| |

Improving Our Communication with Teachers with Nicole S. Turner, Ep. 140 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

When I sent out a survey asking what topics instructional coaches wanted me to talk about on the podcast, I got a ton of requests about communication. In this episode of The Coaching Podcast, I chat with Nicole S. Turner, CEO and Founder of Simply Coaching & Teaching, about improving our communication with teachers

During the show, we discuss some things that prevent coaches from communicating effectively with teachers, how fear and our ego can get in the way of communication, and tips for communicating as an introvert. Nicole and I also talk about setting a purpose for coaching conversations, the benefits of providing video feedback to teachers, how to clarify misunderstandings, and so much more.

2 women smiling while looking at documents. The words "Episode 140 Improving Our Communication with Teachers with Nicole S. Turner" are at the bottom.

Nicole is my coaching bestie, and I love talking with her because she tells the truth about the reality of coaching. This conversation with Nicole is so powerful, and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Using Nicole’s tips and advice, you’ll be able to improve your communication with teachers and create stronger relationships. Listen to the episode now!

Topics and Questions Discussed in Episode 140 – Improving Our Communication with Teachers with Nicole S. Turner

  • What gets in the way of communicating effectively with teachers
  • How fear and our ego impact communication
  • Tips for communicating with teachers as an introvert
  • Listening to understand vs. listening to respond
  • Repeating what you hear to show understanding and make sure you’re on the same page as teachers
  • Why coaches need to ask the right questions, not have all the answers
  • Setting a purpose for coaching conversations
  • Being vulnerable with teachers and learning with them
  • Asking for documents due to the principal or other requests that carry weight without being perceived as administration by teachers
  • Supporting teachers as an instructional coach
  • The benefits of using video when providing feedback to teachers
  • Framing conversations positively when giving feedback
  • How to clarify misunderstandings when communicating with teachers
  • Habits and exercises that improve communication with teachers
  • Structuring feedback meetings with teachers
  • The power of taking a pause and being silent when communicating with others

The Confident Literacy Coach is Now OPEN!

You can sign up for The Confident Literacy Coach this week but act fast because the doors close on April 17, 2023. If you have any questions or want more information, please send me an email at chrissy@buzzingwithmsb.com. I’m happy to answer any of the questions.

Ready to listen?

  • 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!

This post contains links to products from one or more of our advertisers. This means I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post when you click on links to those products.

Learn more

Helpful Resources

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 on iTunes! It’s free and it helps others find this show, too. Happy coaching!

Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros

Episode 140 – Improving Our Communication with Teachers with Nicole S. Turner

buzzing with ms b  00:09

Hey coach and welcome to Episode 140, improving our communication with teachers with Nicole s Turner. Before we dig into our episode today, I want to remind you that this is a last week that the competent literacy coach is going to be open. The course is closing this Sunday and I want you to join us. So be sure to head to competent literacy coach.com and save your spot. If you’re a literacy coach who is looking for some direction. Some guidelines if you don’t have a clear role to find and you feel frustrated with your admin and the support you’re receiving, or you just feel frustrated in general, check out confident literacy coach.com. Today, I have a guest who needs no introduction because she’s my coaching bestie. And she’s been on this podcast several times already. But I’m going to give a little introduction because we need to know that she has a new podcast up and running. Nicole s Turner simply coaching and teaching was my co host for the copy and coaching membership for two years before she moved on to do some great things in her coaching work. You may know her from the simply coaching Summit, which is a virtual conference for coaches that happens every summer are the reset that happens every December and now she has a new podcast. Let’s welcome Nicole s Turner to the podcast. So Nicole, welcome to the podcast.

Nicole  01:25

Hey, hey, what’s up?

buzzing with ms b  01:27

Hey, you’re back. You’ve been a guest already twice. I think I think this is your third time,

Nicole  01:32

is it? I don’t know. It’s been a while. It’s been a very long time.

buzzing with ms b  01:37

It has been a while it has for sure. So today, I’m excited to have you here for a lot of reasons. Would you go ahead and introduce yourself to listeners in case they missed those other episodes that you were already in and talk a little bit about who you are and what kind of work you’re doing right now.

Nicole  01:53

All right, sure. So my name is Nikolas Turner and I am the CEO and the founder, I guess of simply coaching and teaching and the simply coaching Summit, where Chrissy is Ben like the bomb, keynoter and presenter at the simply coaching Summit. I also am the author of simply instructional coaching and the book, the simple blueprint for instructional coaching. That’s kind of what I kind of do. I’ve been in the field of education for about 18 years. I can’t believe that I say that. And then I realized I have a 21 year old and an 18 year old. So I am a mommy. My last baby is 15. And he is with me and don’t tell anyone but he is my favorite. I love them to death. You know that last one to baby. See what else I got going on. That’s pretty much it i Coach K 12 been a school improvement turnaround specialist elementary teacher, administrator, Assistant Principal and instructional coach for the past 10 years. And that’s pretty much it as far as coaching and what it is that I’ve been doing. And focusing on right now is just the simple blueprint and a simple framework for teachers to come in for coaches to work with teachers. And then the simple core four, which is the framework on what to coach so is on the how to coach and what to coach kind of frameworks. That’s what I’ve been working on lately.

buzzing with ms b  03:27

Right? Yeah, it’s so exciting. So I asked you here today specifically to talk about communication, because when I sent out a survey to coaches asking what episodes they’d like to see in this podcast, I got a ton of requests about communication. And it got me thinking about why do we struggle so much in this area? It because we’ve been communicating since we’re children, right. So then what do you think is getting in the way of coaches communicating effectively with teachers?

