Saturday, July 31, 2021

Building Your Coaching Community with Nicole S. Turner, Ep. 70 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Are you struggling to find your instructional coaching community? Nicole Turner of Simply Coaching and Teaching joins me to talk about building a coaching community. She shares the benefits of being part of an instructional support system like our Coffee and Coaching Membership. Click to learn how to find the right community and how to have meaningful instructional coaching conversations with people in the group.
Do you ever feel lonely doing your job as an instructional coach?

It’s common, especially if you’re the only coach in the building.

On this episode of the Coaching Podcast, Nicole S. Turner of Simply Coaching and Teaching joins me to discuss building a coaching community. She’s an author, TpT seller, instructional coach, and my partner in the Coffee and Coaching Membership

Nicole and I chat all about the benefits of a coaching community and how to find the right one for you. We also discuss how not having a clearly defined role can contribute to those feeling of loneliness.

Benefits of a Coaching Community

There are many advantages to being part of a coaching community. One of the main benefits is you get to truthfully share what’s going on without judgement. The people in your community do not know the teachers or administrators you’re talking about. This allows you to voice your concerns honestly.

A community also gives you access to others who can be a sounding board when challenges arise. That way you can get it off your chest and let it go.

It’s easy to get stuck when you don’t have different experiences to guide you. A coaching community provides that all-important PERSPECTIVE. You can broaden your horizons by learning about the different ways people do things and get moral support.

Being part of a coaching community gives you a chance to learn from others and share resources. You’ll also have people who you can reach out to when you need advice or help.

One of the best parts is being able to connect with other coaches and share experiences. Everyone needs a support system and coaching bestie. Communities are a great place to meet people and find support.

How to Find a Coaching Community

So now that you’re ready to find a coaching community, you'll want to find the right one for you. Where should you start and what should you look for?

During the interview, Nicole shares how she started her Simply Coaching Instructional Coaching Facebook Group and how to find a Facebook community that's right for you. We talk also about how to reach out and nurture relationships with people you meet online.

Coffee and Coaching Membership

Nicole and I started an online coaching community called the Coffee and Coaching Membership. It’s an amazing place for coaching support and community. It includes monthly professional developments, videos that you can access, and lots of resources that you can download. In it, you’ll find things that make your coaching work so much easier and give you direction.

There's also an exclusive Facebook group that comes with the membership. It’s the perfect place to broaden your horizon and find coaching buddies. You can find someone in your region or across the globe.

The Coffee and Coaching Membership cart will open on August 10, 2021. If you are not already on the waitlist and want a reminder when it opens up, be sure to join the email list. 

It's the perfect opportunity to be part of a coaching community. You’ll get the professional development and resources that you need to succeed. There are plenty of opportunities to share your experiences as you're implementing new things and get feedback in the membership.

Coffee and Coaching Membership is something that every coach needs to be a part of this coming school year. It is a great place to learn and share your ideas too. We look forward to seeing you there!

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Organization and Systems from a Traveling Coach with Laura Williams, Ep. 69 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

As a traveling coach, it can be difficult to stay organized and focused while visiting multiple campuses. On this episode of the Coaching Podcast, I’m joined by Laura Williams of Down River Resources. During the interview, we talk about the instructional coaching tools and systems she uses to stay organized. Click to listen to the episode and get your free copy of my Instructional Coaching Organization Forms.

How can you stay organized if you’re an instructional coach who travels to different campuses?

On this episode of the Coaching Podcast, I’m joined Laura Williams of Down River Resources. She’s a traveling coach for rural school districts.

During the interview, we talk about how she stays organized and focused while working at multiple schools. She shares the strategies she uses to communicate and follow up with teachers even though she doesn’t see them every day.

There are two essential tools Laura uses most in her work – a notebook and a calendar. These simple tools are also useful for collaborating with the administrative team and as a log for documentation.

As we all know, instructional coaches have a lot of responsibilities. Things can slip through the cracks, even if you write them down. To help overcome this, Laura uses “pause points” to stay on target and follow up with teachers. These are times when she is intentional about looking at her calendar and notebook to make sure important things don’t get missed.

