As I begin my role as strategist a "shift" has taken place. I am choosing not to use the word change, as to me it has developed a negative reputation. My role has become that of an instructional coach, or as Jim Knight referred to it as an instructional collaborator.
Upon learning of my role shift in June, I began to form questions, collect resources, and reach out to as many people as I could. I have even made the time to join in a fantastic Twitter chat #educoach on Wednesday nights at 9pm central time (shameless plug) Throughout this fantastic process I have discovered a few things about being an instructional coach and am working hard to create a reputation for the position and debunk some myths along the way.
Some of the things that I have found valuable so far in my new journey have been:
- It takes a supportive principal with a clear, aligned vision to make this possible
- Building trusting relationships is vital and takes time
- Communication is needed to form, maintain, and sustain relationships
- Confidentiality is critical for this to be effective
- Feedback is crucial during the process
- Deep reflection can happen if you take the time and allow it to.
- One size doesn't fit all
- Building upon strengths is a great way to begin
- Anticipating is important to any interaction, especially if there is a belief that there may be resistance.
- Listen, listen, listen!
- Having a clear goal for the interaction or collaboration is key to remaining focused
- I am not a "fixer" I am a partner