Nicole  03:56

I think one of the biggest thing is that we’re adults now.

buzzing with ms b  04:01

Well, some of us, yes.

Nicole  04:05

I think now we’re adults, we have so many more opinions. And you know, one other thing I always think about is the fear of how someone will look at us or how someone will feel about what it is that we say and the judgments. And so we kind of get in our head a lot when it comes to that communication piece of us, you know, thinking about what’s going to happen as a result of the communication rather than just, you know, coming forth and actually just communicating and trying to be direct with that. How are we talking with people?

buzzing with ms b  04:43

Yes, so true. ego plays such a big part in the way that we interact with others. We think about like how are we perceived? How are how are our words going to land and we kind of try to anticipate other people’s responses and sometimes we don’t do a really great job of that. We Do you like paint a picture of oh my gosh, they’re gonna hate this, they’re gonna respond this way. And it can make us really afraid to say what it is that we need to say.

Nicole  05:08

Yes. So one thing that I had started doing, and I was just having this conversation with my kids father the other day, because long story, but we split a lot of time ago, while I was talking to him about making assumptions about what the kids will and will not do before asking or talking to them about it. So we a lot of times, we’ll make assumptions of the way in which a teacher will react or the way in which the answer our principal is going to say, prior to us, even given our principal the opportunity to say yes or no, right. So that becomes a big struggle in that communication part. So I think that that is that’s something that we have to lean into, we have to really, you know, kind of be aware of our thoughts, like you said, our ego and our minds of where we put our thought process before it is that we start to have those conversations.

buzzing with ms b  06:06

Yeah, that’s really, that’s a good point. We do it more with some teachers and others as well, like, we have this idea that certain people like we expect certain things from certain people. And that can be kind of dangerous, because it gets in the way of you communicating and you walk into the situation, feeling really anxious, you expect a really bad response, and then it limits the your ability to coach because you’re you’re afraid to communicate those things for teachers.

Nicole  06:31

Exactly. And sometimes you have to, in this role, you know, I talk a lot about us really being on that thin line, right? We’re on that fence, and we lean and go back and forth. But a lot of times, we also are in that role in which we need to make sure that we’re not afraid to express what it is that we have to say, we just can’t be fearful that because, you know, it’s like, well, I don’t want her not to like me, and I don’t want her to shut down and I don’t want him to, you know, feel this type of way. But in reality, we can’t coach that way. Like we can’t leave with that. We have to lead with, you know, just being honest and say, hey, you know, I like you as a person. But this is about our craft. And this is about students. And so, you know, lean into that part of it.

buzzing with ms b  07:22

Yeah, like what you’re saying lean in, that’s a phrase that we hear a lot. But what does it mean to you, whenever you say lean into something? What do you mean by that?

Nicole  07:31

Mostly to accept it. And to go with it. That’s, I think lean in is my thing for 2023, you have to lean into my strengths. Because sometimes we’ll try to get out of, you know what it is that we do, right? So we need to make sure that, okay, I need to just go into it. I mean, to actually do it, accept it, and do it. So lean into or accept that you may not be liked by a teacher accept that that teacher may not like what you have to say, but you’re doing it for the best interest of students. And so that’s where you have to, you know, lead with.

buzzing with ms b  08:10

Okay, love that. Yeah. So I did get a question from a lot of people. And it’s about being introverted. And I don’t think you unnecessarily have this problem. But maybe I’m not like, you know, I don’t really know for sure that a lot of teachers talked about whenever they have, as introverts, they have challenges communicating with teachers, what does something what can they do to kind of bring them out of that shell? You know, I know that I have been introverted in a lot of situations, sometimes we’re different in different situations. So what can can somebody who maybe doesn’t know what to say they want to participate in the conversation, but they don’t know what to say? What can they do to kind of bring themselves out of that?

