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Good vent-instructional coach
Old 05-28-2020, 09:29 AM
 
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I'm working with a new instructional coach in my new building/district and she's absolutely amazing. She's positive, helpful and so approachable. I think part of are the expectations the district has for the IC's (I especially like the fact that whatever you tell them stays private), but I think it's just her. She's just amazing. She finds the good in everyone, asks for input, is approachable.and helps when needed.

I know there's this great divide between teachers and IC's (there was in my old district), but not here.


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Instructional coach
Old 05-28-2020, 09:59 AM
 
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I would hit the floor with my knees and thank god if I ever had a coach like this. You are a lucky lady.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:32 AM
 
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She sounds like a true blessing. With that encouraging attitude and clear boundaries about privacy, she can make a difference to staff in your district
I would have loved the support of someone like that.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:31 PM
 
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You are super lucky! We have had one who was truly good once.

Even with a good one, it is an unnecessary job, though. While ICs can be helpful once in a while, the job typically just creates more work and stress for teachers, causing them to have to justify everything they do to somebody. I wish administrations trusted teachers.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:27 PM
 
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Conversations with ours is supposed to be confidential but they are not. I had a long talk with my principal the other day and I could tell that our IC was reporting everything directly to her. My team is fine so she didnít have any dirt or anything, but she knew things that there was no other way for her to know than the IC.


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Old 05-28-2020, 01:49 PM
 
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I agree Teeny Tiny, I donít think theyíre necessary. I think all positions that donít work directly with kids will be the first ones cut as districts have to tighten their belts.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Even with a good one, it is an unnecessary job, though. While ICs can be helpful once in a while, the job typically just creates more work and stress for teachers, causing them to have to justify everything they do to somebody. I wish administrations trusted teachers.
I disagree with this. I had a phenomenal IC the last two years. I was new to the district and the school, and she was an amazing mentor who held my hand through a lot. She very purposefully asked me for nothing and only offered help and guidance. It never felt like more work -- only like I was getting help to do my daily work. She also never shared anything I said with admin. (Thank god!)

I have had very bad ICs, so I know where the sentiment comes from. I've worked with plenty who justified their salaries with a lot of busywork for everyone else. But I do believe that when done right, instructional coaches are worth it!
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:46 PM
 
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Good to hear you have someone that is easy to work with and supports you. I've never had the privilege of working with an IC but can see how a good one would be helpful.
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:44 PM
 
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You are lucky. I once worked with one who was very helpful and we got along well, so it was easy. If I was really stuck figuring out a kid, she would meet with the student several times, observe, etc.. helpful.

We have some now who are just not trustworthy, and they seem to want to tell everyone what to do, but offer very little concrete help with students. I can see why some here say it's a waste of resources.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:04 PM
 
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Ours is good and does contribute to the school. She helps certain processes run more smoothly and is very organized. That said, I have a hard time believing her support is as valuable to student achievement as say an additional interventionist who could work directly with 40+ kids every day. Often in data teams we struggle with making those lowest intervention groups small enough, and yet there sits a teacher who does not take any groups. One year she was on maternity leave and didn't get a replacement, so various teachers were trained to do lead the processes she does (MTSS meetings, data team, etc.) and for the most part it went fine. It would have made more sense to me to continue with that process and make the position an additional interventionist.

She's very personable and well liked- I think that makes teachers trust her even though she most certainly tells everything to the P- not in an "out to get you" way- she really is trying to help- but still. I keep her at arms length much more than other teachers. I think P considers her to be of the upmost value and I see many more positions being cut before hers would be.


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Old 05-28-2020, 06:07 PM
 
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I'm glad you have an IC you can work with and like. She sounds like she wants to be useful and cares about what she does.
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:51 AM
 
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I agree that some cause more busywork and can cause friction on a team. Also many times, I felt like we "as teachers" were on display with groups of admin or admin-tract groups coming through our classes throughout the year, even though we were told beforehand. They would fill out forms and go back and discuss; however, they said that purpose was not to assess the teacher, but many teachers felt that wasn't the case. And then to top it off, we never heard what was discussed. I think if you are going to do that, at least share the discussion as a constructive criticism or complement.
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:56 PM
 
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What a refreshing post about coaches (much of the rest of the thread not so refteshing).

