Monday, September 7, 2009
The First Two Weeks at the Blink of an Eye
The smiling kids, dressed in their first day attire with their new shoes and book bag saddled backs, arrive, and before you know it two weeks has whizzed by at the blink of an eye. You would think that this would be the least busy time of the year for an instructional coach, because after all, what teacher wants to be coached on instructional content when they are getting to know a new group of youngsters and settle into familiar rituals and routines. But, you'd be mistaken.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm watching instruction, offering feedback, and asking questions. Rather, the focus has been as classroom supporter. I'm making sure that each teacher has the resources and materials they need to plan and deliver quality instruction. I've filled in a few critical needs that somehow got missed at the end of last year like the delivery of a few standards books, professional texts, new leveled books, and DRA 2 kits to name just a few. I've also focus walked classrooms to ensure that teacher's needs were being met. And, I've focused much of my attention on analyzing data to assist in completing this year's School Improvement Plan and Professional Development Plans. I don't mind any of these tasks because I feel like it is the foundation that will ensure a solid school year.
However, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that now, just 9 days into the school year, we are entering my favorite part, the beginning of Teacher Meetings. Because, working side by side with teachers to plan instruction, offer feedback, and question practice is one highlight of my work that I enjoy. On Thursday, during common planning time, each grade level team met for their first round of Professional Development specific to their grade level needs. I sat in on the 2nd Grade ELA meeting where they discussed their pacing guide, Skills Block implementation, and worked on meaningful homework ideas and formats to support their teaching. This dynamic group worked together, bounced ideas off one another, and compromised on a common plan. I could tell, even from the start, that this team of professionals will have a productive year full of professional growth. And, I know around our school as each team met, much of the same thing was happening. Working at CCE where teachers value professional growth and meeting the needs of each student takes center stage is one of my greatest joys. This is a community that knows, "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it." an I am grateful to be a part of the Chets Creek orchestra.