“Hello, it’s me”… again. Not Adele. It’s me, Eric.
I’ve been a bit out of the posting routine recently. I’ve greatly enjoyed working through the creative process with each guest author. I’ve been a bit busy.
I work in a high-need school and, as many of you know, we are in a teacher shortage in the U.S. So, I had been filling in as the eighth grade Science teacher at my school for the first five weeks of school. I have enjoyed my time working closely with our students and our middle school team. As I now transition back to my instructional coaching role, I have learned some important lessons.
- The importance of time. Whether during a teacher prep period or after school, time is our most precious resource. As a coach I will remember to always ask, “Is this a good time?” or “When can we get together to talk?”
- The importance of breaks. There are days when the best support you can give a teacher is a few moments to go to the restroom. Not feedback, not hard questions, just 5 minutes of a break.
- The importance of a well timed compliment. Teaching is HARD WORK. It’s really easy to slip into a “Sky is Falling” mindset. A bad lesson, bad day, or even a bad week is not the end of the world. Sometimes a quick compliment (You’re doing great work!) is just the remedy.
- The importance of space. Sometimes, the best strategy as a coach is to give some space. Give the teacher a few days to process and practice something new.
- The importance of listening. Just listen during the conversation. Don’t offer suggestions, wonderings, “what ifs,” action steps, or “push your thinkings.” Just listen and reassure.
There are so many more lessons that I have learned in the last few months. More to come, but for now,
“Hello, from the other side”