Throughout the coaching experience, I relied heavily on the notion that an instructional coach is to act as facilitator, partner, and sounding board for the growing teacher - not a mentor, not an advisor. Not an expert nor instructor. Rather, a true partner who advocates, supports, listens and challenges the other member of the partnership, resulting in an increased awareness and sense of urgency in progressing forward.
In developing this philosophy, I also grew and developed in my sense of understanding of life-long learning and "failing forward". The reality of the coaching experience was that it was extremely messy, and each element of the project provided insight to the myriad of ways a learn and grow alongside teachers.
PART A: Create recommendations to sustain a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning through collaboration, trust, and a personalized learning environment with high expectations for all.
- School Improvement Goals: A vision for school and district
- Celebrating Diversity: Student-centered voice and choice
- Personalized Learning: school programs and activities
- Content Curriculum: How to use the resources
- Communication to Build Trust: Ideas for communicating with stakeholders
The Cultural Iceberg; Culture was an imperative part of our conversations
PART B: Draft a recommendation for the subject or grade-level team or the school to provide a more comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent curricular or instructional program.
- Personalized Learning Plan: Understanding Curriculum
- School-Wide Data: SIP Goals driving curricular and instructional decisions
- Classroom Data: Identifying strengths and needs to guide instruction
- Formative Assessments: Leads to student goal-setting
- Next Steps: Utilizing learning progressions and pre-/post- assessments
Data-driven decisions is a necessity in the fast-paced school environment. Learning to effectively monitor student progress is vital.
PART C: Develop and supervise the instructional and leadership capacity of the school.
- Teaching and Learning: The core of the classroom; patterns and trends this year
- The Craft of Teaching: instructional strategies, curriculum, materials, and technoloiges
- Recommendations: Transfer of work from teacher to student
I'm Basically Just Winging It
PART D: Make recommendations to promote the most effective and appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning in a school-level environment.
- Integrating Technology: SAMR, TPACK, ISTE, E-Framework
- Tech Help: Tech Lead Teacher, Elementary Tech Coach, Teacher Learning Academy
- Performance Management: We have a "Matt"; also NWEA
- Recommendations: Start small and work from there
The goal of tech is to enhance and enrich learning, leading to transformative opportunities for students.
CONCLUSION: In the end, I learned as much as my mentee teacher through this process, and am grateful to have had a positive experience due to her willingness to learn, collaborate, and communicate effectively. Her desire and eagerness to grow, self-confidence and self-awareness, motivation, and identity provided a wonderful opportunity for both of us to make progress this year. I continue to wonder what this might be like in the future with teachers who may not be so willing.