your next data review purposeful and impactful! Raise your hand if you have ever been in a data meeting where you set goals and walked away with no clue of what to do next.
 
I know I have been there plenty of times!
 
What’s wrong with this? Everything!
 
Teachers need to walk away with a plan in order for data or anything to be effective. How can you make data work for you? In this episode of Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast, I share 8 Tips for Digging into Data.
Tip #1: Set a purpose
First and foremost, you need to have a purpose for your data meeting. Purpose is what makes teachers feel like you haven’t just wasted their time. Trust me: you do not want to waste a teacher’s time! It is so precious!
Tip #2: No names
Once you start digging into the data, take away the scapegoat by leaving names off of the test results. If you have “Dylan” on the top of the page, the teacher is going to tell you everything Dylan was doing wrong while testing. Take this excuse away and let teachers see the data for what it is: facts. Yes, Dylan's behavior could absolutely influence his performance on a test, but sometimes having these personal feelings about students or their habits can get in the way of teachers noticing patterns across the class.
   
Tip #3: Bring the kids' actual tests
In order to be completely prepared, have your teachers bring in the actual tests the students took. With this, you can get more specific with areas of concern and areas that are mastered. In addition, you might find that the problem isn’t the content, but something different. Find out what that other problem might be by tuning into Episode 8 of Buzzing with Ms. B.
  
Data, data, data. Are all instructional coaches sick of talking about data yet? Sometimes we spend so much time working with the numbers that we don't get to the point of a data meeting: creating the plans. In episode 8, Eight Tips for Digging into Data, I share the most essential ideas for getting the most out of your next data meeting. Facilitate a data dig with your teachers that actually results in improved teaching and learning, and makes a difference to those students who need it most. Learn how to make plans that reflect the needs of the whole class as well as those of the individual students who need small group instruction. Make your next data review purposeful and impactful!
 Get the free data guide below!
Tip #4: Grab a blank copy, too
While teachers are bringing in the tests, have them throw in a blank copy so you can write down and discuss which concepts are golden and which ones may need some revisiting. By doing this, you are seeing what specifically needs to be worked on whole group and what needs to be worked on in smaller groups.
 
Data is such an important part of the coaching cycle. You want to make sure your data digs follow the four tips above, but there’s even more to think about than that! Tune into Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 8 to learn how to ensure teachers are walking away with a plan while using collaborative methods!

Ready for the how-to? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 


It's free download time! With this download, you can lead a purposeful and thoughtful data PLC and plan lessons for whole group reteaching and small group intervention!


Ready to learn more?
Getting Started with Data
Four Things to Know About Data
The Instructional Coaching Binder MegaPack: data forms and more!

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Planning Collaboratively: Before, During & After PLC; Buzzing with Ms. B: Ep. 7

Facilitating a collaborative planning session can be overwhelming if you don't have a system or routine in place. This Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast provides steps to follow before, during, and after a planning PLC to make sure instructional coaches are preparing their teachers for success in planning together! Learn about howwe built a common language and strategies together, and get a free download for building content knowledge at the beginning of a planning PLC.
My first collaborative planning PLC was an absolute nightmare.
 
I walked into a room full of teachers and I was ready to rock-and-roll! I had ideas. I had a lesson plan format. I had mapped out exactly how this is going to go based on what you know the district expects. Sounds great right? I was prepared! (I even had snacks.)
 
This might not come as a surprise to you, but that is not how it went down. When you are walking into a collaboration session with teachers and you’re not speaking the same language, even the best-laid plans fall apart.
 
I know from personal experience. This is exactly what happened to me my second week at a new school. I began dreading PLC days and I had to force myself to go to work on Tuesdays...at first. You can hear how I turned it around by listening to Episode 7 of Buzzing with Ms. B.
 
If any of this sounds familiar, I'm sorry. Facilitating a PLC gone wrong is so uncomfortable and stressful! But never fear - because I have some great tips to help you collaborate with teachers that are super effective. This is a simple before, during, and after method that will make your PLCs productive and purposeful. (And you'll stop dreading them, too.)

Before the planning session
Let’s start with what you need to do before this meeting. First and foremost, make sure everyone is prepared! If teachers are walking in and saying, “Oh right! We’re talking about fiction today!” that is  not a good sign!
 
