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.


dayle timmons said...

It would be so hard to watch 4 of our talented K-1 teachers move to
2nd grade but 2nd grade would be so lukcy to get them! We all need a change sometimes and this is a school that recognizes and embraces those needs. How lucky are these 4 teachers to have found each other and be ready to take a risk with something new! Good luck to an exciting and talented team!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed observing the 2nd grade teachers. They are a talented bunch! I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to actually see what I am interested in doing. We are lucky to have you as a coach!

Mrs. Roberts said...

You organized such an exciting and fully packed day! I felt like I got every view of 2nd grade in one day. Thank you so much for letting us explore out options!

Julia Lewis said...

What an amazing opportunity the day was! Not only did we learn so much but we got to watch our colleagues in action. It was planned out perfectly. Thank you!