Off to a Good Start

I came back from Winter Break with a clean slate and a blank schedule.  I am ready to begin my third round of coaching cycles.  I had an initial coaching meeting with a self-contained special education teacher this morning. Our meeting had two objectives.  First, I wanted to get to know this teacher a bit, break the ice.  Second, we needed to talk through some logistics.

Part 1 – Getting to Know You

This is my first time using a ‘getting to know you’ portion in my initial coaching meetings.  I asked the teacher, “What would you like for me to know about you as a teacher and a learner?”  She told me she is laid back and easy-going.  Her kids do most of their work in class with little homework assigned.  She has been reading them short stories aloud in preparation for our unit.

Then I asked her, “What concerns, if any, do you have about coaching?”  She confided that she is always second-guessing herself and is concerned whether or not she is “doing it right.”  This was a perfect transition into the norms I recently developed for our coaching relationship.  We discussed:

  • honesty – We agreed to be honest with each other about our opinions and feelings.
  • confidentiality – We agreed not to discuss the particulars of our coaching cycle with other teachers or administrators.  Any concerns will be brought to each other first.
  • humility – Neither one of us is a perfect teacher, and we do not expect perfect lessons from one another.
  • responsibility – We will be on time and prepared for meetings and lessons.

Part 2 – Scheduling and Logistics

Finally, we discussed our schedule for next week.  We plan on immersing the kids in short stories and charting our noticings all week.  I will teach on Tuesday and Wednesday, and she will teach on Thursday and Friday.  She is going to collect a baseline writing sample this week, and we will use the checklist which accompanies our writing unit to pre-assess the students’ writing.  We are meeting Tuesday morning to discuss this baseline piece of writing.

Here is a link to the document I used to record our meeting notes:


2 thoughts on “Off to a Good Start

  1. Your norms are great! Every one of them – so important. Humility is probably my number one fav. I wish everyone could stop expecting perfection and just start trying to make things better – one lesson at a time! Thanks for this glimpse inside your coaching conversation!


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