I was recently asked to share my thoughts about what a coach should do. In order to share my thoughts about the five things that a coach must do, I'm going to frame this with a story, so that I can give you examples of how these ideas play out. I want you to imagine this scenario: I've just started working as an instructional coach in an urban middle school. At this school, coaching is optional. Before the school year starts, one teacher, I'll call her Jane, has told me she'd like coaching. She's in her fourth year as a ...
If you are an instructional coach, it's likely that at some point in your work with a teacher you'll encounter emotions, but I anticipate that this coming week, many educators will experience intensified emotions in response to the presidential elections. Be it during our normal weeks of coaching or in this upcoming one, emotions may be identifiable in someone's tears or words, or unspoken and just under the surface. It is predictable that we will come across emotions as we discuss lesson planning and classroom management because we are human and humans have emotions. And it is essential that an ...
If coaching is new at your school, if you're new at your school, or you're new in the role of coach, you can cultivate trust by being explicit, direct and transparent about what you're doing and why.
This was the question she asked me: "There's a teacher at my high school, an older white guy who teaches science, who pulled into the parking lot on the first day of classes in his big truck which was plastered in Trump stickers. I watched as many of our Mexican-American kids noticed the stickers, pointing them out to their friends--about 50% of our school is Latino. I felt so uncomfortable and bad for the kids. This wasn't a surprise--he's said things before like, 'This is America. They need to speak English,' but I was really upset. My question is: ...
What I learned from my Kenyan colleagues was that we need each other because their work and who they are being in the world gives me strength and perspective. They help me see our commonalities and interdependence.
The intentions and struggles of instructional coaches in Nairobi, Kenya, are remarkably similar to those of their counterparts in the United States.
In June, I went to Nairobi to work with Kenyan coaches, who work in the "slums" and have more in common with North American coaches than you might expect.
Learning about race is essential if you're driven by a commitment to creating equitable schools. Here are some suggestions for summer reading on race.
"Will" gaps can be connected to feelings of disempowerment. When teachers feel disempowered, they start disengaging. So for coaches, our work is to put the learner back in the driver's seat.
Asset-based coaching isn't about ignoring the areas of greatest need--it's about solidifying other areas first and helping someone feel so confident in their strengths that they feel almost invincible when it comes to tackling areas for growth.