I have not been online much since the new year has started because my new position has left me dead tired (but feeling good). My district is in the program improvement due to low test scores in subgroup areas (special education and ELLs). When schools enter this area, they must have instructional coaches at every school site (elementary through high school) to provide instructional support for teachers. This has the potential to be a truly good thing IF teachers don't feel threatened by a coach's presence.
What is the life of a coach like? For a reality tv look at it, try watching a few episodes of TEACH: TONY DANZA on the Arts and Entertainment channel. Tony Danza is an actor close to 60 who always had a desire to teach, but life opened other doors when he graduated college (boxing, acting, dancing, etc.). Now, he has put the demands of his many other activities on hold to pursue his dream.....teaching high school English. The show takes place in a real high school in Philadelphia (Northeast High School) with real kids and staff. As a new teacher, he is assigned an INSTRUCTIONAL COACH who helps him through his first year. I think the show does a great job highlighting the duties of a successful coach in that though he is a good sounding board for Tony, he also steers him in the right direction if he sees a problem with administration. I have also told my district about it because I think other coaches should watch an episode or two to develop a better understanding of what our jobs really are.
I am beginning to feel a bit more comfortable in going into classes and am trying to not offer my spin on what I would do in this or that situation. This is the most difficult since some of the activities could be improved. I need to be able to develop better skills at getting teachers to come up with their own solutions with minimal input from me. I have posted questions on this at www.classroom20.com, but to date, have not received any responses. I will start being a regular again starting Tuesday after I finish my online class development with National Hispanic University.
If any of you have some suggestions to ease me into my coaching position, please share:)
Thanks much and I will be back on again tomorrow....I LOVE blogging:)