Sunday, September 21, 2014

First Weeks As Instructional Coach

It's been a crazy, exciting, and busy first few weeks as an Instructional Coach.

A few things that I have learned are:

1. Google calendar is my friend. If I didn't keep it open on my desktop then I'm pretty sure I would miss a few meetings!

2. Google docs and I have a love/hate relationship. I love being able to share items with my teachers, being able to access documents from anywhere. I dislike that when multiple people are using the same document at the same time, it "jumps" around as changes are made. I also dislike that I can't undo what others have done, I can only revert to old versions. I learned to keep my original and make copies for others to view/edit.

3. I LOVE my aides that help with data input, spreadsheets, and benchmark testing. I don't know when I would get it all done if not for them.

4. Technology is good, when everything is finally updated and student/teacher user names/logins are imputed as well as correct. I spent a lot of time on the phone and emailing district and company personnel getting things in order.

5. Getting into classrooms is hard!

6. Learned I need to run PLCs like a classroom, but also treat them like professionals and experts at what they do...not sure why I didn't think of the classroom perspective prior to teaching my first PLC, but I'm learning! (have a learning target, get them up and moving, etc.)

7. Build trust and relationships!

8. Keep logs! I love technology but I have found good 'ole journals, notebooks, and binders are my preferred method of logging. I keep a simple composition notebook of entries as to when I go into a classroom, what I observed (facts only), when I meet with teachers (things I may need to find out for them, etc.), mostly so I can remember to follow up if needed or find answers for them. I keep a hand written phone log for parent conversations (I'm already on page four). I also keep a spiral for handwritten notes in meetings (already over half way through that notebook).

How were your first weeks of school?