Four things instructional coaches need to do this summer
I get a lot of questions from peole who have just been hired as instructional coaches. The number one question is: What can I do to be ready?
If your brain is racing, trying to figure to what you need to do to be ready for next year, you are not alone.
Coaches everywhere (especially new coaches, or coaches who know big changes are coming) are trying to figure out how to be prepared for next year.
Here are four easy things you can do to be ready!
1. Make some decisions.
It’s impossible to “focus” on everything. I know teachers who continuously stress themselves out by saying things like, “We’re targeting all of these skills”, and the list is 10 skills long. You can’t “target” ten skills. You can really only “target” a couple of things at a time (ok, technically one thing, but I’m being flexible with this metaphor).
If you’re going to be effective, you really need to take a step back and reflect on how things went this year. Then you need to make some decisions about where you are going to invest your energy next year. It helps to do this over the summer so you have a month or two to let it sort of “percolate” in the back of your mind. What could this look like?
- Maybe this year you’re going to make sure you spend more time in teachers’ classrooms because you got pulled from this a lot last year.
- Maybe you’re going to make a point to learn about data so you can support your teachers in understanding student strengths and areas to grow.
- Maybe you’re going to dig in to your state standards to support your teachers in planning.
Get the free download on the bottom of the page. This will help you reflect on your coaching year and plan a few goals to focus on for next year!
Once you’ve decided what you want to do differently next year, you’ll know what your focus for learning will be on this summer. This brings me to tip #2…
2. Read a coaching book.
While I completely recommend reading books for personal enjoyment (teachers and coaches have to be readers, too!), I’m referring to reading a book about coaching. Bonus points if it supports your plans for next year!
Here are a few I recommend. These are affiliate links, but they’re all books I have read and learned from.
Coaching Conversations by Linda Gross Cheliotes and Marceta Fleming Reilly This book focuses on being a committed listener, speaking powerfully, and providing reflective feedback. Perfect for the coaching cycle!
The Art of Coaching Teams by Elena Aguilar
Coaching PLCs or grade levels can be very challenging. This book gives you a lot to think about when it comes to working with teams effectively.
Sometimes coaches get lots of PD in their content areas, but not in the actual work of coaching.
Getting professional development specifically designed for coaches is so important, and it can be motivating, too!
As a coach, your whole purpose is to help everyone else. That’s literally why you have a job. You go to work to help teachers and kids. It’s a mentally and emotionally exhausting job. (Sometimes it’s physically exhausting, too!)
This summer, take some time to just be yourself. Do things you like to do. Don’t think about work for a while. Here are a few ideas, if you’re stumped.
- Go to the bathroom whenever you want, for as long as you want
- Read a book you want to read
- Have drinks with friend
- Bake a treat
- Stare into the abyss
- Eat a dinner you cooked
- Go to Target and buy something fun
- Get a pedicure
- Sit on the porch and drink wine or tea or something tasty
- Watch something pointless on TV
- Take a walk
- Ride a bike
- Spend time in your garden or yard
- Go for a swim
- Really, do anything that is not work. And do a lot of it. You’ll need your mental energy when school starts again.
Get the free download to reflect on your coaching year and to set some goals for your work next year! You’ll feel better, more focused, and more confident with some purposeful goals!
Hi! I would love to attend or watch the Simply Coaching Summit, but I will be out of town, on vacation, those days. I don't see myself wanting to be on a computer during vacation. 😉 Is there a way I can watch the videos at a later time? Is that what the 6-month pass allows you to do? Thanks in advance!