Nicole  08:49

Um, for me, I am introverted in some situations, right? I think, you know, we talk about it all the time, like how I really like to be alone, or I like to kind of be by myself, or a lot of times, you know, I present I present on stages I present in front of hundreds of people, but not necessarily do I want to talk with individuals, or people sometimes. So that’s kind of a heart, you know, nut to crack, right. So what some things I think, is, is that making sure that you think about what you say before you say it, process the information in which you are taking in. So like, listen, and you know, one thing that I’ve been practicing is making sure that I listen to understand versus listening to respond. And sometimes when you’re an introvert, you may not you probably can’t process, Are you still worried about what it is that you need to say that you’re not processing the information that’s coming in? So take that moment to think about what it is that they’re saying? I think one good way as an introvert is to repeat back what it is that you said you That should break the ice a little bit. Because then you’re just validating what the teacher is saying to you. And then hopefully by then you’re able to process that information enough to then be able to get that idea or give a suggestion or move on within the conversation.

buzzing with ms b  10:16

Yeah, like that idea kind of gives you a second to make sure that you understand before you dive in, and so you don’t feel like oh, my gosh, what if I’m taking this in the wrong direction? Exactly. That’s a good point. I also think that asking questions, a lot of coaching is just asking questions. And so like, whenever I started the coaching calls on this podcast, there were times that I thought that before I really had had the coaching calls, like that I was recording. And I remember thinking, what if I don’t know what to say? Because I don’t know what direction coaches are gonna take it. You know, I mean, I have like a general idea of the topic, but I don’t always know, where are we headed with this? And so I thought, well, it doesn’t, I don’t need to have all the answers. And I feel like as coaches, we get really caught up in having all the answers. But we don’t need to have all the answers, what we need to have are the questions that can help people think differently and kind of examine and that will help us understand as well. So if we kind of lead from that idea of curiosity, and asking questions, to better understand and to make sure that we can, like really dig into what the person is saying and facilitate this conversation, we don’t have to know the right thing to say, we can just say, can you tell me more about that, that’s like a totally generic thing that you can apply to lots of situations,

Nicole  11:29

absolutely low stress, that very low stress, and then it also helps the teacher to then expand on what it is that they have going on, and then allows them to have a voice. Because a lot of times in communication or when we’re like in a coaching situation, or like, you know, when you’re when you’re having your coaching conversations, again, I’ll go back to that. listening for understanding versus listening to responsible cut people out for the minute. But But yeah, you know, um, you know, like, when I was in the classroom, I did you know, if they leave without processing that information. So yeah, that’s, that’s huge. To have that part.

buzzing with ms b  12:13

That’s a good point. Yeah, we do listen to respond, we listened to respond all the time, especially as much as we feel this responsibility to respond in the right way. But again, if we listen to understand, and if we understand that communication is not just, I’m communicating so that you understand me, it’s that I am ensuring that I understand you exactly, then we can change that, you know, maybe it will stop thinking so much about the way that we are perceived and how we feel in the moment, and pull ourselves out of that and think about what is the nature of this conversation? What are we getting?

Nicole  12:45

Exactly? Definitely that and I know, we’ll probably talk about it later, something about purpose of the call, right? I mean, purpose of the conversation. So when you are communicating, you always want to think about the purpose of the conversation, right? So like, that should bring you back to what it is that you guys need to talk about. And then I want to expand on the fact that you said that we don’t always have the answers we don’t, as a coach, you don’t have to always have the answers. I was a que six teacher coaching secondary ELA.

buzzing with ms b  13:25

Right, right.

Nicole  13:26

I had no idea what I didn’t know the difference between freshman English and junior English and what the books that they read in the content area, but I knew instructional strategy. And so that was why they hired me, that hired me because they knew I mean, different instructional strategies, and that I could bring those instructional strategies to help those teachers. And so a lot of times we will unpack the standards together. And going back to that question in piece, I would then ask them those probing questions, to really get them to think about that content and the expansion of that content, and then how we can instructionally execute it, you know, in a way in which students can grasp the content. So I didn’t necessarily focus on the content, I focused on the execution of the content. And then I allow the teacher to lead with their content knowledge. And then if I had a teacher where we both were struggling with the content, then that’s when I would take that opportunity to unpack that standard with the teacher. So then we discovered together and a lot of times I will tell them like oh my goodness, we’re discovering this together. Like this is cool. You know, I’m learning with them and so they don’t feel so well, she thinks she outlet or that she know everything but you know, it’s like we’re learning this together. I am truly your support and we are truly walking side by side with each other. And sometimes we become vulnerable as coaches to leap lenient to our vulnerability and allow ourselves to become vulnerable. What are teachers so that they can see us grow as well, I think then they will definitely have, they’ll feel more comfortable with us.

buzzing with ms b  15:09

That’s such a good point. I love what you say about like honoring what the teacher is bringing with them. Because sometimes it’s easy to like dismiss what people say, especially if it comes from maybe a different background or a different framework or a different philosophy, it’s easy to be just immediately, oh, that’s ridiculous. And then kind of replace it with something that you would rather than think. But if we can instead, you know, really dig into what they’re saying, and try to understand it, and then use that to apply it to like, what you’re talking about, it’s like triangulation. So you’re you have, you’re saying and what they’re saying, but you’re talking about another thing, you’re talking about the standard, you’re digging into the standard together, I really liked that, because it’s not just about you, and the teacher having this conversation about some sort of random thing that’s floating around, you’re looking at a standard, you’re digging in together, you’re identifying things, and you’re having a conversation about an artifact, or like a text or some sort of, you know, actual tangible thing. And that can really assist communication with, with coaches and teachers, because sometimes we think we know or that we’re understanding each other, but we’re really not. Yep. And having that standard typed out and written out in front of you and digging into it and writing on it. That can be a way to make sure that you are actually communicating effectively about whatever it is you’re talking about.

