Listen to Episode 42
In this episode of #coachbetter spotlight we have a great conversation about summer learning for coaches, teachers and school leaders with Tim, Tricia, and Ben from our YouTube series, Coaching Fundamentals. We talk about all sorts of opportunities for professional growth from formal book clubs to the power of documenting and sharing professional learning, and the importance of “coaching up” when working with school leaders.
Bonus: Watch the spotlight version of this episode on YouTube!
Full Show Notes
Today we have a great conversation about summer learning for coaches, teachers and school leaders with Tim, Tricia, and Ben from our YouTube series, Coaching Fundamentals. We talk about all sorts of opportunities for professional growth from formal book clubs to the power of documenting and sharing professional learning, and the importance of “coaching up” when working with school leaders. We talk about everything from strategies to getting started, to books, podcasts and other professional learning resources that have been powerful for our team. Plus, we end with a great idea for collaborating with our instructional coaching peers to build our individual coaching toolkits through even more great conversations!
What’s your approach to summer learning? Brain on/off?
Summer reading has led to book club groups at ISB with Clint’s team.
Tricia uses Good Reads and asks colleagues to share books in that space. Adds books during the school year to her “to read” shelf, and then reads them in the summer. Starts after one or two weeks for some brain recharging.
Tricia recommends Audible, esp for those who have long commutes, or spend time doing things when you can listen. Can speed up the pace of the author speaking – she likes 1.5 speed.
Ben also loves Audible. Last few summers, he’s been in school. Speed reads books & passes it on to someone else, and then talks about it with them. Team at NIST shares books. Attending a coaching workshop with Jim Knight in May, which hopefully will influence his reading. Attending workshop with admin. Wants to read The Art of Coaching Teams: Elena Aguilar.
Leadership are very supportive of book clubs, more sustainable than external PD, spreads the learning more organically throughout staff. Book clubs are very successful in Tricia’s and Tim’s experience.
At Tim’s school, they’re forming organically by department. Tricia runs her book club as a workshop style, discussing: “what are the underlying messages of the book?” Ask yourself “What’s the point of this meeting?” and design an intentional structure to accomplish that goal in the meeting.
MOOCs / Online Courses
Teams are taking MOOCs together from MIT in a cohort model at NIST.
Documentation of Learning
The power of the organizer: you also have a responsibility to document and share out with community (Tricia uses a blog).
Tim’s team uses Voxxer as a documentation tool in book club or for social learning – because people were aware that others were listening, they were short (1 min) statements. Another team uses Google Docs.
In 2019, you should be able to ask a school leader: What does professional learning look / sound / feel like on your campus? And they should be able to share links to demonstrate that. We’re living in a world where we’re always asking our students to document their thinking of/as/for learning – and if we’re asking students to do that, we should be expecting our teachers to be doing it too. The coaches are the connection between this on the ground learning and the school leadership.
School Leadership PD
How do we, as coaches, “coach up”, to support our leadership to learn and grow in their own professional growth? So many school leaders are open to having these conversations because they know they are on a growth track. As coaches, we can set up regular meetings with school leaders and view that time as collaborative partners in supporting leadership. We’re partners in school improvement and growth. Coaches are in an in-between spot: we understand the intention of what school leaders do AND the impact of how that impacts teachers. So, being able to go back and share that reality with leadership and be able to course-correct.
For own professional learning, we can take experiences that didn’t work and “explode the moment” to see how we could have handled it differently – highlighting and identifying how we could use our coaching skills to have a similar conversation more successfully.
Can combine this with an opportunity to “hit the reset button” to give that person another chance, and give you an opportunity to try that new skill.
What are your recommendations for reading / learning / exploring as a coach?
- The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
- The Impact Cycle by Jim Knight
- Steve Barkley
- The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation
- Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations
- The Art of Gathering (book here) Reflection from a staff book group here or Tricia’s summary of why she loved it here
- To talk better listen (Alan Alda book) – or shortcut and listen to this podcast
Specifically these episodes:
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