November 26

Coaching a float

It’s the season of parades. The big parade was here and many families gathered around the TV and watched all the amazing floats, performers and bands entertain us until the final hero comes at the end.

National TV isn’t the only place to see a parade. This ends up being a project that can be seen throughout our schools. Educators splashing all over social media highlighting the different floats that have been created by their students. Each one is unique with all different crafts, balloons, construction paper, tape, and popsicle sticks. It’s really just a dream of creation. When complete students may walk down the hallway holding them, they may place them on different robots, or they may use different tools where they can create a video with emulating the balloons, walking down the street.

Often the part that we do not talk about is the work that happens before the project. The colleagues that get together to map out the project to make it a success. Last week I was able to see this come out in a few different opportunities and it’s really pretty amazing to see teachers really tap into coaches collaborating for student success. Let’s keep in mind that coaches can come in the form of co-teachers, resource teachers, mentors and technology coaches.

Working in a school which has about 10% of new faculty this year, our coaching staff includes less than 5 faculty members means our seasoned veterans must open their doors and engage in conversations to support our new teachers. Modeling, co-teaching, supporting and follow it up with reflective conversations. Observing teaching in real time is an effective tool for them to see a seasoned teacher handle different situations.  Adding to it, young teachers are excited to hear the coach as she uses intonations inflection, and excitement pausing at key moments in a lesson.

When it comes time to the float build, for example, a veteran teacher may be paired with one of these new teachers where they can learn options when working students and guide using questions to allow for autonomy in a younger teacher’s class. It is a time for seasoned teachers to now model intentionally with young educators, who have less experience. The result is absolute success as the young teacher is able to turn around and practice what she was just seeing as they work with different students. This is an interesting perspective and seeing all the ways that the teachers are learning from each other. It is going to positively lend itself to future projects as the school year continues. It all goes back to why you should open your classroom door a little bit more, observe others, invite coaches and support staff into your room and ask them to lead so we can learn a variety of ways teach students different strategies to tackle any issue that you teach them.

You see this parade was teaching so much more than engineering with the scientific method or building a float. All of the learners are learning life skills that will carry them through their careers be a public school, college, or an educator for the next 30 years of their life.

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Posted November 26, 2023 by jkuzma in category Uncategorized

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