Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Weeks of April 4-8

Strategy Spotlight

Who inspires you? As educators we are always trying to inspire our students, but today I want to share someone who inspires me.

Jimmy Casas is a good friend of mine. He is the principal at Bettendorf High School. Jimmy was my high school principal (at City High, in Iowa City) and I ended up babysitting his three little kids when I was in high school. We've stayed close over the past 17 years and his passion for teaching and learning is awe inspiring! I won't list all of the awards and accolades he's received or all of the other aspects of education he is involved in (but click here to get a more comprehensive bio) because that's not what makes him great, instead it's what he does day in and day out that makes me aspire to be more like him- Jimmy's core purpose lies in serving others.

Jimmy has a blog called - Passion... Purpose... Pride and he writes candidly about some very relevant educational topics. His most recent blog post (Phone Calls Home: "I'm Not Going to Lie...They Scare Me") was about communicating with parents. He asks the question, "I wonder if all school communities would be stronger if…." and then goes on to list 10 things that could be done to potentially strengthen our home-school communication with parents.

It's a quick read and I challenge you to reflect on your own communication practices (and this is for all teachers - not just homeroom teachers!). Do your student's parents know what is going on in your classroom? How often do you communicate with parents? Do positive communications go home for each student on a frequent basis? How many of the things on Jimmy's list do you feel like you/our school already does? Can you/our school make any improvements?

Last Week

- Writing lessons in 4th grade

- Math lessons in 4th grade

- Math lessons in 3rd grade

- Drop in observations

- Team planning meetings

- Check in's with teachers

- Planning and preparing resources and materials for teachers

- NTC Tools

- Updating Intervention google docs and data docs

This Week

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 4th grade

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 3rd grade

- Small group work in writing in a 4th grade classroom

- Team planning meetings

- NTC tool updates

- Several literacy webinars

- Reading assessments in 5th grade

- Helping write an IRA for 4th grade

- Arranging ELA observations for teachers to observe each other

- Move classroom... never mind... just kidding... BUILD THE ROAD :)

Just remember... are all ROCKSTARS! I know I don't do a good enough job celebrating all of our successes (and we have had MANY this year)! Keep pressing on and doing what's best for your students because every day we make a difference! Eight more weeks may seem like we are on a downward slide to summer break, but we owe it to each of our student's to keep pushing forward each day. You have all worked your butts off this year and taken on so many new things. Although the end is near we can accomplish a lot and help our students get even closer to reaching/surpassing their goals!