Guest Post: Getting Teachers on Board

Whether you have been coaching for a number of years, haverelationships a few years of coaching under your belt, or are just starting to embark on the Instructional Coaching journey, one thing you all have in common is the need to enroll teachers and spread the word about your availability to support them.

If teachers in your building or district are anything like mine, the beginning of the year involves rushing around arranging their classroom, attending district mandated meetings, establishing their classroom community, examining the curriculum, planning lessons, reviewing the state standards they are responsible for, and so much more! With all these responsibilities, contemplating initiating a coaching cycle is not high on a teacher’s to do list. Rather than sitting idly, waiting for the right time to come around, I like to get creative. Below are a few of my favorite ways to enroll teachers in Instructional Coaching at the beginning and throughout the school year:

  • Digital posters: Using websites like Thinglink, Glogster, or Piktochart, allows you to create digital posters that contain snippets of information related to coaching cycles, areas coaches can provide support, or simply introducing yourself and why you are interested in impacting teaching and learning.
  • Videos: Short videos can be a great way to share the “why” and “how” of Instructional Coaching. Videos, like Mission Instructional Coach, can also be used to generate interest in working with a coach.  
  • Newsletters: During the last school year I began sending a monthly “Coach’s Corner” newsletter through Smore. Each one included brief explanations of instructional strategies, a video from the Teaching Channel, and technology integration ideas. By sharing instructional strategies each months, my teachers are reminded of the wealth of information, ideas, and support that I can provide.
  • Candy: Using unique candy themed messages can be a creative way to capture a teacher’s attention. I like to include a QR code linked to either a newsletter or video related to the message.
    • Sample messages include:
      • Looking for some extra support as you impact student learning? Call an Instructional Coach! (Extra gum)
      • High Impact Instruction influences a student’s life now and later. (Now & Later)
      • In a crunch? Reach out to your coach. (Crunch bar)
      • Searching for instructional strategies? Your Instructional Coach has mounds! (Mounds bars)
      • Pop on over to your Instructional Coach’s office anytime! (Pop Rocks)

No matter how you choose to spread your message, it is important to clearly communicate what you have to offer teachers, and ultimately their students. Even if you don’t have teacher knocking on your office door right away, continue to find opportunities to let them know that you are there for them.

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About our Guest Blogger:

Stephanie Laird is an Instructional Coach in Iowa, where she works alongside teachers to affect student learning through the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and community building. She holds an MEd in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Iowa State University. To connect with Stephanie, visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

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