We're All on the Same Team: An Administrator's Perspective with Christina Botbyl
In this episode we’re chatting with Christina Botbyl, Director of Curriculum at the American International School of Kuwait.
Bonus: Watch the video of this episode on YouTube!
Christina offers us her perspective as a school administrator and shares some of the successful strategies to a build a culture of coaching at AIS Kuwait as well as how instructional coaching supports student learning through teacher development and growth. This was a really deep and thoughtful conversation about coaching with a school leader who is as passionate about coaching as we are! Please note, Clint joins us part way through this episode, so you’re stuck with just Kim for the first half!
What do you think coaches do?
Instructional coaches are K12
Instructional coaches support student learning through teacher development and growth
Would like to flesh out belief or value statements from this
Instructional Coach: Technology Integration / Literacy
How do you work with the coaches at your school?
Learning walks, ½ hour at a time. Goal that coaches take teachers out on learning walks
Positive feedback loop from coaches to teachers and back
Builds relationships & coaching team
Provided a context for the leadership team to talk together about instruction
Direct supervisor, goal setting & evaluation, strategic planning
2 hours together every day during September (Foundation Time), PD for coaches
Support them in project management & productivity
What are some good opportunities for coaches to work with you?
Supporting teaching & learning – leadership might ask “how can you help us?”
Support initiatives like standards based reporting, in line with IB curriculum
Leading PD at staff meetings
Mock up for reports
Coach acting as a mentor for challenge working with struggling teachers to help them feel supported
What do you do when you don’t have the opportunity to work with a coach?
Built capacity among middle leaders through Eduro course, so that it’s not just someone with the title of coach you can go to for support, peer coaching. Anyone and everyone can be a coach.
You’ve got to model learning as a leader. None of us are best yet, we’re works in progress.
Your PLN as your coach – not just file retrieval / resource sharing.
What are the essential elements for coaching success in a school? What’s needed to build a coaching culture?
Time & Patience
Leadership needs to be on board – political, need to have lots of extra conversations, use other forums like curriculum leadership to continue conversions and open discussions, involve everyone and clarify that everyone is on board
Communicating what is coaching / shared vision / plan
Larger group to write coaching mission
Positive interactions with teachers / building relationships
Where do coaches / does coaching fail? And what can we do about it?
When coaches are only seen as the people who can fix the struggling teacher – sends the wrong message about coaching, mentally exhausting for the coaches.
Tech coaches can get caught up in minutia of helping teachers use devices and platforms, but that’s also how they build relationships, but if that becomes all that they do, they’re not really coaching.
What makes a coach invaluable to you?
Team is out there doing it, don’t need reminding, inspired, excited, passionate, self-driven;
Anticipating teacher needs;
Don’t need to wait to be asked or told or managed;
Help teams work smarter not harder, let teachers work with students;
What was your “aha” moment that shifted your perspective from not caring about coaching to being on board?
Water on rock, takes time and persistence to turn it into a smooth stone.
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