Saturday, June 15, 2019

Four things instructional coaches need to do this summer

Are you a new instructional coach? Trying to figure out how to get sarted and be as prepared as possible for your new job? This post includes 4 easy things to do over the summer to be prepared for next school year. These ideas will give you knowledge and the confidence you need to be successful and start coaching with confidence! Check out these four tips and get ready for your first year of coaching, or to grow as an experienced coach! I get a lot of questions from peole who have just been hired as instructional coaches. The number one question is: What can I do to be ready?

If your brain is racing, trying to figure to what you need to do to be ready for next year, you are not alone.

Coaches everywhere (especially new coaches, or coaches who know big changes are coming) are trying to figure out how to be prepared for next year.

Here are four easy things you can do to be ready!
1. Make some decisions.
It's impossible to "focus" on everything. I know teachers who continuously stress themselves out by saying things like, "We're targeting all of these skills", and the list is 10 skills long. You can't "target" ten skills. You can really only "target" a couple of things at a time (ok, technically one thing, but I'm being flexible with this metaphor). 

If you're going to be effective, you really need to take a step back and reflect on how things went this year. Then you need to make some decisions about where you are going to invest your energy next year. It helps to do this over the summer so you have a month or two to let it sort of "percolate" in the back of your mind. What could this look like?

  • Maybe this year you're going to make sure you spend more time in teachers' classrooms because you got pulled from this a lot last year.
  • Maybe you're going to make a point to learn about data so you can support your teachers in understanding student strengths and areas to grow.
  • Maybe you're going to dig in to your state standards to support your teachers in planning.
Once you've decided what you want to do differently next year, you'll know what your focus for learning will be on this summer. This brings me to tip #2...

2. Read a book.
While I completely recommend reading books for personal enjoyment (teachers and coaches have to be readers, too!), I'm referring to reading a book about coaching. Bonus points if it supports your plans for next year!

Here are a few I recommend. These are affiliate links, but they're all books I have read and learned from.


Coaching Conversations by Linda Gross Cheliotes and Marceta Fleming Reilly
This book focuses on being a committed listener, speaking powerfully, and providing reflective feedback. Perfect for the coaching cycle!

 

The Art of Coaching by Elena Aguilar
When you're working with a teacher, there are so many social and emotional issues that we take for granted in addition to the academic issues we tend to focus on. This book brings them to light and gives you some insight in addressing them.


The Art of Coaching Teams by Elena Aguilar
Coaching PLCs or grade levels can be very challenging. This book gives you a lot to think about when it comes to working with teams effectively.

 
Student-Centered Coaching: the Moves by Diane Sweeney
This book is full of actionable items that you can actually implement quickly. I really recommend it, especially for new coaches!

 
 And now for a shameless plug: The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching by me.
 
Are you a new instructional coach? Trying to figure out how to get sarted and be as prepared as possible for your new job? This post includes 4 easy things to do over the summer to be prepared for next school year. These ideas will give you knowledge and the confidence you need to be successful and start coaching with confidence! Check out these four tips and get ready for your first year of coaching, or to grow as an experienced coach!



Are you a new instructional coach? Trying to figure out how to get sarted and be as prepared as possible for your new job? This post includes 4 easy things to do over the summer to be prepared for next school year. These ideas will give you knowledge and the confidence you need to be successful and start coaching with confidence! Check out these four tips and get ready for your first year of coaching, or to grow as an experienced coach! 3. Do some PD.
Sometimes coaches get lots of PD in their content areas, but not in the actual work of coaching.
Getting professional development specifically designed for coaches is so important, and it can be motivating, too!
Sometimes, coaching PD can be hard to find.

Fortunately, here's a free one you can sign up for! It's four days of virtual PD especially for coaches! There are sessions about topics coaches need: data, culture, questioning, communicating effectively, and more. 

Just check it out to read through all of the session titles and see the big names in coaching, too! Diane Sweeney & Angela Watson were a couple who really stuck out to me.

Here's my link for the free registration: Free registration to Simply Coaching Summit
And here's my affiliate link for a six-month pass: Six Month Pass to Simply Coaching Summit

4. Rest.
As a coach, your whole purpose is to help everyone else. That's literally why you have a job. You go to work to help teachers and kids. It's a mentally and emotionally exhausting job. (Sometimes it's physically exhausting, too!)

This summer, take some time to just be yourself. Do things you like to do. Don't think about work for a while. Here are a few ideas, if you're stumped.
  • Go to the bathroom whenever you want, for as long as you want
  • Read a book you want to read
  • Have drinks with friend
  • Bake a treat 
  • Stare into the abyss
  • Eat a dinner you cooked
  • Go to Target and buy something fun
  • Get a pedicure
  • Sit on the porch and drink wine or tea or something tasty
  • Watch something pointless on TV
  • Take a walk
  • Ride a bike 
  • Spend time in your garden or yard
  • Go for a swim
  • Really, do anything that is not work. And do a lot of it. You'll need your mental energy when school starts again.

Are you a new instructional coach? Trying to figure out how to get sarted and be as prepared as possible for your new job? This post includes 4 easy things to do over the summer to be prepared for next school year. These ideas will give you knowledge and the confidence you need to be successful and start coaching with confidence! Check out these four tips and get ready for your first year of coaching, or to grow as an experienced coach!

 
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