Written by Gen
This is, perhaps, the easiest way for a coach to create a positive experience with a teacher. It is as simple as it sounds. Once a meeting time has been set, adhere to it strictly.
It is important to have empathy regarding the fact that a classroom teacher has an endless to-do list every day that is impossible to accomplish. A classroom teacher must prioritize her list every day, and whatever falls near the end may never happen. I mention this so that you can remember to respect the teacher’s time. If she is expecting you, she will not do other things on that priority list while she waits for you to arrive. If you are late, or worse, a no-show, you may be providing the perfect conditions for resentment. If coaches are new to your district or school, or if they have not been well-received in the past, then your meeting was at the bottom of that teacher’s priority list anyway, so that will compound the resentment with distrust.
Life happens, though. Your child wakes up sick, the babysitter canceled unexpectedly, your cat throws up all over the place just as you’re walking out the door, the car won’t start. There are many events in our lives that are out of our control that will make us late sometimes. When a coaching relationship is new, try to be on time at all costs, but when it just can’t be helped, let the teacher know! Email, text, or call the teacher the MOMENT you know you are going to be late or that you aren’t going to make it at all. There is nothing that can undermine a coaching relationship faster than not showing up to a scheduled meeting. Remember that priority list? Well, a whole bunch of items on it didn’t get done because the teacher was afraid to leave her room, expecting you to walk in any minute-and then there wasn’t even a meeting!
Sometimes really big life events happen. In those cases, it may be impossible to alert the teacher of your tardiness or inability to attend in a timely manner. In such cases, you should send an explanation (even if it is vague) and suggestions for rescheduling as soon as you are able.
Once you have reached your 100 positive experiences and feel that there is a sense of trust between you and the teacher, a little imperfection will most likely be excused. If you are on time, however, or make it a habit of alerting teachers when the meeting time isn’t working out, you will very easily be creating many positive experiences with which to cultivate a healthy coaching relationship.
While this, and the other 99 ways to create positive coaching experiences that will follow over the rest of the school year, are geared toward literacy coaches, they can also be applied to any new or troubled relationships.