How Not to Be One More Thing, Ep. 81 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast
There have been a lot of challenges in the education world over the last few years.
Teachers are feeling overwhelmed because they have more responsibilities than ever before.
Instructional coaches can feel like we are one more thing on their plate. This makes us reluctant to step into classrooms and do the work that we are there to do.
It’s especially hard for new coaches to figure out how to get into classrooms when teachers are not seeking them out.
So, I want to share a mindset shift that will change the way you approach your coaching work with teachers.
Stop thinking of yourself as one more thing on a teacher’s plate and instead see yourself as a problem-solving support person.
All of the obstacles that teachers are facing are the exact reason they need your support. There are so many new things that teachers are facing, and we can help them find solutions.
They need our perspective, they need our experience, and they need our problem-solving abilities. Many times, teachers get stuck in their bubble and all they can see is their issues.
As an instructional coach, you can show them another path and give them new ideas because you have the experience of seeing other classes. You have the benefit and freedom to think beyond individual challenges to see the big picture. This is what many teachers need to gain perspective and finally solve their problems.
How can instructional coaches do this? How do we act bravely and decide that we are going to start coaching in these classrooms?
First, I want you to reframe your thinking about your coaching work. Coaching is not about fixing anyone or making them do things differently. It’s about supporting them as they grow as an educator.
Getting started might feel scary. There’s always a reason to be afraid. Instead of embracing the fear, let’s focus on the reasons that we are positive support people.
On this episode of The Coaching Podcast, I share four different ways you can be the instructional coach support your teachers need right now. These are things you can do that will move you into that coaching role so you can serve your teachers today.
1. Listen beyond the frustration and the anxiety that teachers are sharing to hear what they are saying. Find out where teachers are coming from so that you can understand what they need from you. Also, try not to take what they say personally – not everything is about you.
2. Be the resource that they need right now. Identify where teachers are struggling the most and offer your support.
3. Make every meeting or interaction result in something useful. We’ve all been to those meetings that didn’t really serve us. We want teachers to walk away with a tool or resource they can use that saves them time, not things they won’t use right away.
4. Listen for opportunities to turn complaints into goals. This is one of my favorite recommendations because once I figured it out, everything changed for me. Listen to what teachers say, validate it, and then flip it into a goal they can potentially work on.
Those are my four biggest tips for how not to be one more thing for already overwhelmed teachers. If you want to get all the details for how you can begin implementing them in your coaching work, be sure to listen to the episode.
Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!
Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.
Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative