Saturday, February 26, 2022

SEL for All with Haley O'Connor, Ep. 91 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Children laying in grass learning with books and papers, the words "SEL for All with Haley O'Connor"

This month's episodes have all been about matters of the heart. We’ve explored self-care, boundaries, and all the feelings that come up when working with teachers. 

On this episode of The Coaching Podcast, I’m joined by Haley O'Connor of Teaching with Haley. We talk about SEL for all and how a school-wide approach can support students, teachers, and coaches. She helps us think through and understand SEL from a teacher's perspective so we can be more supportive coaches. During the show, we define social-emotional learning and how to use it in coaching.

SEL for All

When I was a teacher, I dedicated time at the beginning of the year to teach social-emotional skills. After a few months, I would sometimes falter and could see the difference in my students' behavior. 

During the episode, Haley explains that there are big benefits to implementing SEL in the classroom and research confirms it. Students benefit from social-emotional learning but so do teachers, coaches, and administration. 

Haley recommends as we offer safe spaces for kids, we also offer them to the staff. She says that this is how you get teacher buy-in.

What is social-emotional learning?

Haley defines SEL as “being a good person and helping our kids be good people.” She explains that it is “anything that we are doing, to help them [students] be competent, kind, cooperative, able to manage their emotions”.

She uses Casel's framework around social-emotional learning. Casel breaks SEL down into five pieces that are aligned with most experts.

1. Responsible decision making 

How are we teaching students to be responsible? Haley recommends having a consistent task management system to help kids know what's expected of them. This can start in the early grade with something simple and get more complex as they get into higher grades.

2. Relationship skills

Relationships are so important. Haley explains that relationship skills include conflict resolution, apologizing, forgiving, and helping kids learn to compromise. She recommends using sentence frames and language like “what can we do to make it better” to help students master these skills.

3. Social awareness

As educators, we need to help kids develop empathy and understand compassion. Haley says that we can do this by helping students identify their big feelings. We can also teach them to notice how other people are feeling when they make certain decisions. She recommends having a school-wide read-aloud so that students have those shared experiences that help build empathy.

4. Self-awareness

Helping students understand their strengths and weaknesses leads to more self-awareness. When students understand who they are as a person, they can be their best selves and ask for help when needed.

5. Self-management

Learning self-control is an important skill. Haley says her biggest tip is not expecting kids to regulate on their own. Instead, meet them where they're at. When students are having big feelings and meltdowns in the classroom, don’t ignore them. Meet them in that moment and use language that validates and empathizes with their feelings. 

A School-Wide Approach to SEL for All

When schools implement SEL, staff and students feel safe to express themselves. On the episode, Haley shares research showing that social-emotional learning leads to long-term positive outcomes. Some of the benefits include students being more likely to graduate high school and have a job.

Haley recommends having a common language and teaching students to label their emotions when implementing SEL school-wide. She says that many schools have also found success with zones of regulation.

In addition, she believes to teach social-emotional skills, educators need to be doing anti-racist and anti-biased work. They must actively seek to find their own biases and how they impact teaching.

Coaching and SEL

Teachers are often treated very differently than students when it comes to social-emotional support. Educators are people and have emotions. They need to feel comfortable expressing themselves and asking for help when they need it. 

She advises instructional coaches to spend time building relationships with teachers. Check-in with them and validate their feelings (even if you don’t agree with them). It’s important to be genuine and not condescending when working with teachers.

Haley cautions against asking teachers to share their feelings or trauma if they’re not ready. Instead, just be there for them. If they bring it up, then you can talk about it. 

She recommends framing SEL around whether your actions make someone feel closer to you. Does it strengthen the relationship or hurt it? 

One practice that Haley recommends is writing a kind note to teachers about something they’re doing well. This will build your relationship, improve their confidence, and create trust. 

Coaches can also help teachers by documenting student behavior that impacts learning. Once there’s data, you can look to see what skills need to be taught and reinforced in the classroom. She says this is effective because you're not there to “watch” the teacher but rather to see how the kids respond to certain things. You can then use the data to figure out how to best meet the students' needs. It takes the pressure off the teacher and allows you to find collaborative solutions.

If you're looking for additional resources to support teachers' social-emotional learning, check out my TpT resource SEL Tools for Instructional Coaches & Admin. It's full of ideas and strategies that coaches can use to help teachers process and communicate how they are feeling. 

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!

This post contains links to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post when you click on links to those products.

