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My Top Five Ways Instructional Coaches Can Grow Teachers: The Coaching Podcast, Ep. 2

Learn how to actually impact classrooms with these five different methods! In this episode, I dig into the coaching cycle, modeling, coteaching, collaborative planning, and digging into data - and I share tips for making each one work for you and your teachers! Instructional coaches and literacy coaches have a tough job, but with these five differentiated strategies, you're sure to reach even the most resistant teacher. How many hats do you wear? Instructional coaches take on so many different roles it can make your head spin! From administrative tasks, data collecting, hosting school events to meetings, meetings, and did I mention meetings?
Oh, and one more thing. You also have to coach! So how do we make sure we are doing our best for the teachers are supposed to be coaching? By supporting or teachers using one or a combination of these top five support methods.
Why are there five different ways to support teachers? Well it’s simple.
Just like we differentiate for students, we need to differentiate for teachers. Different ways work for different teachers because different teachers have different needs.

Here are the top five ways to support your teachers in order of impact!

#1 The Coaching Cycle

The coaching cycle is a three-part system that includes: a preconference, an observation/modeled lesson/co-taught lesson, and finally a debrief. Each of these is an important step in the coaching cycle. In the first step, you focus on setting a goal with the teacher. Letting the teacher set the goal is so important because it helps the teacher show ownership.
Next, you want to either observe, create a modeled lesson, or co-teach a lesson. This will be up to the teacher because each teacher will need something different. Not everyone is comfortable with being observed, and not everyone is comfortable with teaching together right away, so get to know and listen to your teachers and differentiate accordingly. Finally, you get to debrief! This can be nerve-wracking, so focus on staying positive but constructive.

#2 Modeling
Modeling can be done in conjunction with your coaching cycle or separately. This is an effective way to help your teachers because you are showing them what to do. While it can be helpful to teacher, it is a bit stressful for you because you will be working with students who you may not have a lot of experience with. When you model, you want to be specific and to the point. Modeling too much might make the teacher feel like they aren’t doing anything right.

#3 Co-Teaching
Again, this can be done in conjunction with the teaching cycle. Co-teaching is a great way to work with your teacher if they like to teach alongside you. When you use this support method, you need to make sure you have clearly defined roles going into the lesson.

#4 Planning Support
This can be effective as long as teachers walk the walk after talking the talk. When you use this support system, you want to stay focused on your standards and high impact strategies. The biggest thing you must do when you’re planning together is write everything down! The main goal here is to make sure your teachers walk away with a plan they are prepared to execute.

#5 Digging in to Data
Again, data digs don’t always show up in the classroom. When you do a data dig, you want to make sure everyone has a copy (color coded if possible). If you have trouble getting participation from teachers, you could try talking chips! They’re easy to use.Here’s how: give teachers a certain number of mini erasers or manipulatives and have them toss their chip in the middle when they contribute. This will prevent some “I just want out of here” attitudes from leaving the meeting without sharing their thinking.
Remember, just like in planning collaboratively, the goal is always to walk away with next steps. In this case, you want your teachers to walk away with an action plan  – otherwise it is a waste of time.

While you are wearing several hats, remember this: Magic doesn’t happen in the office. Magic doesn’t happen in the hallway. Magic doesn’t happen in the data room. Magic doesn’t happen in PLC. Magic happens in the classroom. Using these supports will help your teachers grow, right where they are.

Ready for the details? Listen here, or subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify! Direct Link for Apple: https://apple.co/31bUNdN 

Coaching in teachers’ classrooms is the most impactful way to grow teaching and learning on your campus. Get started today with these free resources! You’ll get tips for coaching, the coaching menu, debriefing sentence starters, and more tools to help you work with teachers effectively!


Ready to learn more?
Preparing to Model & Coteach  
Creating a Coaching Support Plan
The Start-Up Guide to Instructional Coaching: an ebook for coaches 

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas? Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb. If you love the show, share it with a coach who would love it too, or leave me a review! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative

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