I was a coach for 5 years and know all too well the general negative perception.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:32 PM
 
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Quote:
I have a hard time believing her support is as valuable to student achievement as say an additional interventionist who could work directly with 40+ kids every day. Often in data teams we struggle with making those lowest intervention groups small enough, and yet there sits a teacher who does not take any groups.
Oh, this a million times over. This is always what I felt- we struggle here with getting the proper supports to our students who need intervention, yet we have a full time teacher on staff who does not see a single student, ever.

We used to have intervention teachers, instead of ICs. It was so much better!
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:24 PM
 
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It’s awesome to have a great coach and can make everybody’s life easier!

Teenytiny- I feel the same way... and we have 4 instructional coaches at my school!
Two of them will pull small group for interventions but they are so often pulled for admin meeting or behavior issues that the groups are rarely with fidelity- which really does no good. But, our principal refuses to protect their group time so that’s really not on them, they do try!

All of their jobs really could be given to one person and we’d be good! Three of the four are great- the reading coach, not so much. However, I also firmly believe that people who have only taught one grade level and only have three years of experience shouldn’t be in a coaching position (in my county you only need 3 yrs in the classroom before becoming a coach).


Izzy- it sounds like your coach was more of a new teacher mentor. Normally, in my school, that type of support would come from another teacher on the team. The coaches just don’t offer that to any teachers. My school sucks at supporting new teachers too though so I’m not saying it’s the right way to do it!
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How wonderful!
Old 05-30-2020, 04:17 AM
 
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Our district has math and literacy coaches. They were good. I did feel that having them made for extra work for us. We were assigned to work with them at specific times during assigned cycles. This schedule may or may not have been good times for our classroom schedules. I also hated when one of them came to our grade level meetings. The principal, who rarely came, would show up and I had colleagues who felt the need to impress the coach and principal with how wonderful they were.

I am retired, but understand that the district is eliminating the coaching positions for next year. They had invested a lot of money with consultants as well, and the coaches worked closely with them. The pandemic has changed everything and the budget had to be tightened.
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:35 PM
 
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I've been in the position as an instructional coach. It's great to hear something positive. Since I've been in the position, the world of education has gotten more frustrating. From day one, many teachers view you as the enemy. In my district we are expected to facilitate team planning, professional development sessions, observe classroom instruction (not to report back to administrators), model when needed, be a resource, help out with students, and so much more. However, many people don't give you a chance. Everything you do and say is perceived as a waste of their time.

This position gives you a lot of perspective as well. It's interesting how many teachers want to be left alone, yet they struggle with pacing, don't really understand the content, etc.

For example, I observed some teachers teaching phonemic awareness skills improperly. I modeled how to do it correctly (during a planning session), explained the reasoning, gave resources, and even practiced. People continued teaching it improperly. Talk about frustrating. As a coach, it's my job to collaborate with teachers so that they are providing great instruction. I praise their strengths, encourage them to share their knowledge with others, and help out in areas that need refinement.

There are great teachers everywhere, but we can all improve. So many people have egos that are too big to admit that maybe there's another way to do things. Sorry to rant. Just frustrated as a coach. I actually am thinking about returning to the classroom because adults are draining. Funny, teachers are different when you're their grade level colleague.

Last edited by Savvy; 05-30-2020 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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I think some of it is ego. I had a team mate who had the biggest ego Iíve ever seen, you couldnít tell her anything and you couldnít suggest anything else, her ideas were always the best and the only option.

On the other hand, I think teaching has gotten so competitive, and the divide between admin and teachers has gotten so wide that teachers view admitting struggles as a weakness. If they tell an IC theyíre struggling, they worry the IC will run to the P and it will show up on the eval, cost them bonus pay, etc.

As someone who was the union rep in multiple buildings, I do agree, adults are draining.
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