6 Things Instructional Coaches Should Do to Close the Year, Ep. 146 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

On the podcast, we’re in the middle of our series about your coaching impact. In episode 143, I chatted with Krissy Ogletree Edwards about how to track your coaching work. Cory Camp from Sibme joined me on episode 144 to share ideas for how to evaluate your coaching work. Last week I talked about an all too common problem – what to do when you’re used for everything but coaching.

This week I’m sharing six things instructional coaches should do to close the year. I share ideas that’ll help you work smarter, not harder and set you up for success next year.

Coach, I know the end of the year is chaotic, especially since it’s the time of year we get used for everything. Here are the six things I recommend you do to wrap up the year with a sense of purpose.

Chrissy Beltran sitting at a desk while writing in a notebook with a cup of coffee in front of her. The words "6 Things Instructional Coaches Should Do to Close the Year" are written at the top.

6 Things Instructional Coaches Should Do to Close the Year

  1. Do some reflection
  2. Debrief with teachers to set goals for next year
  3. Have an end-of-year conversation with your administration
  4. Make a plan for your space
  5. Create a folder for next year
  6. Make purchases to support next year’s initiatives

Listen to this episode of The Coaching Podcast to learn more about each one. I know that if you do these things now, you’re going to leave this year with a sense of closure and feel more prepared for next year. You’ll be able to enjoy your summer and be ready when school starts again in the fall.

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6 Things Instructional Coaches Should Do to Close the Year, Ep. 146 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

buzzing with ms b  00:01

Hey coach. If this episode topic hits home with you and you’re thinking about how to make next year different than this year, I have a time sensitive offer that I think you’ll love. This may in June, I’m hosting my end of year workshop series. It’s part workshop, part group coaching call and 100% coaching reality, I still have a few more spaces open for coaches who want to join the for live weekly sessions, learn about how to reflect thoughtfully and turn those reflections into plans for personal growth, redefining your role and creating your coaching program for next year. You can join us at buzzing with Miss b.com slash e o Why join us and set yourself up for a great year in the fall before summer even begin. One of the challenges of instructional coaching is finding affordable specialized training that’s designed just for you. That’s why I’m excited to share an online event with you that’s right up your alley. Sydney is hosting a free online conference all about instructional coaching called Better Together. It’s a one day virtual event with dynamic keynote speakers including Jim Knight, and breakout sessions designed to help you grow as an instructional coach, head to sydney.com/buzz. To register for this free event. That’s s I B M e.com. Forward slash beat us ZZ Sydney, changing the way people learn at work.

buzzing with ms b  01:23

You’re listening to buzzing with Miss B, the coaching podcast where we believe that every teacher deserves a coach. And every coach does too. I’m Chrissy Beltran, an instructional coach, resource creator and coffee enthusiast, and I’m your host, stay tuned for practical tips and honest coaching talk that will help you coach with confidence.

