Supporting Teachers in In-Person and Virtual Teaching: A Coaching Call, Ep. 95 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast
This month on The Coaching Podcast we’ve been chatting about the challenges in education brought on by the pandemic. We’ve focused on supporting teachers in in-person and virtual teaching.
On this episode, I’m joined by Felicia, a first-year instructional coach. During our coaching call, we discuss how she can define her role and build trust with teachers. We talk about her goals and ways to get teachers excited about coaching.
The Role of an Instructional Coach
The role of an instructional coach has changed so much in the last two years. Coaching is very different now. It can be hard for teachers to identify coaching responsibilities, especially since coaches have been doing a lot of things that aren’t part of our job description.
Like many coaches, Felicia struggles with clearly defining her role and communicating it to her team. To get a sense of what she wants her role to be, I suggest imagining what an ideal coaching day looks like. Specifically, identifying how she wants to spend most of her time growing her teachers.
Felicia says that she wants to understand the needs of her teachers better, especially during this time of transition in education. She also wants to work through coaching cycles and do PLC work.
I recommend that she have a conversation with her administration, so there’s a clear understanding of her role and how she approaches coaching work. She can then send a survey to teachers or have an informal chat to learn what they would like help with. Once she knows what the teachers want to focus on, she can start coaching with purpose.
Supporting Teachers in In-Person and Virtual Teaching
During the coaching call, we talk about different ways that Felicia can support her teachers. Below are some ideas we discussed on the show. If you want to hear all the details, click on the media player below to listen to the entire episode.
A coaching menu is a collection of the supports that you’re prepared to offer teachers. You can create a simple one-page document describing the different supports and share it with teachers. It doesn’t need to be fancy. The simpler the better so teachers don’t feel overwhelmed.
Showcase Work with Other Teachers
Try to find a teacher you’ve worked with that is willing to share their coaching experiences. You can use them as a little commercial. Take 10-15 minutes during a PD to have them share out or show photos from your work together as a slideshow. It will showcase the good work you’ve done and get other teachers interested in your coaching services.
Coffee with a Coach
Another suggestion I had for Felicia is doing coffee or cupcakes with a coach. You invite teachers to come and get treats. While they’re there, you tell them about what you do and ask them questions to find out what support they need.
Listen for Coaching Opportunities
It can be really helpful to listen for opportunities to coach. Now I know it doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll find little opportunities by listening for complaints, problems, or challenges. You can then offer to work with the teacher to come up with solutions. It’s a very effective way to initiate a coaching cycle organically.
Observing Other Teachers
Our coaching work doesn’t always have to be us, as the partner for the learning. You can arrange for teachers to observe each other.
One important thing to remember is that the lessons teachers see don’t have to be perfect. There’s value in watching lessons that didn’t go as planned.
I suggest Felicia try having her teachers observe each other. They can even do it virtually because they’re already teaching using a hybrid model. Then you don’t need to find any coverage. They can watch it when it’s convenient.
Final Thoughts on Supporting Teachers in In-Person and Virtual Teaching
Coaching is necessary for everyone not just teachers who are struggling. We can all build our skills and hone our craft.
During the call, Felicia and I discuss common coaching issues that both new and seasoned coaches face on the job. I give you lots of ideas to help figure out what to focus on and how you can build trust so that your coaching is beneficial for everyone.
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