Learn more
Email: haleymoconnor@gmail.com



Coffee and coaching membership banner with pictures of Chrissy Beltran and Nicole S. Turner

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, February 19, 2022

Supporting Teacher Mental Health with Danna Thomas, Ep. 90 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Image of woman holding notebook with a stressed look on her face. The words "Supporting Teacher Mental Health with Danna Thomas" are on the bottom of the image.

Teachers are under a lot of pressure. Many are experiencing burnout and don't feel supported by their colleagues, administration, or other education stakeholders.

Instructional coaches can play a role in supporting teacher mental health by providing emotional support, building relationships, and connecting teachers with resources. They can also provide ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers to learn how to manage stress.

On this episode of The Coaching Podcast, Danna Thomas of Happy Teacher Revolution joins me to discuss coach and teacher mental health. We share ideas and tools that can help you support mental health awareness on your campus.

Stress is Contagious

Supporting teacher mental health is a relatively new field of research. During the podcast, Danna shares information about the emerging research showing teachers' mental health affects their students' performance in school. 

This means if we're not supporting the mental health and well-being of our teachers, we're not supporting our students. When teachers take care of their mental health they are better able to teach students. That's why Danna started Happy Teacher Revolution. She wanted to start a movement to support the well-being of teachers and empower them to stay in the classroom.

Why are teachers so unhappy?

During the show, we talk about why so many teachers are unhappy and thinking about leaving the profession. One reason Danna believes teachers are dissatisfied is that they are required to be flexible, but lack autonomy. Things change all the time in schools and often without any warning. It can be very stressful and make teachers feel like they have no control.

Danna says teaching is more complicated now because there are so many layers to the pandemic. Grief, trauma, and social issues are affecting both students and staff. Teachers are also working more from home and it can be hard to set boundaries.

Teacher and Instructional Coach Mental Health

Danna shares some things on the show that teachers and coaches can do to prioritize their mental health. 

1. Schedule well-being activities

If it's not on your calendar, it won't happen. Be sure to add self-care to your schedule. Danna suggests noticing how hard or easy it is to keep these appointments.

2. Find opportunities to disconnect and detach from a place of love

We all need time to ourselves. Try to find time to disconnect from work emails or let go of that to-do list.

3. Code-switching

Danna explains that having a physical cue to move from professional to personal life is helpful for some people. It can be taking off your work lanyard or changing clothes when you get home.

4. Don't wait until your battery is empty

Make time for yourself. Don't let your battery get to emergency levels before taking care of your mental health.

Supporting Teacher Mental Health

During the episode, Danna shares things that instructional coaches can do to help teachers prioritize self-care. Here are a few of the suggestions she shared during our chat.

Build relationships

When coaches build relationships with teachers they feel listened to and that's huge! Take time to talk to teachers and show them that you're interested in them.

Advocate for evidence-based professional development that supports teachers' mental well-being

For programs to be implemented effectively, the administration needs to believe in them. Coaches can help teachers by advocating for programs that support teacher mental health.

Danna also suggests checking out Happy Teacher Revolution to learn more about what they offer and how it can help you support teachers. 

Coaching and Teacher Well-Being

This episode has lots of information and tips to help coaches support teachers' mental health. If you want to hear all the detail, be sure to listen to the entire episode.

Once you've listened, think about what you already have in place to support your teachers' mental well-being. Identify something you can do to make your campus an even more supportive place. I would love to hear your ideas. You can share them on my Instagram.

If you're looking for resources to support teachers' social-emotional learning, check out my TpT resource SEL Tools for Instructional Coaches & Admin. It's full of ideas and strategies that coaches can use to help teachers process and communicate their emotions. 

Happy Coaching!

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!

This post contains links to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post when you click on links to those products.

Learn more
Email: hello@happyteacherrevolution.com






Image of Chrissy Beltran for the Confident Literacy Coach Course


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, February 12, 2022

How Boundaries Make You a Better Coach with Caitlin Peay Smith, Ep. 89 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Image of a desk with calendar and keyboard and the words How Boundaries Make You a Better Coach with Caitlin Peay Smith

Do you struggle to set boundaries when coaching teachers?

On this episode of The Coaching Podcast, we explore how boundaries make you a better coach. 

Caitlin Peay Smith from How to Get Away with Teaching joins me to discuss ways to set limits and how modeling boundaries helps teachers. We also discuss why we should say no to some things and how to say it without feeling guilty.

Whatever It Takes

When I first started teaching there was a huge banner in the cafeteria that said, “Whatever It Takes”. Teachers and coaches are expected to do whatever it takes to get the job done. We are passionate about our work and do much more than required in our contracts. This can lead to overwhelm and burnout.