Nicole  16:26

Yep. And that’s your learning together. So that communication piece, really, you know, helps where it’s like that non judgmental part, because communication is a lot of, you know, when people feel as though they’re beneath you, or, you know, like that kind of feeling like, Oh, she thinks she knows it all. But really, no, let’s do this together. And that starts to make teachers or help teachers to feel more comfortable.

buzzing with ms b  16:54

Yeah, kind of puts you on the same level, like the same ground, you both don’t know.

Nicole  16:59

I always say, Listen, I’m on the teacher contract, just like you, baby. That’s right. I say that all the time. Like, I don’t know how much more buddy that I was baking, but I bought the same contract as you. Right? So these 191 days, maybe we both get through this together. And let’s make this happen. That’s good.

buzzing with ms b  17:25

Well, I have a question for you about making requests. Because coaches are sometimes put in this position, where we’re requesting things almost as if we have the authority of an administrator, but we don’t have the authority of administrator. So we’re asked to make these requests that have like, that carry weight as if an administrator would like, for example, how you haven’t completed your documentation that was due today. And I’m here to pick it up. Right. So how can we make requests of teachers that carry the weight without being perceived as admin? How can we kind of walk that line? Because I mean, that wasn’t, that was definitely something that I had to do as a coach was, hold people accountable for things and follow up on things. I was not administrator.

Nicole  18:08

Right. So my thing is why you fail to have those people coming to me? That’s for sure. I always say that, like, come on, you know, that this is due today. And you know, they don’t come and be like, Oh, why isn’t Miss Johnson’s paperbark? Target? You know, I don’t want to talk about that. So can we just get it together? At least that’s how I always approached it. Yeah. Because it’s like, we I mean, you know, it’s kind of like we’re on the we’re on the same team. And I need you to understand that we’re on the same team. And so another thing that I would always ask is, How can I help you to get that like, is there a barrier? Or is there something in the way? That’s, you know, prohibiting you from getting your deadline? You know, meeting your deadline? And so if it is let me help you. If it’s not been girl with my stuff, what is the stuff so that people don’t have to comes out to me?

buzzing with ms b  19:08

Yeah, like that. How can I help you get this done? Hey, remember, this is due today? What do we need to do so we can get it turned in on time? And then you’re a partner? I like that a lot. We used to do things like that, too. Hey, almost everybody has their stuff turned in? What do we need to do to make sure we get 100%? And it’s like we what do we need? We need to yourself on the same side?

Nicole  19:28

Yes, exactly. That’s why I always say don’t don’t don’t let them. Don’t let them come to me. Yeah, I don’t

buzzing with ms b  19:36

want to hear this is not done.

Nicole  19:38

Let’s just say so how can I help you get it done? Yeah, that’s very true.

buzzing with ms b  19:42

I mean, sometimes and I do remember, I had a principal once who would say if I need to be the bad guy, make me the bad guy. And it’s, it was true. Sometimes it was like, Look, she’s asking for this. And so what are we gonna do you know, right.

Nicole  19:55

Exactly. Exactly. I think that you just being like you said, I mean, just being that support, I think that’s a best way to approach it. And the best way to communicate it, I don’t always communicate via email, when it’s stuff like that, I try to stay away from email until it’s like the last of the last, especially when there’s a request, maybe I may send out an email and say, Hey, sixth grade team just wanted to send a quick reminder that we have, you know, our data sheets due on Friday, if anyone needs any assistance, I’m available on Tuesday from you know, two to four or whatever, right? So I may send that out as a way to cover me that I, you know, let everyone know ahead of time that it was due. But if I see where it’s like, the day of and Miss Johnson has not gotten that done, right, then I’m going to just go and approach Miss Johnson and asked her how I can help her to get it done. Is there anything that I can do, or whatever, if it then passes the deadline? At some point, I’ll go and ask her again, like, hey, this was due on Friday, it’s Tuesday, is there anything that I can do to help? If she still has not responded by that time, then I’ll send an email and just say, hey, you know, I reached out to you a couple of times, just once to kind of see if there’s a way that if there’s anything else that I could do to help. I think teachers feel more comfortable when it’s face to face in that email, because email then becomes documentation, right, and they connect that with some type of punitive action. And so that’s where I think is having a face to face conversation is really good.

buzzing with ms b  21:44

That’s such a good point. And I feel like sometimes it can feel easier to hide behind the computer and hide behind the email. Yeah, instead of like going to see somebody because you don’t want to see the faces, or you don’t want to see the eye rolls, or you don’t want to see and hear the relay or the size or whatever. Yeah, but yeah, whenever we put things in writing, I can see how that would be intimidating to certain people, and maybe documentation has been used against them in the past.

