Coaching during a crisis


  • Coaching during a crisis

    Ariel Cain created 1 month, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 3 Posts
  • Ariel Cain

    March 31, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Coaches are poised to help but have questions of their own, including how to connect meaningfully with educators in the absence of face-to-face communication. What roles should coaches be playing in this sudden transition to a new learning environment? How can they stay connected when their normal routines are disrupted? And how can they look out for their own needs while supporting other educators?

  • Sharron Helmke

    April 7, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Hi Ariel,

    Those are such important questions! Coaches can really step forward to make a difference for teachers and students. As we settle into this new pattern, attention needs to shift from the early focus of just getting everyone connected to a deeper instructional focus. This is a critical time for so many students, especially those who were struggling to make progress before this happened. Losing months of forward growth and even seeing a regression in skills could be a setback from which they never recover. While coaches need to understand that teachers are struggling, teachers need to be gently reminded that students really need what teachers offer. This is a chance to make a difference in the life of a child and that’s what we came to the profession to do. Coaches can reinforce the meaningfulness of the work in this time of uncertainty.

  • Kelly Wegley

    April 7, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Ariel, it is clear that coaches are facing many of the same challenges as their colleagues who are classroom teachers.  The simplest acts of connection that we have taken for granted (e.g. chatting while greeting students during arrival, dropping in to say hello before school or during a planning period, sitting next to one another at lunch or during a staff meeting) are not currently options.  We are working to be very intentional in our connection using tools such as Zoom but also through social media, email, texts, and old-school telephone conversations.  Our teachers are committed to doing this “right,” and living in the midst of rapid change and ambiguity can make it tough to know exactly what “right” looks like.  Sharron is correct in saying that our students need what our teachers have to offer.  As our coaches support teachers navigating change (and are mindful of their own self-care), it may help to bolster them with words of wisdom paraphrased from Maya Angelou. Right now, we are all doing the best we can. As the situation evolves, as we live this experience together, we will likely learn better practices – and when we do that, we will do better.

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