Saturday, November 3, 2018

Instructional coaching or plate spinning?

  Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference.
In one, you're responsible for keeping things spinning while constantly having your attention pulled in a million directions. 
And in the other, there are plates.
I know how hard it is to spread yourself so thinly. You're trying to reach so many teachers and so many needs. 
You get one plate spinning and direct your attention to another. You get that one going, and realize the first plate is wobbling, so you head back that way. 
Then you spin that plate and realize you've dropped another. As you pick it up, someone calls out, "Hey! I know your specialty is plate-spinning, but we really need you to learn about lion taming, because it's a district initiative this year."
Face palm.
Coaching is demanding. Sometimes you feel like you're on top of the world, making a difference, and impacting so many teacher and kids. And the next day you feel like you're accomplishing next to nothing.
This is normal. But it's not fun to feel that way. So I have a few things you can do to make sure you're not beating yourself up when you're working so hard.

Way to feel better #1

Feel Better Fridays.
To feel better on Fridays, take a few minutes every Friday afternoon before you leave, and think. Think about this: Who have I impacted positively this week? 
This might be a teacher who you supported during planning or helped discover a new strategy to try. It could be a student who needed a little extra support to be successful in the classroom. It could be your principal who needed a sounding board. It could be any of so many people you've interacted with during the last week. You're communicating with and impacting so many people! Stop and think about the impact you've made, and you'll remember why you're a coach.

Way to feel better #2

Reflecting on goals.
You undoubtedly started this year with some goals in mind that you wanted to accomplish through coaching. Perhaps you wanted to share student engagement strategies with teachers, or encourage teachers to use manipulatives. You may have planned to help teachers integrate technology into their lessons, or utilize more project-based learning strategies. Need help setting goals? Read about it here!
Whatever your goals are, write them down and stick them in a visible place. On your laptop, by your light switch, or on the cover of your notebook.
Once a week, stop and reflect on those goals.  What have you done this week to reach them? Identify tangible steps you've taken towards accomplishing them. Reflecting on the actions you've taken to get where you want to go will help you see the impact you're making.

Way to feel better #3

Talk to somebody who gets it.
Pick up your phone, or open up a new email window. Hearing someone or seeing someone is great, but sometimes virtual buddies are your best buddies. 
Talk to someone who feels or has felt the way you do right now. Talk to your principal who used to be a coach, or your coaching friend from another school. Or send me an email at I love to hear from coaches and I'm happy to empathize :) This very post came from an email someone sent me about feeling like she was unproductive. If you're feeling a certain way, I can guarantee someone else is, too!

Way to feel better #4

Sign up for coaching emails from Buzzing with Ms. B. 
I send out coaching tips, resources, and the feel-good messages that help you coach with confidence! One of the best parts is that you get a great free resource, too. Sometimes having something new to use can re-energize you! Just enter your email address below to be on your way to confident coaching!
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