Sunday, August 7, 2016

Creating a Coaching Support Plan: Part Five of the Start-Up Guide Series

If you've been following this series from the beginning, you're just about all set. You've set goals, your space is ready. You're organized and you've planned some awesome back-to-school training.

Bring it on, school year!

Now you just have one thing to figure out: How will you support teacher growth and student success all year long?

Yup. This one's the biggie. Your room can be gorgeous, your binders labeled lovingly. Your training can be engaging, challenging, and fun. And then the school year begins, and every single person on your campus can go into their rooms, shut their doors, and you have 40 islands instead of an aligned team. 

Your role as an instructional coach is to provide ongoing support to teachers in order to move your campus towards the campus goals. To do this, you're going to want to consider the kinds of support you will provide to teachers throughout the year.

Before you consider the questions below, you might want to take a look at my post about Structures for Instructional Coaching. Information about year-long coaching support models can also be found in my new ebook, The Start-Up Guide for Instructional Coaches.



To decide what kinds of support will work best for your goals and your faculty, you'll want to consider the following questions:
1. What structures does your administration already have in place?

Different types of administrators have different support systems already in place. For example, at some schools, there are 90-minute PLCs every week for every grade levels. Other schools have it every other week. I worked at a school where the PLC was 90 minutes, once a month. 45 minutes were taken up with training and the remaining 45 minutes were left to us for planning. So obviously, our planning was done elsewhere.

At my current school, we have a 90-minute PLC every week. Each grade level meets with either me or the Math/Science coach, and they put together plans for the next two weeks. Last year, our PLC was at the end of the day, so we had a little extra time. We included a short minilesson (article, modeled lesson, activity) that the teachers could use in their teaching at the beginning of each PLC. 

We also have weekly Learning Thursday meetings after school. We provide one hour of training. Sometimes it's the whole faculty. Sometimes the math/science coach takes half (or some) of the grade levels, and I take the rest. Sometimes we do a book study with small groups. Sometimes we do state- and district-required testing trainings. These systems were in place when I started there, so that's what we work with. It's actually a good chunk of time to work with teachers at the whole group level and at the grade level.


2. What time frames are available to you for provide support?

If teachers tutor every day after school, that time is out. So a book study scheduled at 3:00 on Tuesdays probably won't have a very good turnout! If teachers are overburdened with tons of clerical and administrative stuff to do (so... all teachers everywhere, it seems!), then conference times are going to be precious.

The biggest idea here: Don't waste teacher time. It's precious. That being said, part of being a great teacher is learning. Somewhere there has to be a balance of supporting teacher learning while providing them the time they need to do their job. Anything you give them needs to be the best, because it takes up their time. It needs to be important and useful.

 3. What's the best way to support the goals your campus is working on?

Think back to your instructional goals for the year. Are they broad, sweeping, campus-wide initiatives like STEAM, STEM, or Whole Brain? Things that will impact every teacher and require change from every teacher? Then you'll probably be best off rolling out a campus-wide training with follow-up trainings throughout the year. In addition to this, you'll want to check in on the classrooms through instructional rounds. Perhaps you'll involve the teachers, too and have grade levels visit each other to see how the initiative is going and what they can learn from each other.

If the campus goals are differentiated across grade levels, you'll want to differentiate the support they receive. Providing a training designed for fourth and fifth to the entire campus is a waste of their time, and the #1 goal of providing teachers with support is not wasting their time. This kind of initiative, such as better understanding the reading standards, or incorporating word work practices into read aloud, is probably best done in a small group setting. Model the lessons, read the related articles, have teachers share strategies and explore the materials within their grade levels or a small span of grade levels, such as K-1.

4. Which teachers need individual support?

Individual teachers need support, too. This is not a comment on "weak" or "strong" teachers. Rather, it's about teachers working through their own learning curve at different places in their teaching careers. Working with whole groups can raise the tide that lifts all boats, but individual teachers need differentiated support depending on their individual needs.

For example, if your entire school is working on Writer's Workshop, and 90% of the school-wide support is going to be based around this initiative, you won't be supporting the teachers who are struggling with classroom management or guided reading. This requires 1:1 support, such as coaching conversations, recommending of books, or sharing of resources. Take the teacher on tour to visit other teachers and see how things are working for them! Encourage the collaboration.

5. How will you evaluate the outcome of your support?

After you've done some trainings and some modeling, it's time to take a look and see: How's it going? Think about how you'll evaluate how things are going and what adjustments you'll need to make.

There are two ways to check in:

One way I've done this is by making a sweeping walk-through.
These aren't formal. Obviously, I'm not administration; I'm support staff. So what I do is go into all the affected classrooms and look for the implementation of the initiatives that we are working on. It's not punitive, and it's not a "gotcha". The purpose is to look at the progress towards the initiative and decide if the support you're providing is actually supporting teachers in moving towards the initiative. The issues with this are: you might not always see what's really going on. It's hard to know what really happens on a day-to-day basis.
 
Another way is to get teacher feedback.
A survey is a handy way to see what people think. The issues with this are: sometimes people aren't honest (for 100 different reasons), and sometimes you're just not speaking the same language. That's something else I address in my new ebook!

Once you've checked in to see how it's going, you can recalculate (my GPS's favorite thing to say) and make adjustments to your support!

So now you're ready! You're all set! You are prepared to get started this school year and to be an incredible instructional coach!

For more information, ideas, and thoughts on instructional coaching, check out my new ebook: The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching. It's what I learned from my first four years as an instructional coach.
 
And be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series:

But wait - there's more! There's a giveaway! A BIG GIVEAWAY!

One lucky duck will win my Instructional Coaching Start-Up Kit, an over $140 value!


Included in this kit: 
  • Storage box (So pretty)
  • My favorite notebook (Bendable)
  • My favorite calendar (Week-at-a-glance)
  • The best erasable pens out there
  • A mug (Necessary for coaching)
  • A fruit infuser water bottle (Stay hydrated)
  • A welcome banner (It's important to be approachable)
  • Post-it notes, binder clips, and paperclips (Fancy)
  • The Instructional Coaching MegaPack (sent via email)
  • The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching (sent via email)





In addition to this, every week, you'll have the chance to enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway to be one of five people to win a digital giveaway: my new ebook, The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching, and my Instructional Coaching MegaPack Binder! Over $35.00 worth of products!

To enter this contest, follow the rafflecopter directions below: you can tweet, follow me on twitter, follow me on Pinterest, and share on Facebook. In addition to this, you can add one new entry with each blog post that comes out in the Instructional Coaching Start-Up Series! All the posts in the coaching series are now up online; just check out the links above to add a comment to each one for additional entries in the Rafflecopter - please, one comment and entry per day per post. This giveaway is live until August 10, so you have two more days to earn some entries!


Enter the BIG Start-Up Kit Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter the Digital Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
 
Pin It

Monday, August 1, 2016

Instructional Coaching Must-Haves: Get them for 28% off!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instructional-Coach-Binder-A-MegaPack-of-Printables-Fillable-Forms-and-More-2065048Have you been waiting for the big sale to get the Instructional Coaching MegaPack and the Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching for 28% less? 

Well, now's the time! It's heeeeeere! 

Here's how it works out:

My Instructional Coaching MegaPack is regularly 22.00. With the code BESTYEAR, you'll gt 28% off on August 1 and 2nd! So it's only $15.84! 







https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Instructional-Coaching-ebook-The-Start-Up-Guide-to-Instructional-Coaching-2608561





And the Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching is regularly 16.00, but with 28% off, it'll only be $11.52. Eleven dollars and fifty-two cents for over 80 pages of information, pictures, tips, and documents to help you get started on the right foot as an instructional coach!








