Here’s how our district is doing more than helping our teachers get through the day—we’re helping them become better teachers every day through careful instructional coaching

3 ways to boost instructional coaching during the coronavirus closures


Here’s how our district is doing more than helping our teachers get through the day—we’re helping them become better teachers every day through careful instructional coaching

To support the teachers in my district, we’re focusing on the relationships we build, the support we provide, and the culture we create. Our instructional coaching team is giving teachers the guidance they need and helping them maintain a sense of calm and balance. For live meetings and coaching with teachers, I use synchronous video via ADVANCElive to check in with them and help fill the void of human connection that so many of us feel right now.

These check-ins are essential in keeping our educator community connected, and they also help keep our spirits up. These meetings are informal and relaxed. Teachers can lean on each other, ask questions, share wins, and be there for one another as they make their way through these unusual circumstances.

2. Continuing the process of self-reflection: The teachers in my district have also been utilizing ADVANCEfeedback® for recording and sharing videos for their own self-reflection and getting feedback from peers and coaches. As a coach who needs to interact on a human level as much as possible, I connect with teachers using the tool, which is available at no cost during the COVID-19 crisis.

Many of our teachers have never taught using an online platform. Teaching remotely to a group of students who are at home dealing with various issues at the moment can feel overwhelming. As educators confront these hurdles, they deserve quality feedback from their instructional leaders. Having the ability to share different digital lessons with colleagues and coaches provides an incredible opportunity not only for input, but also for future innovation.

3. Moving instructional coaching online: Even when school buildings are open, creating standards-aligned instruction can be a challenge for any district. Before the pandemic, Marion County teachers were already working together as district-wide teams to collaboratively produce standards-aligned instructional plans. To continue this critical work, I’m using video training sessions on ADVANCElive that teachers can join live or watch on their own time.

In these sessions, teachers can gather information, brainstorm ideas, and then come back together with their own findings. We may not be in the same room, but we can still meet and continue to work through the building process.

Now that we have the tech tools and routine in place, my mindset moving forward is focused on the idea of balance. I have to remember that my teachers are humans. I have to go back to the relationship level. To keep those relationships alive during these challenging times, I lean on our video coaching tools and other technology to deliver what our teachers need to be successful

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