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What Do Coaches Do? – Facilitating a Planning PLC, Ep. 119 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

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As a new coach, I was excited about facilitating planning PLCs with teachers. I walked into my first session feeling confident and ready to go.

To prepare, I set up the room, made cute snacks, and reviewed resources. I envisioned a group of teachers sharing ideas, each leaving with lesson plans that suited their students’ needs. What actually happened was very different.

The teachers complained that they were overwhelmed, and it was clear they didn’t have a common understanding of practices. I didn’t know how to communicate with them effectively or build a bridge between the gaps. I felt stressed and unprepared. The year was barely underway, and they were already lost. It was a hard road to walk at first.

Over time, the teachers and I developed a common language, plus a process for planning together. It changed everything! I still spent a lot of time preparing (that’s just who I am), but eventually, I figured out ways to make the process more efficient and less daunting.

Six Steps for Planning PLCs

One thing I did was develop a six-step process to make planning with professional learning communities more enjoyable and meaningful. While you don’t have to follow these steps rigidly, they provide a good framework for each meeting.

On episode 119 of The Coaching Podcast, we take a look at the 6-steps and how you can use them to facilitate productive and meaningful planning PLCs. Below is a list of the steps in the process.

  1. Start with a standard
  2. Review and understand the assessment
  3. Build background knowledge and a common language
  4. Brainstorm students’ learning targets
  5. Generate ideas to teach each target in a way that’s meaningful and effective
  6. Sequence the ideas, add detail and resources

During the episode, I explain each step and provide examples of how I’ve used them with my professional learning communities. I also share some resources that can help with PLC planning, including my Comprehension Strategies and Reading Genre Content Building Guides.

Setting Up Group Norms During PLCs

With PLCs, it’s important to recognize the dynamics of the group and have some norms in place to help your teams work together smoothly. If we’re upfront about what’s expected and then use that to build norms together as a team, we can create a space for more collaboration. During the episode, I share a few of my favorite tips to get you started with norms.

In my course, The Confident Literacy Coach, there are lessons on how to work with group dynamics, ideas for creating norms with your teams, and tips for responding to common problems. It also contains my detailed 6-step process for planning PLCs, including the Prepare to Plan Guide, the planning maps, and other planning tools for reading and writing.

What Do Coaches Do? – Facilitating a Planning PLC

Listen to the entire episode to learn what I did to prepare for and run successful planning PLCs. I share stories, examples, and tips to get you started. You’ll learn how to build background knowledge, get ideas for reading and writing PLCs, and much more. Tune in now to get started!

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!

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Front view of Chrissy Beltran holding a laptop smiling with writing about the Confident Literacy Coach Course

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.

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Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative

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