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Instructional Leadership

Instructional Coach Lessons Learned…Lesson One: Pulse checks

Written By Petra Claflin, TE Instructional Coach Support Specialist

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All of the Instructional Coaches with Teaching Excellence have closed out our year with this year’s teaches and had a final conversation with each of them to reflect on the year and get feedback from them on our coaching and the program. These conversations were fantastic! They were a space where we had very open dialogue, and I learned a lot about all my teachers and how they’re feeling about their progress at the end of the year and my role in that progress. They gave me a lot to reflect on in my own coaching and how I could have better supported each of them. The only problem…I should have figured out all those things earlier! So my big take-away? No matter how hectic the year gets and how urgently we are working to support our teachers and our students, when we’re working closely with another person, we need to be deliberate about stopping and doing pulse checks on how the relationship itself is functioning. With the people I coach, I’m going to ask the following questions during these pulse checks:

  1. What do you feel like you’ve really made progress on recently?
  2. What areas do you feel like you need to work on most right now?
  3. What have I done that you’ve really appreciated and/or felt like had a positive impact on your teaching?
  4. What has not worked for you?
  5. Any other ideas or feedback you have that would make our time together more effective for you?

By asking these questions, I’ll learn a lot of crucial information and maybe more importantly, I’ll be making that relationship that much stronger by showing them my openness to their feedback and dedication to improving my practice for them and in the service of their students.

How might you use some of these questions to improve the effectiveness of partnerships you work in on your campuses or even in your daily life?

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