Growing Leadership through Teacher Modeling: Part Three of the “Next Steps in Instructional Coaching” series

Some of the jobs of a coach are to learn alongside teachers and build leadership in their faculty. Help your faculty grow as a team and learn from each other by scheduling teacher modeling visits. Teachers learn from each other with this approach! It's easy to do and has big impact. What’s better than seeing a teacher in action? Nothing! But as teachers, we tend to be stuck in our classrooms with very few opportunities to see what happens across the school, in other classrooms. 
One way to grow teacher leadership is to have teachers host others in their classrooms.

Some people feel very self-conscious about having classroom guests, but if you set it up properly, you can get a lot of mileage out of teacher-to-teacher modeling.

This is how I approach it:

Teacher A needs support in the area of making inferences. Maybe I noticed it, or maybe she asked for the help.

I talk to Teacher B, who is strong in teaching this concept. I state that we have a teacher who would like to learn more about this concept, and that Teacher B is doing a great job of helping her students acquire this strategy. Could we set up a time for Teacher A to come visit and get some ideas?

I’ve never had a Teacher B say no when approached this way.

I talk to Teacher A and explain that Teacher B is doing some great work that Teacher A might like to see. I find coverage for Teacher A’s classroom, or we set a time during Teacher A’s PE or other specials block so she can go visit. (Most Teacher Bs are pretty flexible when it comes to rearranging their schedule to accommodate a colleague who needs some help.)

Teacher A visits Teacher B’s class and takes notes. I have a post-conference with Teacher A to ensure that the learning took place.

I also follow up with Teacher B to thank her and ask how it went. Teacher B has now been empowered as a knowledge base on campus. Teacher A will remember her and know she is a valuable resource.

Sometimes, Teacher B will even allow herself to be recorded. This is especially great, because I can send out the video to other interested teachers who can learn from their colleagues whenever they have the time!

Check out the other posts in the Next Steps series!



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