Toward my pursuit of developing my skills, I am reading materials about coaching. The Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse published Do's and Don'ts for Literacy Coaches: Advice from the Field written by Rita Bean and Diane DeFord. This short white paper highlights some interesting ideas.
The Do's list includes:
- Introduce yourself and your role
- Work with all teachers
- Work first to establish a relationship of trust
- Work with your administrator
- Recognize- and appreciate- differences in teachers and how they work
- Recognize your own beliefs and attitudes about teaching and learning
- Establish priorities
- Let the data lead
- Be a learner
- Document your work
- Don't evaluate teachers
- Don't fall into the trap of acting like the "expert"
- Don't jump right in and expect immediate change
- Don't be invisible
- Don't avoid the tough issues
- Don't sweat the small stuff
In light of the many readings I've done this year about leadership and how critical trust is to team building, I want to think about that do. This article does a good job about spelling out some ways to build trust. They include listening, being positive and following through. Personally I am focusing on listening. My loud and frenetic upbringing encourages me to jump in before the speaker is done. Dr. Phil, a guilty pleasure of mine, criticized a guest for speaking too quickly because she did not have time to process his statement. I am guilty of this as well. I am going to work on talking less in my interactions so that I can really think about what is being said. I drive a lot during my work day and use that time to reflect on how a lesson went. I need to put more effort into reflecting in the moment so that I can better process what is being discussed. This also models reflection, an important goal of coaching as well.
We'll see how it works.