In working through the Connected Learner ISTE Coaching Standard, I feel like I have been doing a lot of work around this third indicator. For me, this indicator says a lot about what it means to establish trusting coaching relationships. One of the ways that I have been practicing and working on this indicator is through the mentoring work that I am doing in my district. This year I have been lucky enough to be able to work with and mentor 2 new teachers. One teacher is in their first year of teaching and the other is in their second year of teaching. Through the mentoring work, we have established standing weekly meetings where we are able to check in on how things are going in the classroom, successes they have had, and also areas of growth that they want to focus on. Through this we keep a collaborative log during our meetings so that we can work together to set goals for our work and remember to celebrate the successes.
Along with this work with the weekly meetings, I have also been able to use this time to talk about lesson planning with my mentees and to help think through learning targets and lesson design. The peer coaching project, which you can read more about in my blog post Reflecting on Coaching Relationships and my Peer Coaching Project, is a great example of this. This coaching project allowed me to specifically work with the second-year teacher around improving one of their existing lessons, making sure it is connected to standards and thinking about how to improve student engagement. We started out by creating shared goals for what we wanted students to get out of the lesson and also looked at how our shared goals connect to the teachers building goals. We then talked about what worked with the lesson in previous years, what might need adapted or changed, and how we might adapt the lesson for a virtual environment given hybrid learning. From all of our discussions together we have been able to develop a lesson for students that builds on prior understanding, provides opportunities for students to work together and independently while still allowing for student voice and choice in the delivery of the final product. Collaboratively planning this lesson has been a great way of pushing not only on teaching practices, but also on my own coaching practices. It has helped me to better listen to the ideas from the teacher and to always ground our conversations in student outcomes and goals. It has also allowed me to push on trying to find ways of incorporating technology in thoughtful ways that are connected to the learning while also increasing engagement.
Continuing to find ways to partner with educators in a coaching relationship is something that I really aim to do more of. I am looking for additional opportunities in my current role in which I can partner with others and am specifically thinking about other facilitators that I might be able to partner with. I would love to partner with another content facilitator in order to plan how we might integrate each other’s content areas into the work we are doing and plan for professional learning that highlights these integrations. This would allow us to create shared goals for this work aligned with our district goals and then reflect on success and areas of growth afterward.
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches