Written by Gen
Many of these positive experiences have to do with perception. This one is no different. Coaches have a lot of flexibility when it comes to time and schedules. This fact may open you up to some extra scrutiny from teachers who have unrelenting jam-packed schedules. A positive perception of how you spend your time is important, so you may as well spend it in the right places. Here’s how:
Consider your purpose
The role of a coach is to be a support, a source of encouragement and information, an influence, and a resource for teachers. Doesn’t it make sense that the best place for you is wherever the teachers are? This means the bulk of your time should be spent planning with teachers, co-teaching with teachers, modeling instruction for teachers, visiting teacher’s lessons for feedback, debriefing with teachers, creating action plans with teachers, and problem-solving with teachers.
Side note: Don’t get me wrong. Grade-level or whole-school professional development is important and it makes sense to have those who understand literacy the most develop and deliver these opportunities. Research suggests, however, that large-scale PD is not as effective as individual coaching. So, while large-scale PD is necessary to get information to teachers for a shared foundation, a coach’s time is best spent individually coaching teachers to lift their levels of understanding.
Track your time
You may have other district expectations on your plate. You may be expected to create professional development opportunities, attend meetings, or participate in a variety of committees. How do you ensure that the majority of your time is being spent in the places that are most connected to your purpose? Follow these simple steps to analyze your time and make the proper adjustments:
- Make a list of all of your requirements (i.e. creating PD, visiting lessons, debriefing lessons, co-teaching, planning with teachers, district meetings, etc.)
- Put them all vertically in a chart with a box next to each one.
- Every day, during a month’s time, put a tally mark next to each item for every 30 minutes that you spent on it.
- At the end of the month, add up the minutes you have spent on each task.
Side note: This process isn’t just for coaches! Use these steps in any position where you feel that your time may not be going into the areas that most directly match your purpose.
Analyze where you have spent the majority of your time. If your time was spent mostly in areas that fit your purpose, then you are on the right track! If, however, you find that a lot of your time has been spent in meetings, planning PD, or other areas, then you can use this information to advocate for more time working directly with teachers.
If you liked this post and want to see other ways to create 100 Positive Experiences with your teachers, be sure to find Positive Experiences 1-5 in our archives!