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Coaching Teachers Through Implementing IE Standards-Driven Units
By Amanda Funk
Coming off our first round of working with IE to create standards-driven units, I found myself reflecting on the entire process. We had been immersed for two days in standards, text complexity, close reading, vocabulary, text-dependent questions, etc. Then we spent three full days immersed in learning targets, success criteria, and the planning of our units.
I sat in awe of the grade-level team I worked with. Eighth-grade teachers from all over our district were working together to analyze text complexity, pair up learning targets and success criteria, and have meaningful, thought-provoking conversations around instruction and standards. They were excited and passionate, and you could just feel the energy! We all returned to our respective schools feeling recharged and ready to teach these amazing units.
Then Life Set In.
Snow days, two-hour delays, discipline, testing schedules, illnesses, holidays, high school visits, and other interruptions came pouring in on top of the frustrations of lessons not going as planned, and momentum was lost.
In hindsight, I now see that where I, as the building instructional coach, could have done more to support my teachers.
At our last IE training, I took this picture to keep as a reminder of coaching focus areas:
Plan, Collaborate, Analyze, Discuss, and Develop:
Each bullet point represented under each area provides a coaching task to complete, as well as a way to track the work a coach does with each teacher.We don't just introduce a new way of doing things and then say, 'GO!' Teachers need scaffolding & encouragement to learn & implement new things. #edleadership #edchat #k12 Click To Tweet
The Before, During, After Coaching Model
I believe that coaches play an integral part in keeping up momentum and motivation during unit implementation. There are specific things we can do to help empower and encourage teachers, ensuring successful implementation, including the use of a Before, During, and After model of coaching. But as I tell my teachers: This is a process and we all have room to grow.
Going forward, I plan to implement the following success criteria:
Coaching Promotes Change
It takes a village to effect successful, long-standing change. This village needs to involve IE coaches, district coordinators, building administrators, building coaches, and teachers helping one another.
We don’t just introduce a new way of doing things and then say, “GO!”
Teachers need scaffolding and encouragement to learn and implement new things. They need to know they’re not alone, and that they’re being supported in their endeavors to implement this new and exciting work that will help them grow and help their students succeed.
LEARN MORE: THE POWER OF STANDARDS-DRIVEN UNITS
The progress in Lancaster is inspiring. I’m constantly impressed by the dedication and commitment of these educators, and honored to be working with them. — Beth Carr