Full Circle: Instructional Coaching

This week I had the opportunity to learn alongside other instructional leaders from Coppell ISD (campus Principals, Assistant Principals, Instructional Coaches, District Administrators) at our annual Principals Academy.  The great Ainsley Rose from Jim Knight’s Instructional Coaching Group led us through two days of collaboration and contemplation of our next phase of Instructional Coaching and one day of work on Principals as Communicators.  Powerful stuff.

My sketch notes from the three days are below.  Impactful thoughts worth remembering…

  • Teaching is so hard…it is never perfect…no matter how good a lesson is, it can always be improved.
  • When we do the thinking for them, they resist.
  • Help like a dog, not like a cat.
  • Own the misunderstanding.  Don’t blame the student.
  • Actions prove who someone is.  Words just prove who they want to be.
  • Be ambitious and humble.

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Here’s the full circle part…Recently, I had the opportunity to accompany a team of colleagues to IBM for a day and a half of design thinking.  What came from one team’s work there that I will not soon forget was the realization of how burdensome, stressful, and exhausting a day in the life of a teacher can be.  I knew this, but to see it in light of our work is motivating.  What can I do to change this?  More coaching.  More empowering.  More support.  More celebrating.  More listening.  More empathy.  More trust.  More individualized attention.  More understanding.