Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Does An Instructional Coach Do In Pre-planning?

You may be wondering…

As teachers are unpacking their rooms, organizing their classroom libraries and math manipulatives, putting up their bulletin boards, getting ready for orientation, and making first week lesson plans…what is an instructional coach doing?

Well, in the pre-planning phase, my most crucial role is to be a Resource Provider and Teacher Supporter. Sure, I have plenty of other jobs related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and I do balance getting these jobs started, but the majority must wait. In serving the teachers, I must come each day to fulfill their needs and equip them with what they need to get a successful start with students. Much of the time this correlates to grunt work. :)

This year, our student enrollment has increased and three new classrooms have been added. That means three new sets of “stuff” including classroom libraries. No coach wants a teacher beginning the new year feeling like they don’t have the necessary material to provide quality instruction. Therefore, I’ve been coding leveled and genre books, delivering books to classrooms, checking teacher manuals out from the book room, ordering additional student materials from the district, and attending Orientations as a support. Furthermore, I've attended a workshop at the district to learn about the new reading curriculum and plan for the implementation process. I’ve also met with 2nd and 4th Grade ELA teachers to answer their questions about pacing guides, skills block instruction, and assist them in planning for reading and writing implementation. All of this has come at the request of teachers. Their needs are my priority.

I try to remember, when coaching teachers in the early weeks, they generally come on a need to know basis. I keep myself open to their needs, roll up my sleeves for some grunt work to save them time, provide them with all necessary materials, and give them space to get up and running. Once they do, they will be ready to welcome me into their classrooms, and the feedback loop will begin.

3 comments:

Our Family said...

I love reading your blog! I am entering my 2nd year as an instructional coach and I would love if you would post some of your best organizational tips as we get ready to begin this school year! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the work you did to get my classroom library. I am so excited to have all of these quality books for my kids to get into this year!

-Meli Launey

Anonymous said...

Your blog has inspired me, I'm currently in my first year as an instructional coach and I have learned so much thus far.