Nicole  22:10

Exactly. Because you know, that document when you said, Well, when I went to school to be an administrator, when I was an administrator was Document Document Document all the time. Because you never know what, when you needed it.

buzzing with ms b  22:23

Now, I will say I did document as a new coach, there were certain teachers who were very resistant and outwardly antagonistic. Because they just it was a completely different life. They were like, What? What is Yeah, because it was there been no coach really, at the school before? And and so I did document every single thing that I did to support them. I did have a documentation, but they did not know that.

Nicole  22:47

Oh, well. Yeah, I think it’s a document all of your your coaching work, I always say that we have to document our coaching work, because we gotta prove our jobs. That’s right, we got to justify that we are necessary, like this is what I do. But as far as just like the communication component, I always try to do face to face first, especially when it’s like a due date or something that could be held punitive against them.

buzzing with ms b  23:15

So then whenever you provide feedback, I want to kind of talk about that a little bit. This is also something you’re doing face to face in person.

Nicole  23:22

Yeah. So I always do are tried to do face to face with my feedback. In the world, when COVID hits, I learned a whole new way of providing feedback for teachers, I now record loom videos and send it to them. I love it, because I’m able to kind of get it off my chest. It’s also just an expression. So the reason why I like to do it this way, is one I get to they get to hear the tone of my voice, which is something that’s completely different if the Senate email, right, and then to I don’t have to hear the size that we talked about, or the you know what it is that you need to say, you know, that whole kind of scenario and then like the mood is changed and then it’s like, you know, some things you’re trying to pull out. So now if I come into a classroom, and I just just in I think it was maybe October last year, not October, year before October 21 There we go. 21 I was doing feedbacks for some teachers, I had this and walkthroughs and decided to do a loom with them. And so I had did like a little feedback card and so instead of me going and having a meeting with them I did a little video was like, Hey guys, I’m so excited or you know, so excited that you let me into your room today. I really, really love being in your classroom. Little Johnny was doing it Excellent, I am so happy that you get, you know, this, this this net, like I chose and really pick out all of the positive things to talk about it, I said it in an exciting voice, and really, you know, showed those use my head while I use my hands all the time, but you know, use my, my facial expression that you know all of those little small keys. So let them know that it was totally on a positive note. And then when I wanted to start talking about some of the deltas that I saw, or some of the weaknesses or things that they needed to work on, I still kept that same intervene, right. So then they felt as though it was coming from a positive constructive way, not from a negative component, and then or negative way, and then they didn’t have the opportunity for me to feel that, you know, push back while we were there, or while we were in that meeting. And so then it was like, so let me know, if you have any questions. I am available on Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, you know, from this time, this time, please feel free to shoot me back an email or reply to this email, let me know what time you would be available for us to kind of chat. And so also, it also allows the teacher to go back and rewind and listen to what I say again, right twice, or three times, they can really digest the information once their emotions hit. Because you know, the first time you hear someone says something, it’s an emotional piece of that emotion, you know, in the beginning, so you are defensive, or you trying to defend what it is that you’ve said and what it is that they saw. And you know, all of those things, because what we listened to respond and not listen to understand. And so then now they get to rewind that video, and then they can watch it again. And then I can really hear what it is that I say and you know how I do it. Now, so be careful with that I want coaches in this instance, is that they need to make sure that whatever they saw on camera is something that is appropriate. And something that can be repeated, and something that cannot be held against them in a court of law. So you need to make sure that that is definitely something that you you know, it’s something that you would say if your administrator was standing there, you know, you want to make sure that is something that is completely appropriate. Because that video, could you know that piece. The other good thing about it is that when you do a loom and you send it to them, it sends you an email that says that this video has been viewed. And so because we have that where this video has been viewed, I now have documentation that I sent it and that you saw it. So remember, at the end, I requested you to meet with me and respond to the email with one specific time. So hopefully, they will have gotten that and there’s a call to action at the end of that video. So love it. That’s that’s one way or one style, of course, you can do your face to face, right. And then you could do written but I’m not a really big email writer when it comes to feedback. Because I’ve learned that people read from their perspective and not from the perspective in which you are sending it. And so that’s why it’s important for it to come out in words, verbally, with some type of emotion to it, versus them just reading it.

buzzing with ms b  28:38

You know, I love that. I like what you said about it gives people kind of like processing time because they can hear it. They can process it without immediately responding and putting out that energy that you can just feel that just hits you. Right. Yeah. Because then it changes your tone your wrist. Sometimes it’s hard to not to respond to that. Yeah, it changes your tone and to be like a little more timid or a little less exuberant or a little more like, well, maybe something we could try, like, you know, you don’t really come across with the full force of your energy. So I love that idea about giving people that opportunity to listen to it, process it maybe listen again, if they need to, which I’m gonna guess most people are gonna listen to it more than once. Yeah. And, and yeah, and then respond to it after they’ve had a second to really think.