Check it out on TPT!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Chrissy-Beltran


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Chrissy-Beltran



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Getting Organized for Instructional Coaching: Part Four of Start-Up Guide Series

Once I took a silly personality test on Facebook. I answered a bunch of questions about which flower appealed to me and if I could be any color, which would it be. And at the end, the test told me that I liked to make systems for things. And I thought, "Duh."

Facebook test aren't that revolutionary, I guess. But that one got something right. I do love systems. They're just about the only thing that keep me afloat during the most hectic and chaotic times of the year. If you've read my post on Six Must-Have Organizational Systems for Instructional Coaches, you know how much I love and rely on my notebook and my calendar already. Second to these two items, my favorite system is binders. And here, to help you get organized for the beginning of the school year, I'm going to share a few of those binders with you. 




Teacher Documentation Binder
I shared about this binder in my previous post, but it's worth reposting. At any point in the year, any teacher can ask me for a copy of something they gave me six months ago. Or my principal might ask for meeting notes from a meeting that happened a while back. I might get a district request for some information on trainings I've provided. 
In order to stay on top of my documentation and lists, I have one binder where most of my teacher documentation goes. I organize the binder with large plastic grade level pockets, and behind each grade level pocket are dividers from each teacher in that grade level. I also have a special divider for Special Education teachers. In this binder, I keep copies of...
  • Notes from guided reading conferences and binder reviews (beginning, middle, and end of year)
  • Data from our district reading assessments, beginning, middle and end of year
  • Guided reading levels by month - as teachers turn in the new month (it's a cumulative table with all months on there), I throw away the old one.
  • Anything else my principal gives me and asks me to hold on to for any reason!I have a roster of teacher names (just like I did in the classroom) and I mark off who's handed me what. 
I have a roster of teacher names (just like I did in the classroom) and I mark off who's turned in what, so I know who to email and request from. When I'm being really organized, I write the date that the document was handed in rather than just a check mark...but I'm still working on that.

Grade Level Planning Binders
For each grade level, I create a planning binder. I keep them on a special planning shelf in my room. In the binder for each grade level are the following planning tools:

  • Curriculum calendar from the district
  • Curriculum guides from the district
  • State standards for the grade level
  • Questioning for each standard for the grade level
  • Previous years' released state tests, if applicable
  • Any other planning tools acquired throughout the year
During PLC, when teachers plan their upcoming lessons, we use these tools as a reference. 

Instructional Coaching Binder
This is the binder where I store materials related to my responsibilities as a coach. This includes:
  • My job description from the district
  • A section for notes or responsibilities from Leadership Meetings
  • Campus testing data from previous years
  • The master calendar for the year
  • A copy of the campus schedule (PE, lunchtimes, PLC, etc.)
  • Overviews of our instructional programs (we don't follow a purchased program; this is referring to programs we as a campus have created by pulling together pieces) 
  • A copy of each professional development agenda from the year

RtI Binder
Obviously, we have an RtI system that includes documentation for each student. But in order to help me stay organized, I have a very thin RtI binder that I use to help me stay on top of scheduling and following up with students. In this binder, you can find:

  • A master list of all the students who are in the RtI system
  • Copies of the schedule for each RtI session during the year with the "next steps" for the RtI committee attached. This is a one-page sheet where we record which students need a follow-up from an RtI committee member, which ones need a parent conference, and who needs further testing.
  • The guided reading level goals for each month by grade level. This helps us see if students are nearing the goal or if they are experiencing significant difficulty.
Was this helpful? Would you like more tips and information about getting started as an instructional coach? Check out my all-new ebook: The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching on TPT! There's a section about getting your space ready that includes these tips and more. I also included a map of my classroom space. It's over 80 pages of information to help you have a successful year of coaching!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instructional-Coach-Binder-A-MegaPack-of-Printables-Fillable-Forms-and-More-2065048



Now's the time! Get the MegaPack and the ebook for 28% off tomorrow and Tuesday (August 1 and 2) at the big TPT Best Year Ever Sale!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Instructional-Coaching-ebook-The-Start-Up-Guide-to-Instructional-Coaching-2608561

And be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series:
Create a Coaching Support Plan: August 7

But wait - there's more! There's a giveaway! A BIG GIVEAWAY!

