Monday, November 16, 2009
Email Coaching Doesn't Quite Capture It
Each month I have to turn in an Activity Report that demonstrates exactly how I spend my time. The tool is a little time consuming, as I've complained in the past, but it really does give our district and school board a pretty good idea of coaching activities and whether they are getting any bang for their buck for funding coaches. (If that is how they are using the tool. I'm going only on an assumption.)
Anyway, as I try to capture exactly how I spend my time, I am trying to be as completely accurate as possible. I am confident that I capture the large items like Teacher Meetings, Vertical Alignment Content TDE's, lesson observations, and Curriculum Leadership Councils, etc...But, I realize that I haven't been able to give all the small detail that would give someone a more comprehensive look at my job. For example, I have email correspondence marked about an hour each day. But, I haven't found a successful way to capture the detail in that. Listing those activities individually would take me forever, but they are important. In an hour of email correspondence, I can read a new teacher's observation lesson plan to offer suggestions, read and edit a Standards Based Bulletin Board, make a plan for lesson observations, download the Social Studies state standards into a word document and email it to a Kindergarten teacher, respond to visitor requests, and edit an assessment. Email correspondence just doesn't capture the essence of the tasks, but I don't know how else to report it. Email coaching just doesn't cut it either.
Another common problem I encounter is logging the dialogue that naturally occurs with a teacher. I've toyed with reporting it as Deskside Coaching, but again that really doesn't capture the essence or depth of conversation that continually happens. No one would know that we discuss a teacher's struggles and successes, talk about how to motivate a struggling writer, or have dialogue about professional resources where they can pull ideas for lessons, to name just a few.
I guess, it doesn't matter so much how I log it, as long as I know I'm doing the work of a coach. However, I continue to regret that my Activity Report doesn't capture exactly what I do, because I do spend time logging my time. So, if you coach and have to log your time, I'd love to hear how you report your time so that it accurately captures what you do. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.