Nicole  29:21

Yeah. And I think this also goes back to your introvert question. So those coaches who are introverts and really kind of have a hard conversation was starting the conversation. This allows the teacher to then digest everything and they’re able to get everything out into the open and then now we can have that conversation, right? Because they’re more comfortable with the content or with whatever it is that they were saying in the video.

buzzing with ms b  29:47

That’s a really good point. I felt like um, Flipgrid might work for this too, because you could like send out a little

Nicole  29:52

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’d be cool. As long as it gives me some type of documentation that you saw, right?

buzzing with ms b  29:59

Yeah. that? I don’t know that I don’t know if it doesn’t I may not. I have no idea about I haven’t used

Nicole  30:03

it in a while. Not for anything.

buzzing with ms b  30:07

Yeah, right. I haven’t used it for anything that it’s like required that people listen to it. So I don’t know for sure if it shows it Voxer. Might be it would be another good way to do that. It’s not visual, but it does, you know, convey the tone of your voice. Yeah, I really love using that to provide people with feedback, because it’s such an easy tool. And it is so efficient, you know, and it’s like, it just drops right in there. And now they have access to it immediately. So I love that.

Nicole  30:33

Yeah, I think a lot of schools have did boxer, I’ve seen that where they do Voxer. And then they have like boxer chats and groups and all kinds of stuff.

buzzing with ms b  30:44

Yeah. So what about you talk a little bit about making sure being really cautious about the way that you say things and being aware of how everything you’re saying is being recorded, and that somebody could play that back and take it out of context? What can we do not necessarily just in that example, but in general, when we realize our communication has not been clear, or that there’s been some sort of a misunderstanding, in terms of the way that we’ve communicated with a teacher?

Nicole  31:10

Sure. So I think one way to avoid that, sometimes it’s gonna happen, and then there are gonna be some people that’s gonna take anything you say, out of context, and it’s nothing you can do about it. Because they’re they are responding due to whatever it is they have going on from their perspective, right. And again, like what you kind of said before, like, maybe they had some very bad experiences with coaches or bad experiences with administrators, and they don’t have that trust, that trust has not been built between you, or has not been built between the school and that teacher, period. So I think one of the ways that you can avoid that is making sure that when you have those conversations, you do repeat back, what it is that they’re saying. So sometimes I’ll be in a cultural conversation, I will listen to what the teacher says, I will take note of that and say, Okay, so this is what I hear you saying. And that validates one, it validates the teacher and then two, you have the understanding that both of you now have the same understanding that you’re on the same playing field, right. So now when you respond, you’re responding to the correct information or the information in which they want it to convey to you. And so I think that is one of the biggest keys where I try to make sure I, I repeat back to them. And then if it’s not me, is that not what you’re saying? Like it this is not what you’re saying? Can you say it in another way so that I can process that? I even do it at home? I mean, I do it at home with my kids. So it’s just been something a way in which I tried to use or use that strategy to just process information.

buzzing with ms b  33:00

Yeah, that’s, that’s, um, I remember in college, I had to read the seven habits if I guess I was working on my master’s. I honestly don’t remember what I was working on. But read The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, that Covey book, and that’s one of the things that he recommends is that you do paraphrase and repeat back what people are failing to ensure that you’re communicating effectively and understanding them before you try to respond.

Nicole  33:23

So that is so funny. Justin, the baby who’s home with me? I call him a baby. And he’s a whole 15 year old. Yeah, right. Taller than me and everything right. Yeah. So he is now reading that book. 14. Yeah. So he is doing that 14. So that’s interesting. But yeah, definitely, that’s one of the strategies that I’ve utilized. And it seems to have worked very well for me. So what

buzzing with ms b  33:51

happens if you realize that you have said something that has been misinterpreted? How can you go back? And what can you do about that, to kind of repair that with a teacher?

Nicole  34:00

I always like to have that conversation with them and just say, Hey, I apologize, or I’m sorry, that this was, you know, a misunderstanding, or this is kind of the way in which you took what it is that I said, but here’s my approach. This is what I really meant. You know, I tried to always approach the situation, head on, I’m definitely one that will try to approach the situation early be to kind of put the fire out versus waiting for it to become like a wildfire, right? That’s probably best. Yes.

buzzing with ms b  34:34

Because things can really grow out of hand quickly. If we if we can see that a teacher has something is holding on to something about us. It’s a good idea to address it as soon as you can. Because if the longer you wait, it’s kind of like grows and grows and then they start perceiving things that aren’t because they’re looking for certain things to confirm that confirmation bias.

