Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What a coach can do for you...

I am blessed... I am a single principal person with no other admins in a very diverse elementary school with 400 students.  I am blessed, because "our kids" also have two coaches.  Thanks to the commitment and vision of +Franklin Read +Dolan Blakey +Lori Duerr +Peter Leida +Jeffrey Menzer as a small building I am afforded not one, but two instructional coaches.  They might call themselves math and ELA coaches, but they aren't.  They are:  +Stephanie Jones +Jessica Hoban

They are problem solvers, brainstormers, support people, opinionated (in a good way) feedback givers (even in music), and so many other things that to pigeonhole them to content experts, would not be fair.  They do have their specialties and passions, but if you have the ability to have coaches, I hope you have two like what I have.  They know more than content, they know strategies, and even better they know how to push me and the building in a positive direction.

Would I love an assistant principal or dean of students (student advisor), absolutely.  But I would not trade a coach for one, even if it would make my job easier.  They keep the focus on instruction, keep me honest as an instructional leader, tell me when I am slacking on observation/feedback, call me out for missing a PLC, and so many other appropriate slaps to the face.  I have soft skin, so they don't hurt that much... haha

I don't need to be told when to call that parent back, or when to deal with that difficult student.  Those things are habit, but to make sure I spend quality time in classes, and talk with staff about instruction, are things that I do need reminders.

No one...

But other principals know the directions you are pulled in on a daily basis, but a strong set of coaches, like I have, keep you honest.  Or at least they should, if not, they are not doing one of their "other responsibilities".  The day my coaches stop "calling me out" is the day I realize they are not paying attention.

I appreciate my coaches for so many things, although I don't often tell them.  They do so much including being a content expert, an observation/feedback person, temperature of building person, leader for PD, etc.. But most importantly to me they are there to make sure our focus and vision is on instruction and not managing a building.  For that I can not thank my district and them for being in the position they are in.  The biggest compliment I can give is that they keep me honest and authentic when I try to fake it...

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