It’s the start of the school year. How do you start this year coaching educators? What types of support do you offer? As some coaching is now virtually, how do you support a teacher who does not have time to meet with you? Here are a few suggestions for professional development and for coaching educators.
- Offer suggestions for tools to use for classroom engagement. Teachers are already overwhelmed by trying to navigate the Learning Management System (LMS) and getting their learners enrolled in the classroom. One thing that you could do is provide a cheat sheet that explains some of the tools that teachers can use in their classroom (FlipGrid, Pear Deck, Wakelet, Book Creator, etc.). As you share suggestions, request that the educator select no more than two tools to use for classroom engagement, as more may overwhelm the children.
2. Facilitate a session on routines, procedures, and expectations. While some of the expectations can be the same as it is during in classroom instruction, there may be different expectations virtually. Help teachers create what is expected for their virtual classroom. Think about offering a comparison on virtual instruction versus classroom instruction. Educators may learn that they may have to alter expectations and provide “How-to” instructions for this new type of instruction.
- Building relationships – Educators generally have an opportunity to see their learners face to face and start to build relationships. What happens when this is not available? How will they form relationships with children from a virtual standpoint? As a coach, this is your opportunity to find team building and relationship building activities that educators can facilitate with children. You can help them create activities like All About Me, My Favorite Things, Would You Rather, etc. It’s also important to ensure the emotional wellness of a child during this time. Encourage them to offer a wellness check-in. Children need to know that their educators care about them.
- Schedules and Lesson Plans– What does the schedule look like now that teaching is virtual? This is a good time to introduce the I Do, We Do, You Do concept. What activities could be done synchronously and/or asynchronously? Coaches can also share what group work will look like and how to create classroom schedules. Offer a few lesson plans options and schedules that they can use for their classrooms.
- You can create a brochure to offer services that you can provide virtually
- Collaborative lesson planning
- Unpacking standards
- Locating resource
- Resilience coaching
- Group Planning – you can offer small groups to support teachers with implementation of virtual classroom instruction.
- Brainstorming – Teachers are always looking for someone to brainstorm with. This could be something that you can do to support them.
- Snack and Shout – Let’s face it: teaching is a challenge. Sometimes educators can get so overwhelmed with the day-to-day expectations that they are facing. This is an opportunity for you to provide a listening ear and offer suggestions to help them take care of themselves.
While these are only a few suggestions, there are more ways to promote yourself and your role as an instructional coach. It is also a great time to find a support group for yourself as well. Coaches also need coaching.
If you are in need of any of the resources that I posted, please send me a request in the contact form of teacher-er.com.