buzzing with ms b  01:49

Hey, coach, and welcome to episode 146 of buzzing with Miss B, the coaching Podcast. Today we are talking about six things to do to close the year purposefully. We’re in the middle of our series about your coaching impact. And so far, we’ve talked about how to track, evaluate and reflect on our coaching work and our impact. And today we’re going to add another piece to this puzzle. I wanted to share an episode with you about some meaningful things you can do to close the year one because obviously it’s timely. And you know, you’re listening to this in real time at the end of the year. But another because it’s the perfect time to look back and think about what coaching has looked like. This gear has been a challenge in so many ways. And coaches are just tired. So it’s super tempting to start the countdown and just sort of get through your day and the last few weeks of the school year. And I’m not saying don’t take the breaks please do when you need them. But I wanted to share some things today that would help you work smarter at the end of the year, instead of harder and sell yourself set yourself up for success for next year. The challenge of being a coach at the end of the year is that you are used for everything. And this is actually a note that I wrote on a blog post during my last year as a campus literacy coach I wrote, there are 11 days left in school of those 11 days one is an all day end of your white writing review. One is a field trip that I’m chaperoning, one of the full day training, and one day is class making all day. So that’s essentially a week that was just gone out of those 11 days. And a lot of teachers would say well, what do you have to do at the end of the year, because in the classroom, you’re filling out tons of paperwork and putting stickers in cume folders and working on fun and stressful end of the year projects and packing everything up and doing all kinds of things to sign out, it’s a lot as a coach, the end of the year is very different, but it is just as chaotic. So here are five actually six things I recommend doing at the end of the year to give purpose meaning and closure to your work and to prepare you for next year. The first thing that I recommend you do is to do some reflection. In Episode 24, I actually had shared about how to write SMART goals for your coaching work. And then in this series on your coaching impact, we’ve talked about how to focus your work and track your time. Whether you’ve been tracking your work to this point in a really precise way or not. You can actually go back through your calendar and see where you spent your time. Based on the notes that you have. You could check back through your notebook. Where has my head been this year? What have I been working on? And in Episode 144, I talked with Cory campus Sydney about how to reflect on your work for the year. And then use this to think about your future coaching work. This is absolutely essential. As you reflect, I recommend that you do some writing, writing helps us think it helps us process sometimes we don’t even know what we think about something until we’ve written about it. So I have a free download that you can use to help you help you reflect in writing. You can get it a buzzing with this b.com slash episode 146 And you just scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address. It includes some questions for you to think about how this year has gone and it’ll help you think about how you envision next year go Seeing as after you do your reflecting. My second tip for providing some, you know, closure and structure to the end of the school year is to debrief with teachers to do some thinking about your goals for next year. I find that meeting with teachers and grade levels at the end of the year helps me to get an idea of some of the things they’d like to work on, while they’re still fresh. So I record their feedback, and I noticed patterns. And I can use that to bundle it into goals for the following year, I figure out how I need to support these goals. And I spend some time over the summer thinking about them. And then at the beginning of the year, you can look back over them and see if anything else has come to you over the summer, kind of you might see it with a different frame of reference. Maybe you read some interesting blog posts or some books that have given you some ideas about how you can address those goals or that work that teachers want you to focus on, you can revamp your support goals to ensure that you’re prepared to offer the best coaching support to your teachers. And you can actually even revamp a coaching menu to make sure that you have supports on there that reflect the needs that your teachers have. This is also a great time to send out a survey about your coaching work. So you can do this in a one on one where you actually talk to teachers. But if you want to give teachers some time to think and write, then maybe you don’t have time for a one on one with each teacher, or you’re worried that you’re not going to get an honest response, you can send out a survey to kind of have them reflect on their growth. But also think about how they can share their experience with you as as how your coaching support impacted them. Having them think about what kinds of support could be most impactful based on their experiences with this with you this year would be really valuable for planning your next year of coaching. And if you’re looking for a server that’s already done, you can grab those in my store, I’ll put the link in the show notes is the teacher feedback surveys for instructional coaching. My third tip is to have an end of your dialogue with your admin. So in Episode 145, we talked about what to do if you realize that you’re used for everything but coaching. If this is the case, you can follow those tips for your conversation. But even if it’s not the case, you realize that you haven’t been able to do you have done some really good coaching work this year, it’s important to have a conversation about your coaching role, your work and your impact with your admin, you can set a date and time to have a thorough conversation and you I recommend you bring notes and questions ready to ask. You can also give them a heads up about the topic of the dialog so that they can do some thinking to before you even arrive. Because that might get you the best information for what you’re looking for. Talk about your observations from your coaching work this year, and where you’d like to head next year. And then you can share about how you feel about your accomplishments and what your challenges are, where do you feel like you’re getting stuck, you can ask for input. And it’s also really helpful to ask about what direction your school might be heading in next year. Because that’s good information for you, as you set your goals for your coaching work in the fall, you already kind of know, okay, we’re gonna really start talking about academic language, we’re gonna really start looking at vocabulary usage. So maybe I can do a little reading over the summer, just kind of keep that in the back of my mind. And I want to have a goal set around this in the fall that will help me support teachers in this area. So maybe I want to curate some resources, or I want to look into a program, or I want to make sure that teachers understand how vocabulary is actually learned. And that it’s not about dictionary definitions. But instead it’s about learning words in multiple uses and having multiple exposures to a word. So that could be something you think about knowing what direction your school is heading. It’s also really helpful when you’re talking to your admin to see what they envision for your role. Because I’m going to share something with you that’s really important right now, I do coaching calls on this podcast, I know you know that if you’ve been listening for any length of time, about once a month, I try to have a coach who is a coach in the field right now, and is having some challenges, and who wants to talk to me in kind of a coaching consulting sort of role. And we have about a 30 minute conversation about their challenges, and we do some problem solving. And I share some ideas, they think about how they can implement different things. And it’s I really enjoy it.