We’ve created a culture of yes in schools that does not prioritize the staff’s health or well-being. To change this Caitlin suggests we examine our beliefs and get comfortable saying "No".

How Boundaries Make You a Better Coach

During the episode, Caitlin and I discuss boundaries, which she defines as, “a promise that you make to yourself and that inherently teaches other people how to treat you.” We discuss why telling people no allows you to say yes to yourself.

When you say no to certain commitments, you can show up for other roles and be better prepared for your work. Some folks will be disappointed, but in the long run, you're taking care of yourself and that makes you a better coach.

Caitlin explains that it’s helpful to reframe limits. Instead of thinking that they take away from your work, see them as protecting you. You're putting something in place that protects your peace, health, and energy so you don’t overextend yourself. This mindset shift will help you get more comfortable with deciding what you take on at school.

Setting Boundaries as an Instructional Coach 

It can be difficult to set limits. Caitlin shares her tips and tricks for setting coaching boundaries. Below are a few of the ideas she shared on the show. Check out the entire episode to hear all the details.

1. Ask for support 

Coaches are expected to do more than is possible in a day. When you're given a new task, ask the administration how to prioritize it. This will help both of you evaluate how important the new item is and what can go from your already full workload.

2. Have a hard stop time

Stop accepting calls and checking your emails at night. You deserve a life and free time. Communicate with teachers that you turn off your phone at a certain time. Modeling this behavior may help teachers set boundaries with parents and administration.

3. Schedule office hours

Letting teachers have access to you all the time can be draining. One way to prevent this is to have scheduled office hours. Set expectations at the beginning of the year and revisit the schedule in January to make any tweaks.

4. Say NO and don’t feel guilty 

Educators have internalized beliefs about what it takes to be a great teacher or coach. This makes it hard for us to say no. We need to take some time to reflect and unpack these feelings because they can lead to guilt. Let's unlearn our beliefs that don’t serve us and get comfortable with saying "No".

5. Get an accountability buddy

Caitlin suggests letting your buddy know your boundaries and asking them to help you stick with them. For example, if you want to stop working late every day, you can have a friend check in at an agreed time to make sure you don’t stay too late. Our Coffee and Coaching Membership is a great place to find a buddy if you need one.

My Challenge to You

Setting limits and keeping them will make you a better coach. 

I want you to think about if have healthy boundaries. 

Can you name them?

I invite you to find one thing that might be improved if you created a firm boundary in your coaching work. When you come up with an idea for something you're going to try out, share it on my Instagram, Twitter, or both.

If you want some more ideas for self-care, be sure to sign up for the FREE Self-Care Checklist below.

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!

This post contains links to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post when you click on links to those products.

Learn more




Coffee and coaching membership banner with pictures of Chrissy Beltran and Nicole S. Turner

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, February 5, 2022

All the Coaching Feels, Ep. 88 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Image of Chrissy Beltran sitting at a table with a coffe mug in front of her. The words "All the Feels"

Welcome to Season Three of  The Coaching Podcast!

While preparing for this season, I thought about how much has changed since I started the show.

The world has changed, and my family has grown.

Balancing it all hasn’t been easy, but I’m really excited about what’s planned for this season. There's some exciting stuff coming up.

As a coach and in my personal life, I've been through all the feels for sure. So this first month is all about feelings. We’ll be talking about matters of the heart for all of February. 

All the Coaching Feels 

Coaching is hard.

Teaching is hard.

Everybody expects us to act like everything is normal, but things are challenging right now.

Feelings happen whether we want them to or not. We often go from one extreme to the other when coaching.

Even on our best day, coaching feelings run the entire gamut. It's constant work to manage our emotions, so we can move on to the next thing we need to get done.

On the episode, I explain nine feelings I had as a coach, when they came up, and some tips for making them more manageable. At the very end, I give you my favorite tip for adding small bits of joy to your day.

In this post, I share four of the emotions and some ideas to help you cope with them. Click on the media player below to listen to the whole episode and hear all my tips.

Let’s explore the most common coaching feelings and some ideas for making them more manageable.

#1- Stress

The first feeling that popped up when I was preparing for this podcast was stress. There's a ton of stress in coaching work. You’re expected to do more than is humanly possible.

One thing I found helpful was to add a little bit of time for myself during the day. If possible, build in two minutes of peace for yourself throughout the day. Take a few minutes here and there to find some rest.

#2 - Frustration

It can be frustrating when you don’t see growth. One thing that helped me was looking back at my observations from earlier in the year. Sometimes changes were so gradual I didn't notice them without my notes. 