Nicole  34:53

Yes. And make sure you can utilize that same strategy of where you are validate what it is that the teacher says. But you can say, Hey, can you repeat back? Or can you tell me what it is that you now understand, especially if you have a teacher who is a challenging teacher, that really doesn’t dig coaching, like, you know, they’re really afraid of coaching, or they’re not comfortable with coaching, you can always have them to kind of tell you what it is their perception of what it is that you say, or you say it so that you can make sure that they understand again, you guys get on the same playing field.

buzzing with ms b  35:32

Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s a good tip, are there so that’s a really good habit that we can build in the way that we speak to teachers, it’s kind of like that repeating to make sure that we understand, are there any other like exercises or habits we can try to build in order to improve our communication,

Nicole  35:49

I think doing a feedback baby, I kind of try to follow a strict structure that I kind of put in place. So I always make sure that I start all feedback meetings with some type of positive praise, right, I’m gonna tell them something, something positive that I saw in their room, something positive that I saw, like, maybe that week or the week before, or something if they weren’t hallway with their students, but I always tried to praise them, and let them know that they’re doing great in some aspects. And then I try to make a connection with them some type of personal connection. If Miss Johnson has a cat, you may say, Oh, how is Twinkie doing? You know, or something like that, if you know something was happening in our family, or how their kids are, I mean, it could be something that is personal, but not too personal. But you know, just something that’s general that you know about them, but touch base with them on that level of that personal level, because that does make a difference when they think that you care about them as a person, and not just a teacher. That’s a way in which you can kind of break down that barrier to build that trust with them. Then I tried to set a purpose for our feedback. So that understanding like why are we here, what it is that we are talking about, and then I dive into the communication, I think a couple of communication strategies that I use, like while I’m actually there, is that I don’t have my cell phone with me. And then if I’m typing during the conversation, I have it where the teacher can actually see the computer. Because I don’t want them to think that I’m typing something other than what it is that, you know, we’re talking about. So I may say, you know, I may be typing in and say, pointed the screen and say, okay, is this what we’re agreeing to? Or is this the standard that we’re working on, you know, try to get them drawn into whatever it is that I’m doing. When I take notes with that. Also, I try to watch my posture, right, I try to sit up, make sure that I am smiling. Even if it’s a difficult conversation, you don’t want to be smiling, of course, it’s a different conversation. But you do want to have an upbeat, kind of like tone, and kind of positive, you know, way. And then I also let them know, Hey, we’re in this together. You know, I was trying to reiterate that and tried to reassure them that this isn’t an evaluation, like this is something that we do to to build you and get better. One thing that we have, through this communication or utilizing some of these strategies, we are changing the way in which people feel about instructional coaches, which I think is it has a very negative connotation, right. But the thing is, is that some of the best athletes in the world that get paid millions of dollars, have coaches, some of the most business, you know, some of the richest business or some of the top business people that you see they have business coaches, so the coach doesn’t necessarily know more than you. But Coach is there to help bring out the best in you. And so we just have to change that by helping people become more comfortable with it, by the way in which we use those communication like strategies.

buzzing with ms b  39:18

Yeah, you’re right. Sometimes we approach a situation and people have like a predisposed idea of what they think we are going to be. And, and you know, one thing that has really been helpful to me, even in my own personal life is, is whenever we’re met with these statements, sometimes we’re met with these things that are like disparaging or unkind about coaches or like that, you know, lots of not so nice, snide remarks. And one thing that has been really helpful to me is I take a little pause, because it’s very easy for me to say something immediate, and like just the first thing that comes to my mind is not going to be the best thing for me to say that moment. It may actually be the worst thing and And so I can, like my whole life I’ve had well, I might, you know, I mentioned my dad before on this podcast, but he he was very authoritarian. And I was told my whole life that I have a smart mouth. And I still do.

Nicole  40:14

Oh, you you’re not alone. You’re not alone. You’re not alone.

buzzing with ms b  40:18

Yeah, it just, it just flies out before I even know what’s coming out sometimes. And so I have to be really careful about pausing for a minute. And making sure that when I’m faced with these, you know, these kind of like negative remarks or, or even things that I’m not really sure their intention that I’m not saying the smart, snotty thing that comes to mind, but instead that I’m taking a second and thinking, and then I’m going to respond hopefully, from a place of curiosity and questioning, rather than from a place of shutting down the, the thing that I’m struggling to control, right. Because all those things can, they can feel like a threat to us. And if we really take a step back, and like you said, you know, we approach it with confidence and, and know that we’re trying to shape this perception of what a coach is. If we come from it to from that direction, then obviously, what we want to represent ourselves in the best way possible, we need to take a minute to gather our thoughts to figure out what that’s going to sound like, we don’t always know how to do that in the first second. And so my best recommendation is just to pause for a second and a feeling like you have to say something right now and it has to be the right thing to shut it down.

