Coaching Teachers Virtually
As a long time, teacher, principal and early childhood specialist I have never been asked to provide ALL my support to children, families and teachers through virtual means. Many coaches are wondering how do we continue to coach our teachers when we cannot meet with them. We are in uncharted waters!
Here are five suggestions that coaches can do to still engage and support their teachers.
1. Forget about the goal they wrote. Most goals were written to be done in a classroom setting with a room full of children. It is not important at this juncture to discuss the goal and chart next steps.
2. Building a collaborative partnership is a KEY component of Practice Based Coaching. Use this time to strengthen this aspect of your work together.
3. Ask one of the most important questions, “How are you doing?” Listening to their struggles of staying home, not engaging with children, developing on-line learning for their children or even their own personal issues might be a better use of your time AND a way of strengthening your coaching partnership. Depending on how they respond you will know what type of support they need.
4. If they are being asked to provide on line learning like many public schools are doing, you might want to strengthen your understanding of what they are being asked to do. Providing tips and ideas on how to provide this unique type of learning to young children would be very helpful to them.
5. Keep in contact through e-mail. Having a weekly e-mail to all your teachers with cartoons, warm messages and ideas for virtual learning is VERY important. This is STILL COACHING.
Thank YOU so much for everything! You definitely covered a lot and helped guide me and us into what we need to do better.
The three most needed items of time, building relationships and setting goals were perfectly aligned with what I saw as needing a boost and I know those are our continued focus. Synergy is key and that’s also my goal to build among all coaches, district and school staff.
Your trainings are always enlightening, although completely aligned with standards and top sources, so question of correctness is limited. You clarified a lot for me and what I knew we needed but struggling to ensure is happening out there, and also backed up with resources what we needed to ensure coaches are on the best track to make change.
I cannot thank you enough, your timing is impeccable, sense of needs, ability to read body language and address it wonderful, and have so much respect for your input. We talked all the way home about next steps to ask for your involvement and have some ideas to share once things settle for the rest of spring semester.
Needless to say, I loved every minute of the two days of training with you! You are THE BEST!
Michelle Starr, M. Ed.
District Pre-K Coordinator
Collier County Public Schools