Thursday, February 11, 2010
Second Grade Observation Day
As soon as teachers receive their interest forms from the principal, they begin thinking aloud, and many times that lands them in the chair across from my desk. I love these desk side coaching conversations because most of the time they occur when a teacher is thinking about stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new. They ask, "What do you think about...?"
That's exactly what happened with a kindergarten teacher and three first grade teachers several weeks ago. They heard that a current four teacher team was requesting a loop into third grade, so each of them was kicking around the idea of making a change. And, not only were they thinking about requesting second grade, but also going as a four package deal. They had heard how pleased the four pod had been with their set up this year and thought they'd like to give it a whirl.
As the instructional coach, I could have given them my advice, but I knew it would be better for them to make an educated decision on their own. So today, I spent the day with them observing in the second grade classrooms, and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of co-teaching, stand alone teaching, and departmentalized teaching. They watched the 2nd grade instruction and looked at students' work. They asked me questions about scheduling, curriculum, and meetings. They weighed the pros and cons, and discussed their options.
As a coach, it was easy for me to set up the opportunity, and it was beneficial for them to draw their own conclusions. By the end of the observation day, I am quite certain they knew exactly what they were requesting, and it was nice to see them so excited to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.