Coaches often neglect their basic needs because they are so busy. During our chat, we discuss how to create a schedule and why you need to include your lunchtime. Laura also explains how she schedules mind breaks to help her stay attentive until the end of the day.

She describes her systems including the must-have items she keeps in her car and how she organizes her digital files. In addition, Laura explains what a “focus folder” is and how to set them up using only a manilla folder and post-it notes.

Laura shares tons of suggestions about what you can do to stay organized and increase student achievement. You’ll want to listen to it more than once and take notes.

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Providing Different Levels of Support to Create Access Points for All Teachers, Ep. 68 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Teachers can feel pressured if instructional coaches only provide high-level supports. Offering different choices allows educators to find something they feel comfortable using and best fits their style. On this episode of Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast, you’ll learn instructional coaching strategies for tiering support. Listen now for ideas on how to create an instructional coaching menu that caters to the needs of each teacher in your school.

It can be stressful for teachers if instructional coaches only have high-level supports. 

Offering different options means that every educator can find something they feel comfortable using and best suits their style.

When coaches provide some supports that are a little bit less intimidating and give teachers small wins, they are more likely to come back for the big ones. 

On this episode of the Coaching Podcast, we look at three levels of support that coaches can provide and how to use them to build a coaching menu.

These are three different tiers of supports I offer my teachers. 

Level One Support

Level one is your entry-level support. These options let teachers know that they can ask for help without it being big and scary.

They help build relationships with teachers who don’t trust you yet. These supports allow teachers to see the value of working with you. 

It's not just about helping out but about providing them support that will impact their instruction. Some things you can offer teachers at this level are serving as a sounding board, a check-in, and offering resource recommendations. 

Level Two Support

The second level of support is more complex than we see in level one.

At this level, things take place outside of the teacher's classroom. It could be in a PLC room or somewhere similar. 

Planning support is a level two option. It’s often built into the schedule and will look different depending on the teacher's needs. If you want to learn more about planning collaboratively, tune in to Episode 7 of The Coaching Podcast.  

Data review involves looking at data and creating the next steps that help the teacher apply something in their classroom. This level two choice can lead to planning support as well.

To learn more about using data to create an instructional support plan, you can listen to Episode 8 of The Coaching Podcast. It includes a free tool you can download. 

Additional level two supports include visiting a colleague, reviewing student work, and professional development.

Level Three Support

Level three is focused on the coaching cycle. It’s the main support you want to provide to teachers because it has the most impact. 

You have a pre-conference, some form of classroom work, and a post-conference. Episode 3 of Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast explains the entire coaching cycle in six easy steps. 

Here’s how you can provide level three support.

Model a Lesson

Modeling is when an instructional coach goes into the classroom and shows a teacher what a specific lesson could look like. Ideally, you want to plan that together to make sure everybody knows the goal and how it will go. 

Observation

With this support, you are watching the teacher conduct a lesson in their classroom and giving them feedback after it. This support is good to offer when a teacher tells you they have not gotten the desired response from their students and want help.

Co-Teaching

This type of support is valuable but requires careful planning to be successful. Since you’re teaching together, you have to be specific about who does what during the lesson.

Episode 6 of The Coaching Podcast is all about teaching with a partner and can help you plan a co-teaching experience. 

Instructional Coaching Menu

Instructional coaches organize their coaching menu in different ways, including listing the levels of support. I prefer putting a bunch of options and letting teachers choose without a visible hierarchy. 

It’s helpful to introduce teachers to your menu of support during a presentation when school starts and several times throughout the year. You want educators to know what you offer and how they can benefit from your coaching support.

When you sign up below, you'll get a FREE copy of the coaching menu I use with my teachers. It can be used as-is or you can use it as a starting point to design your own.

My Instructional Coaching Forms and Slide Show for the Coaching-Cycle has an editable version of the coaching menu, plus a presentation to introduce your different supports. It includes all the tools you need for coaching cycles, whether you're co-teaching, modeling, or observing. 

To learn more about providing each level of supports and how you can introduce them listen to the entire episode. 

