Alisa Simeral – Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success

Alisa Simeral – Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success


to help teachers feel comfortable with
the coaching process it always starts with clear definitions of rules so at
the very beginning of the year if you can have your administrator standing
alongside a coach in front of a staff at a staff meeting and really clearly
defining the roles and responsibilities that you will be engaging in that year
as an instructional coach that’s incredibly valuable when teachers can
hear their administrators say this instructional coach is a non evaluative
role the instructional coach will be in your classrooms each and every week
supporting you not unlike that personal trainer that
comes alongside and supports you when you’re in the gym this instructional
coach is expected to come alongside you and support you in the classroom they
will be a resource for you and they will be engaging you in lots of conversations
around how you think about what you do when it when a school administrator can
establish those expectations at the very beginning of the year it really helps
teachers breathe easy because when they can breathe easy and know and understand
that the principal is not going to be going to the coach and asking what’s
happening in that classroom the principal will be going to the coach is
saying tell me about what you see with this teacher so that I can go and create
this evaluation when teachers are very clear that the evaluative process
completely isolated and separate and a process that occurs between a principal
and a teacher the teachers will breathe easy they will begin to become aware of
the role the coach has with their peers and be more open to embracing what the
coach brings when it comes to their own professional growth when working with a
teacher that we’re not sure how they think what we want to do is we want to
start with building relationships so that means that I’m gonna pop through
classrooms build a rapport with them initiate conversations oftentimes not
around instruction but in other ways just to build some credibility and
rapport and to really work on on facilitating a solid relationship first
because it’s not unlike Covey’s emotional bank account right we make
deposits so that eventually we can make a withdrawal and so what we want to do
is we want to first initiate conversation around relationship
building talking about how I can support you in the classroom just even asking
about their strengths what they do well what energizes them in their classroom
sometimes it might even be initiating conversations in a personal areas of
things but ultimately what we want to do is we want to build a relationship so
that as we then begin to engage in conversation we can listen
carefully or how that teacher thinks and oftentimes that thinking will come out
is how we how we talk about our students how we talk about our content how we
simply just talk about our jobs it’s amazing how much thinking that we can
understand and elicit from teachers when we just simply engage this in
conversation to be the only coach that district can be very tough especially
when you have many multiple schools and many teachers so it’s not that you’re
going to be engaging in the work as a coach like someone who is embedded
within a school site here would be my encouragement to you if you’re in this
situation the encouragement would be to partner with your site administrators
sit down have a have rich conversations with a school administrator identify who
your refinement stage teachers are utilize them to get to talk
about ways strategize how you can leverage your refinement stage teachers
partnering folks up so the work that you’re going to be engaging in is going
to be a lot in that principal’s office working with the principal looking as
the staff and determining we can partner this teacher with this teacher we can
work and help get them together and working and help them share ideas and
talk about their thinking within their professional learning communities
so a lot of the work that you’re going to be doing is going to feed more at
that level than daily in each and every classroom within a school now not to say
that you don’t follow up in classrooms that you’re not sending emails but
you’re not attending PLC’s because that’s an important part of it as well
as the work that you do if you have multiple schools it’s going to have to
be even more strategic so that it ends up being meaningful at the end

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

1 Comment

  1. We really enjoyed the time with Alisa Simeral at ESU #3. Great message in this video about coaching and the role of an instructional coach.

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