I do, We do, You do

I was reminded of the importance of the coaching steps to:
1) Model
2) Co-plan/collaborate
3) Observe.  

When I first began coaching I was not sure how I was to gain the trust of novice teachers. I remembered how I felt when I began and overwhelmed doesn’t even describe it.  Getting my class ready, lesson plans, meetings with colleagues and admin, reading a roster of names I couldn’t pronounce, missing emails while waiting on my laptop, dept. meetings…and all this before a student had even walked in the door.

I did not want to be an added stress to a new teacher and was determined to be helpful no matter what.  I refused to be seen as another thing in the teacher’s to do checklist.  I held my initial conversations, gave an assortment of supplies and goodies to each client, and presented my role as a supportive coach for their needs alone.  Did it work?  No, many client teachers were still guarded and saw me as an evaluator with the admin’s ear. So, I had to prove myself and what better way than to work with them slowly gaining trust and respect.  It was much the same as students.  I would spend the first week with nothing but getting to know them activities and are adults really that different?  

My approach was one of the I do, we do, you do mentality and it worked wonders for my ability to support novice teachers.  

I do:
I would spend time in CLT (collaborative learning team) meetings supporting the plans for future lessons.  Sometimes I wouldn’t say a thing, other times I would ask a question here or there about the lesson, and often I would offer to create resources or model teaching.  They leaped at the idea and I was able to create resources, model a lesson, and show them how to integrate engaging and technology based activities into class.

We do:
Next, I spent time with 1-1 planning to strengthen lessons, co-taught with a teacher that struggles with a certain skill, classroom management, or technology and supported teachers in creating resources for instruction.  I was able to see teachers growing in confidence and skill.

You do:
Then, I simply had to sit back and observe the high will teacher in action.  They had been given the tools of self realization that they were capable all along.  No longer did they feel overwhelmed because they knew they had a supportive coach in their corner.

I still remember one teacher that wished to use Nearpod to engage students but struggled with how to facilitate them.  One day I modeled 1st block, co-taught 2nd block and observed 3rd block.  It was an exhausting, rewarding, wonderful day that I hope to repeat with many other teachers.  That teacher is now asking me to come and observe her while she creates, teaches, and shares Nearpods on a weekly basis.

The ultimate reward for me is to be able to sit down and have a conversation with the teacher about the lesson I just observed.  How she thought it went based on the feedback provided.  Using this model, I hope to encourage more teachers to find the ability to complete the “you do” time and time again.

Inspired by: Building Trust for Coaching in the Classroom by Chris Fuller @fullerchrism

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