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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https://buzzingwithmsb.mykajabi.com/confident-literacy-coach

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, July 10, 2021

What Goes in a Coaching Office Space? Ep. 67 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

There’s not much information in instructional coaching books on how to set up your office space. Most books are about the theory of coaching and not the practical stuff.

If you’re not sure what your coaching office needs or how to set it up, don't worry—I've got you covered.

There are many considerations when designing an instructional coaching office space. On this episode of the Coaching Podcast, I talk about what you can do to get your coaching office set up. 

I share eight different types of work areas and why you may want to include them. I also give ideas for how to do it, even if you have a small space.

Planning Your Instructional Coaching Office Space

The purpose of your instructional coaching room is going to be a little bit different depending on your exact job description and the space you have available. 

Before planning out your room, you want to figure out your role and the responsibilities you have this year. You need to understand the things you're trying to accomplish with that room before you get started planning out your space.

I recommend making a physical list once you’ve gotten a firm grip on your role and responsibilities. You can then turn that list into a map. The map can help you think about flow and movement in your space.

Eight Types of Coaching Space

Here are eight different areas you may want to include to make your room functional and comfortable.

1. Your Private Workspace

In this area, you might write out documentation from classroom visits or work on preparing PDs. You’ll want to organize all of your office supplies for personal use and include a desk or table. There should be an outlet for your computer and preferably a printer nearby.

I kept my teacher documentation binders behind my desk. I wanted to make it clear that it was not public information and was more of a secure private space. A documentation binder is easy to make and can help propel coaching sessions. If you want a resource for creating these binders, check out my Instructional Coaching Binder Megapack on Teachers pay Teachers.

2. Planning Tool Space

As an instructional coach, I was responsible for facilitating and planning PLCs every week with each grade level. I created baskets that included a copy of everything the teachers were given to ensured we all had access to the materials we needed to work. Before they came to my room for professional development, I would grab the basket and put it on the table. I found that if all the resources I needed were in one place, our planning went much smoother.

Image of planning materials for each grade level in coaching office space

3. Teacher Workspace

This area is designed to give teachers room to work and communicate during PD. The idea around it is to have a space to share ideas and not feel cluttered or cramped. In this area, I had large tables with a big basket of office supplies. This allowed teachers to spread out and feel comfortable. These tables were large enough to accommodate support teachers who were part of the planning as well.

4. Teaching Resources

My focus was primarily reading and writing as well as social studies. Most of the resources that we used to plan were books. I had two sections of books in my coaching space. One was dedicated to models for writing. I created a separate basket for each grade level. When they came for planning, the tools were there and they didn't have to drag their basket down the hall. 

The other section of books were classroom sets or multiple copies books. They were organized in baskets with a checkout binder and teachers could check out small collections of books to use with a small group of students.

5. Direct Instruction/PD Space

If you're going to give PD in your room, this is another space that you need to include. I used to do a little bit of professional development at the beginning of our PLCs, so I created a direct instruction space. In that area, I kept my projector, charts, and boards. If I was modeling a lesson, I could create a sample chart and we could build it together. 

Having a direct instruction space was helpful because it kept my office feeling like a classroom. I could model what a lesson would look like, just like if I was in the classroom.

6. Wall Space

The wall is valuable, whether in a classroom or coaching room. It can be used to post anchor charts made during professional development or to create sample charts that teachers might like to use in their upcoming lessons. It's also a good place to keep your calendar. I always posted a large monthly calendar in my room, showing two months of upcoming events.

Image of Direct Instruction/PD Space and Wall Space in a Coaching Office Space

7. Professional Development Resources

This area can have PD resources for you and the teachers you support. I organized and labeled them so that if people needed a recommendation, it was easy to find. I stored my resources in a slightly different place because I wanted to keep them separate and accessible. It was handy having it organized and in one spot so that when teachers needed something, we could find it right away.

8. Conversation Space

I used a guided reading table because my workspace doubled as a conversation space. Some people recommend using a circular table as a dialogue space with teachers because then nobody is the leader. That can help make teachers feel comfortable knowing they can join you and have a calm dialogue there. They can ask for help, tell you their problems, and collaborate with you on some solutions. 