buzzing with ms b  09:08

Whenever I’m talking to these coaches, you may have noticed a pattern, whatever their issue is about, I’d say about 80% of the time, when I start asking questions, we find out that they do not have a clearly defined role, and that they have not heard from their administrator, what is the expectation, and their teachers don’t know what the expectation is something or one of those, at least one of those pieces is not in place. And not having those pieces in place means that nothing else is going to work the way that you want it because you’re not going to have the security of that role to fall back on and the clear understanding of what the expectation is for you. So as a coach, if you have not clearly defined that role with your administrator, I cannot recommend you doing this enough. I actually have a free webinar that will help you Do it if you want to grab it, you go to buzzing, Miss b.com slash webinar with a capital W. And it’ll help you walk through how to define your coaching role for yourself, as well as how to communicate that with your administrator. Okay, my fourth idea for what you need to do as a coach at the end of the year, if make a plan for your space, some people have a classroom, some people have a closet, some people share some people are, you know, flying solo, it just depends on what space your school has and what your role looks like. But now that you know where your energy is going to be focused, you can decide on whether this requires you to change your layout of the space that you do have. For example, when I created the mentor text, text baskets for each teacher, that’s something I actually talked about in the podcast. I mean, in my course, the confident literacy coach, I had to make space for each grade level to have one in my coaching room, each teacher had a basket, but I also had a basket so that when we came together to plan, they didn’t have to bring their whole basket. And we just had a sample link of exactly what they had in their resource kits. So this required me to reorganize some of my face, I knew that we were going to make that part of a priority in our planning. So I had to think differently about the way that I set up my room. So you can look at your room and actually ask yourself, what didn’t work well, this year? What worked well, really well. And what do I want to keep? Is there something that was a flow that needs to be changed? Based on where I want to spend my time next year? What do I need to adjust about my space? Is my room teacher friendly? can i improve the accessibility of items in my room? Do teachers know what they have access to and what they don’t, those are all things that you can think about as you’re examining your space and deciding if you need to make some changes, and having a frame of understanding of where you’re headed, and what your goals could be next year can help you rethink the space that you currently have. Okay, tip number five, make a folder and label it with next year’s school year. So like at the end of 2023, you’re gonna write wanting 23, you know, fall, right. And I know this doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal. But I tend to do a lot of evaluating at the end of the year. And you’re like you kind of think about what are the needs of my school. And you might come across a great article or some great resource about that topic. So then at the end of the year, as you’re kind of processing where you want to head next year, you can start collecting resources that will help you plan professional development, align things, plan PLCs provide resources for teachers, and you just stick them in your folder, you might find an article about how to teach grammar or think of an idea to make PLC work a little better for teachers stick it in your folder. So I stuffed in ideas and thoughts for next year. And then also I include any order forms that we might want to consider for purchases, because that’s actually going to be my last tip in just a minute. So by the end of school, the last day of school, you have a nice collection of things to help you get started for the next year. It’s an easy system. But it really helps you remember things that you think are important to consider and be prepared with a starting point. So you’re not just going I don’t know what to do. And you can also do this on your computer, you just set a folder on your desktop labeled with the upcoming school year. And if you see any ideas over the summer, stick them in the folder. It’s nice because instead of dedicating your whole summer to all those things, you can just dedicate your summer to collecting the things and dealing with them in the fall. If that’s where your headspace is, I totally get that. My last tip for closing up the year purposefully, is to make purchases to support next year’s initiatives. So this is where that conversation with your admin getting feedback from your teachers is so important. If you don’t know where you’re headed, and you don’t know what teachers need, you don’t know where to spend your money. But if you can make a purchase, and if your budget is available at the end of the year, you know, if get it done, if I as a coach, if I used to leave purchases from my school secretary to make by the time school started again, the boxes were in my room ready to be broken down to be organized to be distributed. And it helped teachers start with the stuff that they need it. It’s also really helpful whenever your purchases are going to be items that you just have to store in their classrooms. So you can get them all out to the teachers at the beginning of the year when they’re setting their rooms up. Because nothing is worse than when you are a teacher you have your classroom setup. And a month at a school somebody comes with like this gigantic thing that you now have to figure out where you’re gonna put it, how you’re going to use it. It’s so much easier to get started at the beginning of the school year that way. For example, like classroom libraries. They’re best distributed before teachers have their library set up so they can keep in mind the resources that they have to make space for. You might also make purchases for your own coaching needs because based on your reflection, there might be some tools or resources that you want to help you do your coaching work the next year. or maybe you realize you need more observation forms, and you’re gonna grab something from my store that observation and walk through forms to help you be prepared. Maybe you want to have those printed out in a little booklet. So you can make copies. Or maybe you want to have something created on carbon copy paper, so you can easily peel it off and keep one copy for you and one for the teacher or whatever you need. All of that stuff is great to have done over the summer by the end of the school year. Maybe you want to grab some PD books, or some tracking software or hardware for video support you want like a stand for your for your phone, you want something to help you make better videos for teachers, whenever you’re providing them tutorials, you know, just what kinds of resources will help you do the kinds of things you want to do next year, get them now get it out of the way so that you’re prepared. And you can start the year with all the stuff that you need to do the work you’re trying to do. All of these ideas should help you wrap up the year with an eye towards how next year can be better or different. And if you do them, I know that you’re going to leave this year with a sense of closure and a sense of being prepared, which means you can enjoy your summer so much more however long that summer may be or however short. Again, if you haven’t grabbed that defining your coaching role webinar, definitely go grab that at buzzing with msp.com/webinar Next week, I am actually doing a coaching call with a coach who wants to talk a little bit about evaluating their coaching work. And so we’re going to talk about some of the ideas that we’ve been thinking about in this series your coaching impact, and I’m going to help her think about how she can implement some in her actual role at school. That will be episode 147 And until then, happy coaching

buzzing with ms b  16:44

Thank you for listening to buzzing with Miss B the coaching podcast. What more coaching ideas. Check me out at buzzing with Ms. b.com and on Instagram at buzzing with Miss B. 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. Happy coaching


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