Are All Your Coaches Working from the Same Playbook?
By Anne Udall —
As baseball season begins, our team of all-stars at New Teacher Center (NTC) has been thinking a lot about how much baseball has in common with teaching. Just like players on the field, teachers can be easily confused if the coaching they are receiving isn’t encouraging, consistent and actionable. Everyone involved from the head coach (principal) to the assistant coaches (mentors) needs to be on the same page.
Our founder and CEO, Hall of Fame Mentor Ellen Moir, recently spoke at our 18th National Symposium on Teacher Induction, on what we have learned from our twenty+ years building coaching skills. She highlighted that everyone needs a coach and actionable feedback in life. Most successful people, regardless of profession, can refer back to a valued mentor who helped lift them up so they could lift others in return. Hear more, directly from Ellen, on the elements of successful mentoring and how mentoring impacts both teachers and their students by watching these excerpts from her keynote this spring.
Teachers count on the support from their coaches, mentors and principals to improve student learning, particularly in the first few years in the classroom. If the advice from these coaches is conflicting or doesn’t provide meaningful feedback on how to improve, and does not come from a place of encouragement but ‘feels’ evaluative, it can lead to frustration and confusion – leaving new teachers unprepared and uninspired during the most critical years of their career.
Does your district require all coaches to complete professional learning to become skilled at helping teachers improve? Does your district have defined common expectations and outcomes in place? It’s critical that the entire chain of command is coordinated and equally skilled in their approach to actually help teachers become more effective through actionable feedback and joint problem solving.
We’ve created a quick and easy checklist to help you evaluate if your team is working in tandem, or could use some recalibration when it comes to clear, consistent coaching.