Weekly IC Communication

Hopes and Fears about Instructional Coaching

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What are your hopes and fears about instructional coaching?

“What are your hopes and fears for instructional coaching?” was the question up for discussion at one of our first coaches’ training sessions last spring. Our conversation became “substantive” pretty quickly, one comment feeding the next. Predictably, the core of our concern came from us being familiar with our job descriptions and a text or several that defined coaching, its “art” and its “roles” (the THEORY)--but being unfamiliar with its core practice(s) in action. We were concerned that we will do this well, and right away. But we are a pretty positive posse--we shared some fairly lofty hopes about growth through our partnerships with expert trainers and mentors, with each other and other practicing coaches, with collaborative teams, and with our colleagues/teachers. Growth would be in the form of increased student learning and learning experiences.

A few months later, a few of those fears have disappeared and all of the hopes remain. We have had and will continue to have excellent training and team collaboration. We have adopted a philosophical approach (it’s blended, but mostly Diane Sweeney’s Student Centered Coaching). We are voracious readers and researchers, creating systems and organizing schedules to be efficient, effective, and accessible. We have dipped our toes into focused observations with pre and post discussion. We have brainstormed ways we can share best practice techniques and technology in quick and enjoyable ways (come to Joe and Go on Tuesday mornings! Keep reading this newsletter!). This is a fast-paced and steep learning curve we are on, but we are thrilled to be on it. (Thankfully, this is not a bell shaped curve!)

Will you tell us your hopes and fears for instructional coaching? We think it’s important to ask. And even moreso to use what we learn from you to inform our (new!) practice. This is a link to a Padlet wall (literally, “wall space” for you to post cyber sticky-notes with your comments); here, please post your hope(s), your concern/fear(s), and any other coaching-related comments you have. Worked with a coach already? Drop a note about what worked and what you might want to work on next. Your posts can be anonymous or include your name, and you can see what others post. Thank you! See you in class.


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  • Our "Joe and Go" session this Tuesday morning will be near the Tigers Den from 7:25 to 7:40 AM and will focus on technology tools for formative assessment--Socrative and GoFormative. Come and go as you are able...coffee's on.