Saturday, July 13, 2019

How to introduce yourself as an instructional coach: The instructional coaching series

Need ideas for introducing yourself as an instructional coach? Without a good introduction, teachers might not know what job you are there to do. This post shares three fun ways for introducing yourself and your role as a coach. Try a newsletter or a presentation, or even a fun "Coffee with the Coach" event to share your role and responsibilities with teachers! When I first started coaching, I just...started. I was introduced during a faculty meeting, I gave a professional development day on shared reading, and I set up my room. When I met teachers, I said, "Hi! I'm excited to be here! Thanks!"

They had no idea what I was supposed to be doing.
Previously, they hadn't really had an "instructional coach". They had someone who filled my position, but this person was used as more of an administrative type person, so the teachers didn't have experience with coaching.

My principal asked me to start visiting classrooms so I could get to know the school and faculty, so I did.
Teachers asked what they were doing wrong.
I started planning with grade levels during PLC.
Teachers wanted me to make their copies.
I looked over data to figure out which students needed intervention.
Teachers said I should pull small groups and do it myself.

Basically, without a good introduction to my role as an instructional coach, there was a lot of misunderstanding as to why I was even on that campus. 

And it made doing my job very difficult.

If I could go back and have a redo (don't we all want at least a couple of redos?), this is what I'd do instead: I'd explicitly introduce myself and my role to the faculty as a whole. Then I'd reiterate it in grade levels. Then, when I was approaching individuals for coaching work, I'd share it again.

Here are three different ideas for introducing yourself and your role as an instructional coach! The best part? These ideas will work even if you've already been working with a school. You can re-introduce yourself and your role to start the year heading in a different direction!

Choose a method that suits your personality and your approach. You want people to know who you are and what you're about right away!

ONE BIG IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you and your principal are on the same page when it comes to your coaching roles and responsibilities. It's important to have a conversation before you introduce your role to your teachers. Need a checklist to be prepared for this conversation? Check out the Roles and Responsibilities checklist from The Coach's Book of Plans and Lists.

Need ideas for introducing yourself as an instructional coach? Without a good introduction, teachers might not know what job you are there to do. This post shares three fun ways for introducing yourself and your role as a coach. Try a newsletter or a presentation, or even a fun "Coffee with the Coach" event to share your role and responsibilities with teachers!
#1 Coaching Roles Presentation
For this idea, you'll need to "borrow" a few minutes during a faculty meeting to share about your role as a coach. 

Prepare a PowerPoint or a Keynote presentation that includes an introduction to you as a person, as well as your instructional background. 
Include the kinds of support you can provide to teachers, such as what a coaching cycle can look like and what you can do to help them work towards their goals. 
Explicitly introduce which content areas, grade levels, or subjects you're going to work with, if you are limited in any way.
Need a ready-to-go (but editable) presentation? Get it in my Coaching in Classrooms resource. 

#2 Coffee with the Coach
If you're unable to secure time with the faculty, you can host a little before or after school event (or you can park yourself in one spot and make yourself available all day for people to come by). I recommend hosting this event in your own room, if you have space, so people can start to become comfortable with visiting your space in a nonthreatening way.

Need ideas for introducing yourself as an instructional coach? Without a good introduction, teachers might not know what job you are there to do. This post shares three fun ways for introducing yourself and your role as a coach. Try a newsletter or a presentation, or even a fun "Coffee with the Coach" event to share your role and responsibilities with teachers! Send out little invitations that include the day, time, and location of "Coffee with the Coach". 
Prepare a nice coffee bar, and make sure that this bonus is noted on your invitation. (In other words, a doughnut or breakfast burrito never hurt anybody.) You want people to show up on their own accord, so you have to provide that nice incentive.
As people arrive, make sure you have written out how you plan to introduce yourself. 
It helps to have your services available in writing, too, such as on a Coaching Menu that you can hand out to people as they arrive. 
You can get a Coaching Menu as part of my Coaching in Classrooms resource, or you can join my email list at the end of this post to get one for free in your inbox.

 
#3 Coaching Newsletter
Again, if you aren't able to get time with your entire faculty, sending out an introductory newsletter will at least get the ball rolling. 
In your newsletter, include a bit about who you are (with points that will help people relate to you such as interest, hobbies, or family life) and your instructional background. Make sure to explain simply the services you plan to provide and the grades/content areas you are able to work with. Make it easy to contact you via a phone number or an email address.
You're unlikely to get many responses to it, but you want to make it immediately clear that you're there to support teachers towards their goals. It's important to be available and reachable!
Need ideas for introducing yourself as an instructional coach? Without a good introduction, teachers might not know what job you are there to do. This post shares three fun ways for introducing yourself and your role as a coach. Try a newsletter or a presentation, or even a fun "Coffee with the Coach" event to share your role and responsibilities with teachers!
No matter what method you choose, make sure you do these things:
  • Introduce yourself as a human. (begin making connections to people)
  • Introduce yourself as an educator (this builds credibility)
  • Describe the services you can and will provide 
  • Explain how to contact you for these services
  • Assure teachers that you are there to work towards their goals of educating their students
The posts for the blog series this summer are: 
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.




 
 
I've put together a collection of free tools for instructional coaches:
  • 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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12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the ideas! I did introduce myself personally, but hadn't considered emphasizing my instructional background. I agree this would significantly help with credibility. I appreciate all your wonderful tips and tricks to navigate this important role!!

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  2. Your blog series has been very informative! I will begin my new role as IC this school year and I am very excited, especially now that I have found such a great resource! Thanks!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this information! The "Coaching Services Menu" you shared is such a great idea to show teachers some of the available areas to support them with!

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  4. I am going to be new to coaching and as soon as I found out I have been following your blog. I have pinned many of your resources already to my pinterest page. My biggest take away is to first make relationships and then be very clear about my role. I am looking forward to an amazing year.

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  5. My biggest takeaway was the importance of, and encouragement to, introduce myself, even if it is not my first year of coaching. We will actually have a team of coaches in our building this year, so I read this post through the lens of "How can we do this together?"

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  6. Hello! New follower, new to the Instructional Coaching world! Thanks for sharing these resources, your ideas seem easy to do. I look forward to learning more! Thanks!

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  7. My biggest takeaway is to get out there and make yourself and what you do known!

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  8. I love the idea of reintroducing yourself and your role as an instructional coach. Thanks for your great ideas!

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  9. I love the idea of creating a menu to make services clear and accessible. Choice is powerful and this will help teachers take ownership of their own growth experiences!

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  10. So glad I found your site!! I'm looking forward to learning from you.

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  11. Thank you for this post. I will be at a new school in my district and I know they will be looking at me like, "What does this person know!" I will be working hard in the next week to prepare myself for my introduction.

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  12. Thank you for this post. I will be at a new school in my district and I know they will be looking at me like, "What does this person know!" I will be working hard in the next week to prepare myself for my introduction.

    ReplyDelete

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