One lucky duck will win my Instructional Coaching Start-Up Kit, an over $140 value!

Included in this kit: 
  • Storage box (So pretty)
  • My favorite notebook (Bendable)
  • My favorite calendar (Week-at-a-glance)
  • The best erasable pens out there
  • A mug (Necessary for coaching)
  • A fruit infuser water bottle (Stay hydrated)
  • A welcome banner (It's important to be approachable)
  • Post-it notes, binder clips, and paperclips (Fancy)
  • The Instructional Coaching MegaPack (sent via email)
  • The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching (sent via email)





In addition to this, every week, you'll have the chance to enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway to be one of five people to win a digital giveaway: my new ebook, The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching, and my Instructional Coaching MegaPack Binder! Over $35.00 worth of products!

To enter this contest, follow the rafflecopter directions below: you can tweet, follow me on twitter, follow me on Pinterest, and share on Facebook. In addition to this, you can add one new entry with each blog post that comes out in the Instructional Coaching Start-Up Series! Every week, on Sunday, you can read my new post and add another entry by commenting on the post (please, just one comment per new post). You can also share each new post on Facebook, every day if you want, and add to your entries!

Enter the BIG Start-Up Kit Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter the Digital Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
 
Pin It
 
 
Pin It

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Introducing... Ms. B! *new YouTube video!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I need an image of me running around in circles and screaming.

Because this is seriously: The. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

It's my introduction video.

I know. I already have two videos. I have a sequence issue.

But this is the video where you'll see what's what. Because Azeneth will tell you.

You have to watch it.

It's the cutest intro video ever.

Trust me.

You'll like it.

Here it is.
 
 
 
Am I right? Cutest. Ever.
Tell me she's not.  
Pin It

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Planning Effective Training: Part Three of the Start-Up Guide Series

If you've been a teacher for any amount of time, you've sat through some pretty terrible PD. These are all the things I hate about professional development:

*I have to make a tent with my name on it.
*They make me talk to people I don't know.
*They assign seating and make me get up from my table which I so lovingly selected.
* I already know what it is they're presenting because it's basically the same regurgitated training I've been to for the last three years. So it's a waste of my time.
*The presenter doesn't know his/her stuff. I leave with no more understanding than I arrived with.
*It's boring. All talk, no learning.
*I don't get to read or write. It's all cute stuff and no digging deep.
*It is so broad and blanketed that I have no clue why I'm there.
*It's irrelevant to me.

As you can see, I can be cranky about PD. It's one of my biggest faults, I think. I try to have a positive attitude, but I've been disappointed so many times. I know my goal should be to "take away just one thing," which is advice I've been given. But eight hours for one thing? It better be an amazing thing if I'm investing eight hours in learning it. 

You don't want to be on the other end of the crankiness that I and so many other teachers demonstrate about PD. And, as a trainer, your primary goal needs to be to grow your teachers to support student learning and to never, ever waste a teacher's precious time. 

Professional development works well when it meets a few criteria:

*It is directly entrenched in the work teachers do every day.
*It is designed to meet a need teachers have.
*It includes follow-up and support as teachers become more confident in the implementation of the training.

One-shot professional development opportunities don’t support teachers. We’ve all been to a PD that droned on and on, providing lots of information but no real connection to what’s going on in our classrooms. Being an instructional coach on a campus is so valuable because it helps you see trends across your campus. Those trends can be great fodder for PD. When you’re considering providing a training, always ask yourself:

*Does this add value to something my teachers are working on?
*Does this build on something we believe is important?
*Will I be able to support this learning throughout the year?


Professional development often has to be divided up into meeting the needs of different groups of teachers. This might be by grade level, content area, or current depth of understanding in the topic. At first, it is sometimes necessary to align the campus by providing similar trainings across various groups of teachers. However, over time it’s ideal to differentiate trainings based on teachers’ areas of need.




Tips for successful PD

1. Start with the end in mind. Consider the goals you've set for yourself this year. What tools do your teachers need to add to their toolbox? How will you support this learning over time? Include “next steps” in your information for teachers.




2. Know your stuff. Once you’ve identified the content of your professional development, you’ll need to make sure you’re well-versed. If you’re unclear in your delivery, your teachers will be confused and frustrated. 



3. Plan for instructional methods. If there are specific instructional methods you want to share with teachers, integrate them into your training. For example, structured writing responses are a great tool to use in the classroom. As you’re learning the content, provide an opportunity for teachers to use this response tool to write about their learning. Asking teacher to utilize learning targets? Write your targets and refer to them during the lesson. Model school initiatives in your training!
 






4. Plan for movement and engagement. Teaching is tough and teachers are tired. Create opportunities for excitement and laughter in your training. However, don't do too much. Adult learning, while similar to student learning, isn't always facilitated by forcing adults to do things that kids might (and even sometimes they might not) enjoy. Sometimes mixing teachers up works well, but sometimes you'll want them to work with their grade levels or departments in order to grow the alignment and teamwork.

5. Allow for a variety of learning experiences with new content. This can include...
  • Modeling a strategy for your teachers, with the teachers acting as students
  • Reading about the strategy
  • Watching a video of the strategy in action
  • Writing about the strategy
  • Practicing the strategy in small groups
  • Planning time for integrating the strategy into future plans.
  • Maintain a positive and energetic demeanor. This can be contagious and positively effect your teachers’ learning.
  • Provide a copy for teachers to write on (if you are practicing the activity) as well as a master copy of any materials teachers would like to use in the classroom. Teachers don’t like to ruin their master copy!
Was this helpful? Would you like more tips and information about getting started as an instructional coach? Check out my all-new ebook: The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching on TPT! It includes these tips for professional development, and so much more about supporting your teachers through a variety of support systems!

And be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series:
Get Organized: July 31
Create a Coaching Support Plan: August 7

But wait - there's more! There's a giveaway! A BIG GIVEAWAY!

One lucky duck will win my Instructional Coaching Start-Up Kit, an over $140 value!

Included in this kit: 
  • Storage box (So pretty)
  • My favorite notebook (Bendable)
  • My favorite calendar (Week-at-a-glance)
  • The best erasable pens out there
  • A mug (Necessary for coaching)
  • A fruit infuser water bottle (Stay hydrated)
  • A welcome banner (It's important to be approachable)
  • Post-it notes, binder clips, and paperclips (Fancy)
  • The Instructional Coaching MegaPack (sent via email)
  • The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching (sent via email)





In addition to this, every week, you'll have the chance to enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway to be one of five people to win a digital giveaway: my new ebook, The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching, and my Instructional Coaching MegaPack Binder! Over $35.00 worth of products!

To enter this contest, follow the rafflecopter directions below: you can tweet, follow me on twitter, follow me on Pinterest, and share on Facebook. In addition to this, you can add one new entry with each blog post that comes out in the Instructional Coaching Start-Up Series! Every week, on Sunday, you can read my new post and add another entry by commenting on the post (please, just one comment per new post). You can also share each new post on Facebook, every day if you want, and add to your entries!


Enter the BIG Start-Up Kit Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter the Digital Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 
Pin It

 
 
Pin It

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The BIG Instructional Coaching Start-Up Giveaway

It's not too late to enter the BIG Instructional Coaching Start-Up Giveaway! There are so many opportunities to earn entries and to  read up on some ideas for getting you started on the right foot this year. Check out the video and the links below to enter and read all the Instructional Coaching Start-Up Posts! 

Pardon my crazy hair (rare humid day) and my shiny face (I live in the desert!).
 
 
 
Check out the post below, and check back every Sunday until August 7 to read more tips on starting the year right!
 
http://buzzingwithmsb.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-start-up-guide-to-instructional.htmlhttp://buzzingwithmsb.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-start-up-guide-to-instructional.html
 
Pin It