Tips for Instructional or Digital Coaches

I’m finally back to writing again and so glad to be sharing some tips I’ve curated from a group of coaches on Clubhouse. What is Clubhouse you may ask? Here’s a video from Brian Fanzo that might help! I have a few graphics to help with new users and tips for moderators, so reach out and let me know if you’d like them and I’ll email them to you! I also have 2 invites I will share with the first 2 people that comment below if you’re on an iOS device and interested in joining us.

Tonight, Tim, an ELA educator and instructional technology coach and I hosted a room specifically for coaches to come together, connect and share their best tips for effective coaching. Though Tim and I are both on Twitter, we did not know each other prior to both being in the same Clubhouse room at some point the last few weeks. We kept running into each other in rooms and decided to join forces to have meaningful discussion in hopes of helping those who do what we do. We had some INCREDIBLE educators and coaches join us tonight.

Clubhouse Event Description

So here are the curated answers to the question:

What’s Your Best Tip for Effective Coaching?

  • Allow people to be where they are. Amanda shared about SAMR and started the discussion off on the right foot. She says that, especially this year, we need to allow teachers to be where they are in terms of their tech integration.
  • Be aware of where you are as a coach. Raff brought a great point to the conversation. As coaches leading others, we have to know where we are in terms of SAMR or other tech integration models.
  • SAMR is a great starting point. Laura shared that SAMR is not linear and coaches need to use the model to guide teachers in critically thinking and determining what is possible.
  • Model for teachers – Co Plan with them – Allow Independent Practice. Omar says to combing instructional models and the coaching cycle. Give teachers the time to reflect on the strategies you used in your modeling and continue conversations until the teacher is independent and confident in the practice.
  • Advice can be toxic. Lydia brought down the house with her shares! She discussed the TPACK model as being good for planning lessons, SAMR being great for evaluation and TIM for self-reflection. She also shared that our teachers do not want to or need to know what we did back in 1999 in our classrooms. We need to be active listeners and allow them time for critical thinking. She also mentioned Carl Hooker’s pool blog that is a GREAT read for anyone interested in the SAMR model.
  • Be the guide on the side. Cindy recommends allowing an organic coaching process that still focuses on results. Allowing our teachers to be human and connecting with them in other ares will encourage a partnership that yields results.
  • Ask teachers “What is your goal? What is your plan? What characteristics do you have on your best day? Who will you be in 3-5 years? What characteristics will you have then? Anderson talks about being intentional with your teachers and encouraging them to prepare for the future person they want to be and their future impact. When teachers are reminded who they are and what their goals are they are better able to focus and move forward.
  • Coach must work on themselves. Brian shares that coaches have to work on themselves. He shared about Jim Knight and GCI and will be joining us next Sunday, Feb 28 @ 6 pm EST to discuss strategies for coaches to implement in order to be the best for those they coach.
  • Don’t just use tech for the sake of using tech. Gretchen shares her love for coaching teachers to plan and execute great lessons. Many teachers want to scrap lessons just to use a new tech tool. She suggests having discussions with teachers to discuss how using tech is making the learning or engagement better. Tim shared a great read called “Learning First, Technology 2nd” by Liz Kolb.
  • Assist teachers with projects. Katie shared taking a project from a teacher to help them feel less overwhelmed. Oftentimes small projects to us are big projects to teachers! So true, Katie! Every little bit helps and usually goes a long way in supporting our teachers.

Let us know which tips resonated with you or comment and share a tip you have that wasn’t discussed!

We will be hosting a room next Sunday, Feb 28 @ 6:00 pm EST for instructional or digital coaches and would love for you to join us and share or listen!

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