Nicole  41:30

Sometimes silence is golden, right? That’s right, having that moment of just being quiet. And a lot of times when people don’t even know what it is that you’re saying, or what you’re thinking is kind of good, because they don’t know how you’re gonna respond. So having that moment of just give me a moment or let me process that information is is a really good thing to do. Yeah,

buzzing with ms b  41:55

that’s true. Sometimes people can hear what they have said better when there’s a moment for them to think about it. Think about how that came out and then they might actually be able to think to themselves I wish I hadn’t said that. But if you if you immediately respond to shut it down right away then maybe they don’t have that that reflection time. You right

Nicole  42:20


buzzing with ms b  42:23

All right. Well, thank you so much for all of this these great tips. It’s been such a joy but I do want to ask you before you go I’m asking every guest that I have on the podcast is season about what their favorite things are. So this can be a book a movie TV show could be a podcast and activity product, whatever. Anything that you’re loving right now that’s bringing you joy. So tell me what is your favorite thing?

Nicole  42:47

90 day fiance oh, gee, it brings me so much laughter I’m like what are these people doing? love them to death? Um, that’s that’s definitely bringing me joy on some of the late nights that I’m up or times that I’m traveling or like if I’m stuck on a plane or something like that. So that is one thing the suit what else is bringing me joy? I said I was gonna say more things

buzzing with ms b  43:21

before you before you say the other thing I have to say my mother loves that show as well. And then one time I went over to her house and she goes look now they’ve got 90 Day fiance 90 days later I was like Mom You know I don’t watch Yeah, just sit there and watch it. I know people are living through this horrible like half of them are living through these horrible decisions and terrible they don’t know they’re horrible. Just watch they don’t know

Nicole  43:46

is way too fun? Because now they have like so many spin offs it’s like now is 90 day fiance the other way so like now it’s not them coming to the United States it’s like them leaving the United States going to another country. So like now you have now arrived in a country where you do not know the language you do not eat the food like they don’t have the same things that we have you know some of the same privileges that we have here yeah right in the US so like that’s like a whole nother shocker day you with somebody that you probably was talking to online for like, so long. There’s one where’s the Caribbean one now? And then it’s like, the people who were with the people in their head got married and got a divorce. And now there’s a single source 90 Day fiance the single life. So now these young people are Yeah, so they’re single again now and like they’re dating. Oh my gosh, like so many of them. I just follow and then they have the pillow talk. So Pillow Talk is when they are watching it and then you get other cast members from like different seasons. You’re listening to them respond. Oh, Oh, okay, well that’s watching. Yes, that is hilarious. So that’s really good. That’s really good. Um, speaking of communication, one of the books that I’m reading right now is master your emotions. Really good was talking about the ego and aligning all of that. So if you guys are thinking about different strategies or different ways to be able to communicate with others master your emotions I’m about in the second or third chapter. So I haven’t finished the book yet. But so far, it has really opened up my eyes to a lot of things and really helping me to be a better better me it’s 2023.

buzzing with ms b  45:43

Interesting. What a great recommendation. No problem. No problem. All right. Well, how can people find you online in the real world? On their podcast apps? What can they like look for? For to find?

Nicole  45:57

Oh, sure. Yeah, so the podcast is on any podcasting app or station that you can go to just type in the simply instructional coaching podcast. So you guys can find that you can also find me as simply coaching and teaching.com that’s where some of the podcasts are the blog. New Website, so it is, you know, jammin if you want to learn more about me, where I am, where I’m presenting at some of the coaching conferences this year, so pretty much it and hopefully out, see everyone or meet up with everyone I am on Twitter at coaching teach, and Instagram simply coaching and teaching underscore, and then Facebook send because of the teacher, but we have a Facebook group called the what is it called? Coaching and simply come to coaching instructional coach.

buzzing with ms b  46:51

Yeah, simply coaching, coaching, coaching, coaching, instructional coach

Nicole  46:55

coaching, right. That’s why I’m not a huge social media fan. But if you find me in the Facebook group, I’m more in the Facebook group that I am in anything else. Okay. Yes. All right. Well, thank you so much. It is such a pleasure to be here, one of my most favorite coaches in the whole entire world.

buzzing with ms b  47:17

Oh, you too. Thank you. Oh, Coach, I always love it whenever Nicole comes on the podcast, because she’s just a real person, right? Like she brings the reality of coaching and she tells the truth, and I love it. So if you are looking for a tool that can help you to actually start coaching differently, speaking differently to your teachers, and you’re not sure what to say, I want you to go to buzzing with Miss b.com slash episode 140. And you can grab some feedback sentence starters there. Obviously coaching conversations involve a lot more than starters. But if you don’t know where to start, this is a great place to find some different ways to ask questions that can help you dig deeper into the conversation you’re trying to have with teachers. So check that out at buzzing with Miss b.com slash episode 140. And remember, the confident literacy coach is open. The rest of this week it’s closing Sunday. So go to confident literacy coach.com and save your spot for this all in one course. Next week in Episode 141, we are talking with Jessica Vance, about how the words we use can influence and impact teachers. And I actually had Jessica as a guest on this podcast last season, but she was so terrific that I really wanted to dig into this topic with her and I think you’re gonna love it. Our language really does matter. And the words that we choose choose really do matter. So let’s learn how to use it with purpose when we interact with teachers. We’re going to do that next week and until then, happy coaching


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *