Saturday, August 18, 2018

Beyond your first year: How to take stock and grow as a coach

Recently I had an email. It read, "So I just finished my first year of coaching. Now what?!"

I totally get that. You've made a tough transition from the classroom to the coaching room, and you are slowly becoming more comfortable in that role.

You've worked hard, developed relationships with teachers, and got some great initiatives started at your school. But now what do you do to continue to grow?

The first step to growth is reflection. If you sit back after a year of hard work and say, "Wow. That was awesome. I can't imagine how that could've gone any better," you're not setting yourself up for personal growth.

(Also, you might be a megalomaniac because I've never met an actual person who thinks that!)

So here are six questions you can think about that will help you reflect and take action for next year!

1. What went really well?

2. What didn't go well?

3. In what part of my work did I feel uncomfortable?

4. Where are students showing instructional gaps at the campus level? grade level? teacher level?

5. What are my teachers' needs?

6. What are teachers excited about?

Grab these questions on a recording sheet here so you can stop and reflect!

Once you've answered these questions, it's time to think about next steps. Read over your answers and think about how you can turn them into action.

Notice that you were uncomfortable co-teaching? Read a book about it! Read a blog post about it! Create or buy a tool to help you prepare for it! Are your students struggling with writing responses about their reading? Prepare a PD about it! Create or find some resources to help them roll it out in their classrooms! Offer a book study! Teachers excited about flexible seating? Build a Pinterest board to help them find resources and ideas easier! Email some teachers and ask if you can participate in rolling it out in their classrooms!

Reflection is the start, but action is the goal!

Want to read more about goal setting as a coach? Check out this post from the first Instructional Coaching series: Setting Goals as an Instructional Coach

What are your plans for your next year of coaching?

I am so excited to offer this giveaway again this summer!
Coaches work hard. Which tools will help you do your job? Well, obviously tools with pineapples on them. Pineapples mean "welcome," so flaunt your pineapple gear and people will know you're approachable!

One lucky duck will win the Instructional Coaching Must-Haves Kit (over a $165 value)! This kit
* Inbox tray
* My favorite notebook: Eccolo
* My favorite daily planner with a monthly view
* Frixion Ball Erasable pens
* Handmade pineapple pencil pouch
* Rae Dun "piña" mug
* To-do notes and assorted sticky note set
* Thank you cards
* Pineapple notepad
* Fancy pineapple thumbtacks
* Erasers
* Lotion
* Hand sanitizer

Four more lucky winners will get the Instructional Coaching Resource Bundle, over $50 worth of coaching resources!

Enter using as many of the options below as you like! You can enter again with every blog post in the series. 

But wait! There's more!
Hee hee
You can sign up for my all-new Start-Up Course for Instructional Coaches!
It's a free email course, right to your inbox, that will give you the essential steps for getting started as an instructional coach. You'll get videos, links to posts, and even a free resource or two, and follow-up emails to help you along your coaching journey!
Just enter your email address in the box below. You'll also be signing up to receive periodic emails about instructional coaching as part of my mailing list!
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  1. Reflection is so key! I think I will use those questions quarterly, maybe monthly as this first year of coaching goes on for me. Thanks!

  2. So many fabulous ideas!! So glad I found you!

  3. Hoping to be able to reflect after my first year; might even be a good idea to do a bit of reflection on a weekly basis!

  4. Do you have a professional development workshop or conference recommendation for a first year literacy coach? I mean, besides taking your wonderful workshop classes.

  5. Great post with great bunch of information! Thanks for the post. Keep up your good work. Check back my status Best Math Puzzle. (Y) always write post like of above. It's really amazing to read such post.

  6. As a 3rd year Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach for my district, I greatly appreciate this post. Reflection is useful tool for growth and I always want to be a better professional.
    Thank You!

  7. Such great ideas! Happy I found your blog!

  8. I also want to ask What are teachers excited about?