Day Two (Wednesday) with the Utah Instructional Coaches was a fabulous learning experience! Our topic this day was consulting and coaching new and/or struggling teachers. We took coaches into area schools to practice doing non-evaluative observations and determining the next steps an instructional coach would take.
The big “take-aways” from my group were:
Focused and Engaged are very different things. Focused means students are sitting where they are supposed to be, looking the right direction, not bothering anyone else. Engaged means students are actually responding – I can see and/or hear them doing something – they are actively participating.
Proximity for the purposes of assessment and assistance and behavior (both redirecting off-task behavior and cueing positive behaviors) is a very powerful tool. The element that make it even more powerful is when the teacher (during proximity) is “coaching” individuals or small groups of students asking them strategic level questions.
Even super good teachers benefit from a coach – someone asking them questions to help them reflect on their own practices.
Practice makes perfect!