Saturday, July 20, 2019

Conducting a Coaching Cycle: The Instructional Coaching Series

Conducting an instructional coaching cycle can be scary and stressful, but these five steps will help you get started with coaching in classrooms! Learn about how instructional coaches can support teachers through choosing and inviting a teacher to work with you, planning together, coteaching, debriefing, and more, all bundled into one friendly coaching cycle. These strategies and ideas will provide you with an easy approach to coaching! Are you afraid to work with teachers? Many coaches are. Working with teachers is scary. This is why: 
  • You don't know if they like you.
  • You think they don't want your help.
  • You don't know if you're good enough to model or coteach.
  • You don't always have all of the answers.
  • You feel like a fraud.
Ring any bells? Those are my deepest, darkest fears. Here's what I say to myself to get over it:

I am not here to be the best or to have all of the answers. I am here to support teachers so that they can provide the best possible instruction to kids. No one person has to be perfect; we're a community of people learning together. We can't learn together if I don't put myself out there. 

Still scared? How about this:
It's your job.

Haha! I know. That maybe didn't help too much. But the point is that the only way teachers are going to grow is if you can swallow your pride (and fear) and get into those classrooms.

Here are a few tips for setting up a coaching cycle with a teacher. You can get more tips in the free download at the bottom of this post!

#1: For your first round of coaching, choose carefully.
Start with the teacher who has some stuff going on but who'd like to try something new. That means DO NOT start with the teacher who doesn't like you (gasp!) or the teacher who has every single amazing thing going on. Start with a good, solid teacher who'd like to learn a new thing or two. It helps if they have a positive influence over their grade level, too!


Conducting an instructional coaching cycle can be scary and stressful, but these five steps will help you get started with coaching in classrooms! Learn about how instructional coaches can support teachers through choosing and inviting a teacher to work with you, planning together, coteaching, debriefing, and more, all bundled into one friendly coaching cycle. These strategies and ideas will provide you with an easy approach to coaching!
#2 Invite the teacher to work with you.

There are lots of fun ways to do this such as physical or email invitations, or you could go the tried and true route and just ask them.

Either way, make sure that they know a coaching cycle is...
  • flexible based on the needs and goals of the teacher
  • focused on learning students should be doing anyway
  • usually around 2-4 weeks long
  • scheduled at a time that works for teacher and coach
  • about learning and growing together
  • fun and purposeful
Get 8 beautiful coaching invitations in my new Coaching in Classrooms resource!
Or get a free black and white version as part of my free download right below this post!

#3 Plan together. Plan together. Plan together. 
I can't say that enough times. Plan together for EVERYTHING. I'll have a detailed post about collaborative planning coming out later in this series, but for now, just know that you need to plan for a few things together:
Conducting an instructional coaching cycle can be scary and stressful, but these five steps will help you get started with coaching in classrooms! Learn about how instructional coaches can support teachers through choosing and inviting a teacher to work with you, planning together, coteaching, debriefing, and more, all bundled into one friendly coaching cycle. These strategies and ideas will provide you with an easy approach to coaching!
  • What kind of service you will provide. Will you model? Will you coteach? Will you observe and provide feedback? 
  • The learning target for the lesson: what do students need to know and do in this lesson?
  • The lesson. This doesn't have to be really complicated. A simple plan that includes the target, steps in the procedure, and which materials you'll  use should be fine. Embed the vocabulary and the questions in the procedure rather then separating them out. They tend to be forgotten that way.
  • The classroom management plan. Here's a possible system you can try out if there's not one in place.
  • What each person will do. I recommend using a three-columned planner to show what is happening during the lesson and what each person's responsibilities are during that time. This is especially important during coteaching.
  • This editable and printable planner is part of my Coaching in Classrooms resource on TpT!

Need ideas for setting up coteaching roles? Here are a few easy ways to share responsibility!

Conducting an instructional coaching cycle can be scary and stressful, but these five steps will help you get started with coaching in classrooms! Learn about how instructional coaches can support teachers through choosing and inviting a teacher to work with you, planning together, coteaching, debriefing, and more, all bundled into one friendly coaching cycle. These strategies and ideas will provide you with an easy approach to coaching!
  
#4 Build in time to debrief.
Meet with the teacher after a lesson to reflect on a few things. Have a plan for debriefing.
  • The effectiveness of the plan on student learning
  • What the next steps should be
  • What kind of support should be provided

#5 Work through the cycle together.
If you need to make changes, do it! Don't stick to modeling for the duration of the cycle, and don't stick to 50/50 coteaching, either. Change the type and level of support to respond to the needs of the teacher and students.

Conducting an instructional coaching cycle can be scary and stressful, but these five steps will help you get started with coaching in classrooms! Learn about how instructional coaches can support teachers through choosing and inviting a teacher to work with you, planning together, coteaching, debriefing, and more, all bundled into one friendly coaching cycle. These strategies and ideas will provide you with an easy approach to coaching!

Get the Coaching Cycle Checklist in The Instructional Coach's Book of Plans & Lists!

Next week, I'm going to share all about how to plan collaboratively. Be sure to check back and read that post, because it's a BIG one!

Other posts in the Summer Coaching Series: 
One lucky duck will win the Instructional Coaching Kit, an over $170 value!


Included in this kit (some of these are affiliate links: 


And four people will win the Digital Coaching Giveaway: the Instructional Coaching Resource Bundle and my all-new Coaching in Classrooms resource! Over $75.00 worth of products!

To enter this contest, follow the rafflecopter directions below to enter. Plus, you can add one new entry with each blog post that comes out in the Summer Coaching Series!

If you're really serious about winning, you can share a takeaway (bonus points) every single day between now and August 17, when the giveaway closes.




 
 
Get the coaching menu, a coaching invitation and thank you note, and tips & forms to help you start working with teachers by filling in your email address below!

  • Tips for getting started
  • Coaching services menu
  • Classroom sweep form
  • Coaching invitations (black and white)
  • Using the gradual release model to coach teachers
  • Coaching plan
  • Observation guide
  • Debriefing sentence starters
  • Thank you notes
You can get them all by entering your email address below!

 
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