Saturday, November 27, 2021

Getting Teachers to Initiate Coaching Cycles, Ep. 87 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Pin with words "Getting Teachers to Initiate Coaching Cycles" and a photo of Chrissy Beltran of Buzzing with Ms. B sitting with a laptop in front of her

We've reached the end of Season Two and I wanted to do something special to celebrate!

This episode is all about coaching cycles, which are the bread and butter of instructional coaching. It's how we make a big impact in classrooms.

I've shared several episodes in the past about coaching cycles and what they can look like. In Episode 3I explain the basic process that goes into a coaching cycle.

Then in later episodes, I talked about different strategies that can happen during the classroom work portion, such as modeling, co-teaching, and observing during the coaching cycle.

Getting Teachers to Initiate Coaching Cycles

In Episode 18, I talked about ways to get in the door, even if teachers are resistant. Today we're going to take a bit of a different approach.

We're going to discuss getting teachers to initiate coaching cycles. I'm going to share ways to create a climate where teachers perceive the value of the coaching cycle and ask you for the support they need.

When teachers initiate the coaching cycle, you've really made it! That teacher is going to be excited to work with you and invested in the outcome.

If you feel like you've hit a wall and teachers are not excited about coaching cycles, try these strategies.

Coffee with a Coach

Invite teachers to a discussion to help them understand what a coaching cycle is and your role. One of the easiest ways to do this is a Coffee with a Coach. I like doing this as part of professional development when all the staff is present. That way everyone gets the benefit of the conversation.

I suggest scheduling a specific time when you can introduce your role. You can use a presentation, or you can just chat. I recommend having a coaching menu that spells out exactly what your coaching supports look like. It helps start the conversation and then you can invite teachers to participate in coaching cycles.

Model classrooms

My next tip is to have a model classroom. This is a place where you can have other teachers come to visit. You’re there to support the ongoing growth of that teacher, plus any other teacher who would like to visit.

When teachers see the benefits of the coaching cycles in the model classroom, they become interested in participating in a cycle. They realize the coaching cycle isn’t scary, but rather is supportive. The model classroom can act as a commercial or billboard for what is possible with coaching.

Start with a Friendly

We want to begin with the teachers who are excited to work with us and have some good things happening in their classrooms. Please don’t start with a classroom that is struggling, and the teacher is reluctant to work with you. You're not going to be able to get much leverage out of that. It also positions you as someone there to help struggling teachers instead of all staff.

Highlight Teachers

Another way to get teachers more aware of the culture of coaching is to share motivation with them. One thing I like to do is give shout-outs and celebrate teachers’ achievements. This highlights the work that is being done in a coaching cycle and elevates it. It gets everyone talking about the good stuff that came out of our coaching cycle.

I used a teacher feature board. I would take pictures of the classroom work that we were doing together and feature great things. This showed that I wasn't there to correct people but rather to grow alongside them.

Small Wins

Instructional coaches can help teachers understand the benefits of coaching by assisting them in achieving tiny victories. Small wins may not sound like much, but to many teachers fixing a little problem is huge. It can help open the door and get them to interact with you.

Surveys

My last tip is probably my favorite one because it creates a culture of coaching. If you want to know what teachers need, give them a survey.

There are so many benefits to sharing a survey with teachers. You can give one at the beginning of the year to identify a focus on campus or for an individual teacher. Surveys can be used throughout the year to learn about the coaching work you're doing together or to get feedback on new initiatives.

You can also ask for feedback on your coaching work. While it can be hard to put ourselves out there, we must do it. We need to find out what teachers think because it’s eye-opening and helps us grow as coaches. If we can show that we are responsive and listen to input from teachers, this feedback can be a gateway to get in the door.

There are many options for surveys, both digital and printable. You might try different ones to see which gets the most responses.

The best part about surveys is you have the evidence on paper. You’ve got it in writing - black and white. When you go to the administration, it’s clear exactly what teachers need and want.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the final episode of Season Two. These are my favorite tips for getting teachers to initiate coaching cycles. These tips will help you get teachers interested in what you do. Once they see how you’re helping others, they’ll want in too!

Be sure to listen to the entire episode to get all the details. If you want some help implementing these ideas, you can sign up for my free Coaching in the Classroom Forms download below. It will give you the tools you need to apply many of the ideas that I shared on the podcast.

Season Three

I’m about to start recording Season Three and would love to know what you want to hear about next. You can send me an email or tag me on Instagram @BuzzingWith MsB with your suggestions.

The podcast will be on a break until February 2022. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the episodes from Season One and Two that you may have missed.

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!






The 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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