Have you ever tried to play a sport and just not been good at it? Did you spend more time riding the bench than you did on the field or court? Were you frustrated? Did it make you want to practice harder, or did it make you want to throw up your hands and walk away?
As a coach, your coach, I am always ready to play. I know my stuff and want to share my skills with you. Fortunately, some of you would allow me to play every day, all day, if I was available. Thank you and keep those requests coming! To those of you who don’t feel you need a coach, don’t want extra hands in your classroom, or feel like the coach will judge you, or think differently about you, once s/he enters the classroom, this blog is for you.
An instructional coach is just that, a coach. A coach can be utilized in many, many different ways. A coach is an extra set of hands, a potty break in the middle of the day, an extra brain and resource when planning, a collaborative station manager, a developer of instructional materials, an instructional media ally, a cheerleader, and advocate for resources and assistance, a staff developer, and a listening ear. As your coach I can be all of those things, some, or even more! At the least I am a check in person who sees your successes and celebrates them with my best end zone dance, or sees your failures, schedule practices and planning periods to help you obtain your goals.
As your coach there are some things I am not. I am not a technician. If it’s broke or not working right and I can help, I will. However, if I am in classrooms assisting in student learning and implementation of tools and stations I can’t put that on hold to help with technical issues. We have a wonderful, dedicated group who will help with all things technical. They are here to help, just send them an email at the trouble desk and they will get to you asap.
I am not a spy or a judge. I do not want to participate in the “I gotcha” game. If you aren’t willing to try new things, I won’t be offended, but I won’t go away either. I will stop in, I will email suggestions, and I might stop in and make myself at home helping without your request. Why? Because I enjoy being with students! I am a teacher too, but I don’t have my own classes anymore and I want to share yours if you will allow me. I have a vested interest in seeing your students and you succeed. I have students here too and I genuinely want to see the teachers in this building spotlighted for the awesome things they are doing every day.
Invite me in. Invite me in to help. Invite me in to work. Invite me in to model a lesson. Invite me in to assist in implementing a new tool. Invite me in when you need to run to the restroom and your summer bladder is still not cooperating with a 2 day break cycle. Whatever you need, ask! If I can’t do it, don’t have it, or don’t know it… I will find it! That is my job as your coach.
As your coach, I beg of you to PUT ME IN! Sign me out! I love being in your classrooms and working with students. I want to do as much of that as possible. If you are struggling with stations, need a new tool, or are having difficulties with a tool you are already using.. stop me and ask. I’d love to help. Why stress and get frustrated, when you have a guide to utilize? Here’s hoping you will put me in the game soon! The bench is not a fun place to be. Talk to those who have allowed me in, I can make some great plays if you’ll pass me the ball.