Listen to Episode 57
In this episode of #coachbetter spotlight, Kim chats with Jocelyn Sutherland. Jocelyn has been both a coach and a teacher, this episode will intersect those perspectives.
Bonus: Watch the spotlight version of this episode on YouTube!
Jocelyn has taught almost every grade level in primary school, and she’s been a digital literacy coach, so she is able to see both the teacher and the coach’s point of view as we discuss innovative ideas in teaching and learning. Our conversation got pretty deep as we explored the impact of stereotypes on younger learners, the importance of bringing diversity into the classroom, and the importance of coaches “just being there” in the classroom. We’re super excited about our new questions and conversation format for the #coachbetter podcast, and we hope you love it too!
Here’s some helpful snippets of the broader conversation.
As a coach, I always want the idea we pursue to come from the teacher, how do we meet in the middle?
Moving back into the classroom, I remember now-when you do actually want to meet with the coach you have so much to juggle. I don’t have the same headspace. I feel like coaches really need to be a part of the planning meetings. If we have a narrative writing unit coming up, could the literacy coach come and model a lesson, or might the DLC work with students to help document the process. Now that I am in the class, I would love to have coaches to be responsible for just one part of a unit, or a small pocket of a few units.
How can the teacher and coach better collaborate?
If I could go back in time and give my former coach self some advice, I would tell myself as a coach: take the first step. We look to coaches as the ‘creative genius,’ because often teachers are so bogged down with so many things, and we love what you can come in and offer, so take the first step.
How can coaches take small steps to work with teachers?
Coaches might be getting one message about how you should be coaching, but teachers might see it differently. Some teachers really just want someone in the room, and sometimes 20 minutes can help do that, to build the relationship.
You talked a little bit about teachers taking notes, and your team documenting your process. You use SeeSaw, how does that work for you in the early years?
Some teachers use it as a reference tool when talking with parents. We do not use it as an assessment tool. We document several times a week to look at progress or to get a snapshot of a child’s reading. I’ve been trying to use it to document a child’s understanding of their personal and social learning. They might discuss their conflict resolution style and document that. For example, they might talk about what is happening on the playground, and reflect on their style of resolving conflicts.
Can you tell us more about strategies for children when they have a conflict?
The TKI is something we use. At my school we talk a lot about kindness, we have assemblies about it. But when it comes down to moments of conflict, kids need tools for when things are tense. And that tool gives all students a voice and really encourages them to be more reflective of their behaviors and reactions.
You can learn more about the tool Jocelyn recommends here.
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