It can be difficult for teachers to admit that they are struggling. If we can create a place that shows that we are trying to work with teachers and be collaborators, then at least our intention is there.

Your Instructional Coaching Room

Those are the eight spaces that I recommend that you have in your coaching area. They will look different depending on your workspace. You also may not need all of them because you might not have certain responsibilities.

You can get a checklist with these areas in my resource called The Instructional Coaches Book of Plans and Lists. It has 40 different forms, including checklists, graphic organizers, and other helpful tools. It also includes a ton of other lists that will help you save your time and stay organized as an instructional coach.

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Helpful resources



coffeeandcoachingmembership

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Creating a Coaching Culture with Jacy Ippolito, Ep. 66 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Does your school lack a strong coaching culture? Professor Jacy Ippolito joins me on the podcast to discuss the impact of the principal-coach relationship on creating a culture of coaching. We talk about defining the role of an instructional coach, creating a menu of coaching services, and designing protocols. He explains why coaches should “manage up” when a strong coaching culture is absent. He shares instructional coaching tools to help you reflect on your work and get ready for next year.
Principals often hire instructional coaches and think they will magically turn the school around with their charisma alone.

This model of the heroic coach doesn’t work!

Principals and coaches need to work together to create a culture where everyone is clear on the coach’s role and how they support teachers.

Professor Jacy Ippolito joins me on the podcast to talk about creating a culture of coaching and learning. He’s the co-director of the graduate programs in teacher leadership at Salem State University, working primarily in literacy and leadership. Jacy was a reading specialist and literacy coach. He has always been interested in the role of teacher leaders trying to influence the practice of their colleagues.

During the interview, we talk about the hallmarks of a strong coaching culture and why a clear “theory of action” is key for success. We discuss the hurdles coaches face, including widespread misunderstanding of their role.

Instructional coaches often focus on the coach-teacher relationship. While that’s important, Jacy explains how the principal-coach relationship sets the tone for the coaching culture in the building. We chat about how to build this relationship and get the support you need from the administration.

Coaching work begins with the principal having a clear vision for their school. He shares why special care must be taken to define the coaching role, create a menu of coaching services, and develop a schedule for working with teachers. We discuss why it’s imperative that the principal messages these things continually, not just once at the beginning of the year.

Jacy explains why coaches need to “manage up” when a strong coaching culture is absent. We also talk about why it’s important not to go too fast as a coach. He shares resources for questions you can ask yourself to reflect on the work you’ve done and get ready for the next school year.

This episode is full of useful information you can apply on your campus to build a culture that lends itself to coaching, learning, and growth.

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Helpful resources



coffeeandcoachingmembership

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Coaching Call: Supporting Teachers When They are Overwhelmed with Dr. Heather Michel, Ep. 65 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Teacher burnout is real! Teaching has been an exhausting profession in recent years due to increased work demands. And this trend doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. On the podcast, Dr. Heather Michel and I discuss ideas for instructional coaches supporting overwhelmed teachers. We brainstorm instructional coaching strategies for supporting teachers through all the emotions that come with teacher overwhelm.
Teaching this year has been overwhelming and everyone is exhausted!

Usually, teachers have relationships with students and colleagues to keep them going, but it’s different in a pandemic.

It’s particularly hard for first-year teachers who lack the perspective of what school can look like under normal circumstances. They are facing a sense of loss and had to change their vision of what teaching looks like in the classroom.

Dr. Heather Michel joins me on the Coaching Podcast to talk through some challenges she’s facing while coaching first-year teachers. We discuss the difficulty accessing the supports needed through all the emotions. We brainstorm ideas for how instructional coaches can help teachers connect with each other and build the relationships they need right now.

On this coaching call, we chat about the importance of a community and why you need a coaching buddy. If you’re looking for a coaching community, be sure to check out our Coffee and Coaching Membership. There are videos, downloadable tools, and all kinds of good stuff in there. There’s also an exclusive Facebook group where you can find a coaching buddy. If you’re not already on the email list, make sure that you get signed up.

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

Learn more
Helpful resources



coffeeandcoachingmembership



Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
 
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