Another thing that helped when I was frustrated was going into awesome classrooms that made me happy. I’d go look at the great teaching and the kids learning. It would fill up my soul with joy.

#3 - Excitement

I get excited when I start a project or have something new to teach. It’s important to hold on to those feelings of joy and excitement because not every day includes them.

One thing that helps me is finding something to look forward to. A fun project can motivate you during difficult times. If you're frustrated, you can turn to the thing you're excited to work on. Start focusing your energy there and give yourself a boost.

#4 - Camaraderie

There are times when we work with someone and it's fantastic because everything comes together perfectly. Enjoy that feeling and express it. Tell the person how wonderful it was working with them and save that memory for when things get challenging.

Everyone needs a partner because it can be tough without one. If you don’t have a partner, I would recommend joining our Coffee and Coaching Membership. It’s a great place to find support.

If you want to hear all nine of the emotions I felt and more examples of things you can do to boost your mood, 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!

This post contains links to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post when you click on links to those products.

Learn more




Coffee and coaching membership banner with pictures of Chrissy Beltran and Nicole S. Turner

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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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Five ways to use would you rather questions in the classroom

When I was in high school, one of my friends was an absolute genius at coming up with clever would you rather questions. Some of them were honestly hard to answer and I still remember how much we cracked up when he'd share his newest ideas. 
 
When virtual learning was in full swing, I wanted to create something to help teachers chat with their kids, get input from them, and have fun, without it being stressful. 
 
So I created these Would You Rather slides for kids!  

Since then, I've heard from so many teachers about how they've used the slides in their virtual and in-person classrooms that I had to share!
 
These slides are perfect for classrooms where the learning situation is what administrators like to call "fluid", meaning no one knows from one day to the next what's going on, and you could be learning all together in one space one day, and doing virtual learning and virtual teaching the next!
 
The slides include...
  • hand gestures to make responding easy in virtual situations 
  • a Google Slides version that includes a space to type in their response
  • picture support for younger or ELL students, plus it's just fun to have pictures on each slide!
  • a variety of topics including school, home life, hobbies and interests, food, and more!
  • Google Slides, Keynote, and PowerPoint versions

 
 
Here are my favorite teacher-created ways to use these slides!
 

#5 Icebreakers or Morning Meeting activities
 
Many school districts have been encouraging teachers to teach Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons as part of their curriculum. We need to help students learn how to speak up and share what they are feeling. This activity is perfect to use as an icebreaker before jumping into whatever the topic of the day's morning meeting is! 

The topics are accessible and there is picture support for each choice. Students who are nonverbal or who are communicating via technology can use hand signals to show their choice! You can also have students move to one side or the other of the classroom to show their choice.
 
Getting to know you activities are so helpful, even beyond the beginning of the year. This is an easy way to get to know your students and fro them to get to know each other that they'll actually enjoy, and it works for in-person OR virtual learning! It only takes a few minutes and you get a lot of information from it! Plus it's a fun way to build community!

 
#4  End of class or end of day wrap up activity
Need to keep the kids engaged and thinking while you get home folders or end of day stuff ready? Slap up one of these slides and get the kids talking with their neighbor about something fun!

 
#3 An engaging activity for opinion or persuasive writing
 
A huge component of teaching writing is teaching students to give evidence for their responses. By having students justify why they rather be a superhero or have a robot do whatever they want, they are giving evidence for their choice and preparing to write opinion or persuasive pieces for these topics! It's great for an engaging activity for these units, and also a fun way to get kids' brains thinking about justifying their responses.
 

 
 
Teach students how to write a statement to express their choice and then give reasons in detail sentences. This easily becomes a paragraph and a great foundation for an opinion piece! 


#2 Class party activity or social meetings
 
If you're looking for something engaging for your students to do during one of your class parties, Would You Rather is perfect. If you have parents present and helping, how fun would it be for them to answer some questions as well? I'm sure the kids will get a kick out of that! 


#1 Brain breaks
 
After virtual learning and shifting between virtual and in-person learning, kids need to take a break here and there during the school day! Brain breaks will be a MUST, and often! Studies show those few minutes we spend engaging kids in something different actually increase their attention and focus during focused learning times! 
 

 
One way way to get kids moving and give them a fun break is to do a quick couple of Would You Rather questions to give students a brain break as they hop in place. It gets the oxygen flowing to their brains again and it's fun! 
 
The best part? There are Would You Rather slides for...
 
 A computer with a would you rather question on the screen, and text that reads: Get the Slides!
 
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