Thursday, 6 July 2017

#BookSnapping my way into Instructional Coaching

On Friday, June 30, at approximately 8:00 am, I got to the end of my driveway and made a left turn.

This is significant because, for the last six years, the start of my work day has always required a right turn, westbound, to Eagle Heights Public School.

As I made this slight kinesthetic adjustment, a cognitive shift occurred. A new reality became tangible and I drove, east, toward the Board Office, reflecting on my new career path.

I began my first day in a new role as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) working as an Instructional Coach (IC) with a focus on Literacy and Math with Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes for four schools in our Board.

When asked by friends to describe this role, I have had to rely on my own experiences working with the IC's assigned to my schools. Last April, I accessed release money provided by our Federation (ETFO) and had the chance to “shadow” a colleague, @Kylede08, for half a day. This helped me solidify my understanding.

Recently, I was provided with this article by Heather Wolpert-Gawron called “The Many Roles of an Instructional Coach”. I was asked by the supervisory team to read it and ...

  • Identify three, very important points.
  • Identify a personal “aha” moment.
  • Reflect on how I see this impacting our work (as IC’s) moving forward.

I have decided to use this article as an opportunity to do some professional writing and also to explore the idea of #BookSnaps that I had read about on the @TaraMartinEDUTwitter feed and through her R.E.A.L. Weblog page. #BookSnaps make use of Snapchat and Bitmoji to annotate and share ideas from things that you are reading.

So, here are my “three, very important points” using #BookSnaps.

"The position is defined differently...and attempts to standardize (it) can undermine its effectiveness."
TOSA's don't evaluate teachers/ We're teachers just like them. Through a partnership based on trust & respect...(we) help teachers reach their fullest potential."
"Instructional Coaches...have a lot of insight into the daily victories that occur in all classrooms. He or she would know that photos need to be taken & tweeted for all to see."
My personal “aha” moment came here.

"I use all of the walls and don't have a front of the room, per se."
I had no idea that some Instructional Coaches had access to a classroom where they could set up a flexible seating space for students and teachers to visit. That would be a wonderful situation. Many teachers with whom I speak are interested in moving toward a flexible seating/student centered classroom design. Wouldn’t it be great to provide them, and their students, with an opportunity to experiment with the experience, rather than making a bold and sudden transition.

Here is what I will reflect on as I move forward into this role.

Know your role.
Identify your strengths.
Keep learning.
Model learning.
Enjoy learning.

This is what I am going to focus on next.

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