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: