100 Positive Experiences: How literacy coaches can develop strong relationships with teachers

Written by Gen

As a literacy specialist, I’ve worked with classroom teachers in both general and special education in one way or another for fourteen years. Many of those years have been spent as a literacy coach. When I first started, I sorely underestimated the importance of strong relationships in the coaching process, and let me tell you, it was a rocky and unproductive road until I started taking the time to build the relationships properly.

Over the years, I have been collecting the research and developing personal methods to build strong coaching relationships with teachers and sorting them into two categories- what worked and what didn’t. Here is what it all boiled down to: you must create 100 consecutive positive experiences between yourself and the teacher in order to establish trust and have a strong enough foundation for productive and impactful collaboration. If you accidentally cause a negative experience, then you must begin again at one. Once you have reached 100 consecutive positive experiences, and have gained the trust of the teacher, there will be more room for imperfection on your part, but not until that time.

Of course, just like in anything else, there will be variations, depending on the past experiences of each teacher. You may find that you reach a high level of trust after only a few consecutive positive experiences whereas others who may have had their trust breached in the past will need you to create more than 100 positive experiences. A word of caution: when determining the point at which a strong relationship has been established, be careful not to confuse compliance for a strong working relationship. Agreeing with you may be a tactic that a scared, unconfident, or angry teacher may use to quickly end your interactions. You will leave these interactions feeling great, but the teacher will be feeling relieved that it is over and will be reluctant to carry the conversation through into the classroom. This will lead to massive amounts of frustration when it is time to review results. I would like to be clear, if this is occurring, the coach has made a misjudgment, not the teacher.

You may be wondering what, exactly, constitutes a positive coaching experience and how, precisely, to create them with your teachers. We would like to invite you to return to our blog as Rhonda and I explicitly define 100 ways to create positive experiences and discuss the many subtle signs that will help you to know when you have reached the ultimate coaching relationship.

You can find other posts about 100 Positive Experiences here:

100 Positive Experiences: #1 Be on time. Every time.

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #2 Work harder than the teacher

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #3 No agendas

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #4 Tips for Improving your Listening Skills as a Literacy Coach

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #5, How to Build Relationships with Teachers

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #6; Spend time in the right places

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #7, keep it confidential 

100 Positive Experiences: Experience #8; Support, support, support the teacher

 

4 thoughts on “100 Positive Experiences: How literacy coaches can develop strong relationships with teachers

  1. Pingback: 100 Positive Experiences: Experience #7, keep it confidential  – Literacy Pages

  2. Pingback: 100 Positive Experiences: #1 Be on time. Every time. – Literacy Pages

  3. Pingback: 100 Positive Experiences: Experience #2 Work harder than the teacher – Literacy Pages

  4. Pingback: 100 Positive Experiences: Experience #3 No agendas – Literacy Pages

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