You also need to be prepared. Have a some extra ideas and resources just in case they're needed. You never know when a teacher is going to ask you about something new they can try. There are many ways you can make sure you and your teachers are prepared when they walk in, so make sure you listen to the full episode to find out how.

During the session
Now that you know where you're headed, what’s next? During the meeting you want to make sure everyone is on the same page and shared their content knowledge. You can do this by talking about the “Top Five” things teachers need to know about the content they’re going to be teaching. Learn more about the “Top Five” approach as well as how your planning session should look by listening to Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 7.

After the session
Finally, make sure everyone gets the notes. Whether you set up a rotation or have a designated note-taker, make sure someone (not you) is sending out what you talked about with enough time for people to prepare for their own classroom lessons.
 
Collaborating with teachers can be scary (especially if they aren’t friendlies), but coming in prepared, having a solid meeting structure, and some great follow up can make it one of the best tools in your coaching arsenal. Tune into Buzzing with Ms. B Episode 7 to get the full scoop. Happy Coaching!
 
Ready for the how-to? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 



It's free download time! I'm so excited to offer you my Content Building One-Pager for fiction! Use this handy guide to get everybody on the same page and build a common language with accurate instructional information for teachers (and avoid misinformation like, "Fiction is fake!")


Ready to learn more?
Planning with Teachers
Balanced Literacy Sorts: build a common language
The Instructional Coaching Binder MegaPack: get organized!

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, February 22, 2020

High-Impact Coaching: Teaching with a Partner; The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 6

Coteaching can be stressful, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks once you have a plan! It's one of the most impactful ways to support teacher growth. This episode breaks down co-teaching into easy steps and gives you tips that will help you create a great collaborative learning experience for you and your cooperating teacher. Learn about how to plan together effectively to ensure that everybody knows what to do. Do you miss teaching? I miss teaching every single day. Co-teaching is such a unique and fun part of the coaching cycle because you get to be in the classroom.
 
It can be a bit scary though because those aren’t your kids, and this isn’t your classroom. But I am here to tell you that it is worth it and there is a simple way to make it work for you and the teacher!

Here’s what you need to do before, during, and after you co-teach.


Before Co-Teaching
I can not say this enough: plan, plan, plan. Planning is such a huge part of co-teaching because everyone has to be on the same page in every way. You need to plan your lesson, who’s doing what, what the behavior expectations are, who’s making what, who’s bringing what, the list goes on and on.
  
If you’re not on the same page in every way, your cotaught lesson is going to be miserable! (Trust me - I'm speaking from experience!) Listen to the full episode to find out what happens when two teachers don’t get together to plan, and how to make sure you aren’t falling into the same trap.
  
During Co-teaching
During the process of co-teaching you want to make sure you always follow the plan you worked so hard to create. If you veer from the plan, your teacher might not know what to do, and your goal is to work together! You also want to exercise the tried and true think-aloud. If you can slow your thinking down for the teacher, then they can actually internalize those thought processes and start applying some of that decision making to their own teaching because that’s the nitty gritty of teaching.
  
After Co-teaching
After everything is said and done, you have to do the second most important step: debrief. If you don’t debrief, everything you just did was pointless because you’re not giving the teacher anything to walk away with. When you sit down with your teacher, you want to talk about how co-teaching felt and what went great and what was only ok. You also want to review student work together!
 
Need more tips for providing feedback to teachers? I sat down with Nicole Turner in Episode 4 of Buzzing with Ms. B and she gave us some great insight as to how to give a teacher meaningful feedback without damaging the relationship you have with him/her.

Co-teaching is such an amazing way to get back into the classroom and to provide great coaching to your teachers. You can find out more about what you need to do before, during, and after your co-teaching lesson by tuning into Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast Episode 6, and tune in next week to find how to plan collaboratively with teachers. Happy coaching!

Listen here to Episode 6, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 

 
Ready to co-teach? Check out the free download: the Preparing to Co-teach Checklist. It'll help you be ready for your next co-taught lesson!



Want to learn more about Co-teaching in Classrooms?
Prepare and Plan for Co-teaching with these forms
Preparing to Model and Co-teach

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!
   
Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative

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