The Q&A this month comes from Sheila, a new instructional coach:
I am creating a presentaion to introduce myself as an instructional coach to a small school system and give a snapshot about what instructional coaching is all about. What are the 3-5 things I should be sure to tell them?
This is a great question that many new coaches have. Coaches are often sent to their first assignment without a lot of guidance, let alone a coherent message of what instructional coaching is all about. Before I offer a few thoughts, I encourage anyone with this question to take some time to reflect on a few quiding questions:
- What’s most important to your role? What are your core beliefs about teaching, learning, and coaching?
- How will you measure success for the students, the teachers, and your self?
- How will you present your message to your colleagues? Consider not only presenting your ideas, but gathering your colleagues hopes and fears.
That being said, here are just a few of my thoughts.
- Instructional coaching is not about what’s wrong, but what’s next. Coaching should never be based on a deficit model, but on building from teacher strengths.
- Instructional coaching must be focused on student learning, not on fixing teachers and evaluation.
- The instructional coaching relationship must be based on trust. Teachers, coaches, and school administrators need to all understand what can and will be shared.
There is so much more to say, but I would like to open the conversation up to my fellow coaches. Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.