Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Instructional Coaching Journey - Day 1

Today was the first day of school. This is something I have experienced from both sides of the desk over 40 times. However, for the first time since 1998, I did not begin my day greeting a new group of eager and excited students. Instead, I made a left turn at the end of my driveway and traveled to the Board Office to meet, mingle and learn with an eager and excited group of Instructional Coaches & Math Coordinators. This was the first of many upcoming Professional Development sessions that will help me acclimate and settle in my new role as an Agent of Change for the Thames Valley Board.   

The supervisory team welcomed us with a fun video and a thoughtful treat. In many ways, they demonstrated the collaborative, collegial and professional approach that I hope to present.
Ice Breaker Activity
There was a new twist on an old icebreaker activity. Much like my students, I alternate between liking and loathing these activities. I do enjoy meeting new people and sharing my ideas but, I often find myself caught up in moments of awkward silence at the end of these encounters. More frustrating is being stuck in a veritable "no-man’s-land" between tables and a human log jam, waiting for a chance to move or engage someone else. I know it is in my head - but I always feel utterly graceless and oafish in these moments. I was fortunate today, I was stuck near the snacks and coffee table.

We broke down some numbers from EQAO and solidified our focus as coaches. I summarized it quickly as a personal mission statement and put it at the top of my calendar and into a Canva poster for Social Media. I’m not sure why that works for me. I think it is something about making things concrete for me. It reads as follows “My Focus needs to be intentional & precise, and must be directed toward tangible improvements in Literacy and Mathematics.” I will reflect on it regularly as I move forward.
It is nice to finish at exactly the end of the day. It is also a treat to be able to spend a little time on professional reading & writing. Typically, the first day after school is spent organizing lesson plans and preparing for another hectic and engaging school day. Instead, I did some reading and wrote this reflection. More PD tomorrow.

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