Imagine this scenario: As a coach, you walk into a classroom to conduct an informal CLASS observation followed by a coaching conversation. During this conversation you might ask the teacher to share some of the highlights of her week and challenges that she has been facing. You also plan to share what you observed during your time in the classroom, some areas of strength that you noted, and opportunities for growth. You have grand plans of how this visit will go.
Just when things are getting started and the ball is rolling, you suddenly realize that the entire morning has flown by. It’s just about time for you to leave and head to your next classroom visit. You know that you won’t be back in to work with this teacher for at least another week, or possibly two, and you hope that you can pick up right where you left off. You assure her that you will bring in some extra resources on concept development during your next visit, something that she shared has been challenging for her, and set a date and time for the next conversation. Then you’re on your way.
How much of what I just described sounds familiar to you? I'll be the first to admit, that as an instructional coach, I had the responsibility of supporting and coaching teachers in 21 classrooms. And some of those classrooms had multiple teachers. Think about the amount of time in your day. How much actual face to face time are you getting with each teacher over the course a week, a month, or even a year? Probably not as much as you had hoped.
I used to say to myself, “if only there was a way for me to continue these coaching conversations with my teachers in between each face to face visit, I could get so much more accomplished.” Well, you’re in luck, because there is a way, and it's called Coaching with myTeachstone.
Coaching with myTeachstone, or Cwmy/TS, is an interactive, on-line coaching program. As a coach, it will extend your access to professional development resources and increase opportunities for communication between you and your teachers, and among groups of teachers. It will also help you keep track of how your teachers are doing in order to help you individualize learning opportunities to best support their growth and development.
As a coach, the most impactful way to implement professional development is to use individual teacher data to drive the PD plan. Teachstone offers a 2-day training in which coaches are trained on navigating and using the data and resources available on myTeachstone. You will also learn how to coach effectively online by engaging in both individualized and group learning conversations. myTeachstone is not just about recommending content to teachers, but about facilitating their learning through discussion.
I think you will find that having myTeachstone available to you and your teachers will open up a world of opportunities. Gone are the days when you can only communicate with your teachers once every two or three weeks. With Coaching with myTeachstone, you can continue your coaching conversations, individualize professional development for your teachers, and recommend resources that are relevant to them throughout the year. And you can do it from anywhere—your office, your home, or even laying in bed in the evenings. OK, I know, maybe that is taking it a bit too far, but imagine the possibilities.
For more information on starting your Coaching with myTeachstone journey, please call us at 877-401-8007 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I’ve just begun my journey into the world of coaching. I am eager and excited about this opportunity to help pave the way for more effective teaching. I’ve recently been given my list of classrooms that I will be working with and I’m anxious to get started. I get ready to meet my first teacher, Ms. Linda, and I just know that she will be excited to meet me and we will form an instant bond and work together for the benefit of the children in that classroom.
Many teachers will agree that their first year of teaching can be one of the most grueling, challenging, and stressful experiences for them as they take on the task of educating our youth. In my first year of teaching, I was not familiar with the CLASS tool and its impact in the classroom. I was not aware of the dimensions, indicators, and the tremendous power of interactions. Looking back, I recognize the many ways the CLASS tool was reflected in my classroom, but I also see the value in how familiarity with the CLASS tool could have benefitted my classroom. Although many external forces impacted my role as a high school Spanish teacher, the CLASS tool’s invaluable purpose could have made a profound impact on my first year teaching.
In construction, a scaffold is a temporary structure used by workers to access heights and areas that are hard to get to. This is exactly what educators are doing when they scaffold for students. A student is having a hard time reaching a new height—understanding a concept, answering a question, or completing an activity—and the teacher provides just enough support to allow the student to succeed.