Take a chance on me!

Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie relationships

If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Take a chance on me… -ABBA (Union Songs Musikforlag AB)

Working with an instructional coach represents a risk for many teachers, and teachers are often reluctant to take the chance.

Why might this be?

There are likely as many explanations as there are teachers. To name just a few, teachers may view coaches as reserved for struggling colleagues, as curriculum police, or as administrative spies. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand the reluctance to welcome coaches with open arms.

If an attitude of hesitancy or resistance persists throughout your school, your work as an instructional coach will fail to positively impact teacher practice and student achievement.

You can only fulfill these goals when instructional coaching is embraced as personalized professional development: two (or more) people, in a positive, collaborative relationship to learn and grow as professional educators.

How can you personalize professional learning? The next time you work with a particular teacher — be they resistant or welcoming — collaborate to create a personalized coaching plan. You might consider the following:

  • Personalized Mode: Will you focus on conversation, classroom modeling, co-teaching, or feedback?
  • Personalized Goals: Will you focus on a particular instructional strategy, student skill, or content knowledge?
  • Personalized delivery: Will you collaborate using face to face meeting, using a journal (paper or cloud), or online platform?
  • Personalized Calendar: Will you work together on a regular schedule or as needed?
  • Personalized pacing: How will you know if you are working too fast, not too slow, or just right?

By working together, you can roll out a personalized PD plan with patience, persistence, and mutual accountability.

If both teacher and coach will just take a chance, take a chance, take a take a chance chance…

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down

Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Take a chance on me…

(This post is also featured by the great folks at TeachBoost at http://blog.teachboost.com/2014/10/guest-blogger-eric-sandberg-take-a-chance-on-me#.VC2JLlWCOSN)

One thought on “Take a chance on me!

  1. Jody says:

    Said so well, Eric!
    Coaching provides an “IPDP” for each person…
    IPDP = “Individualized Professional Development Plan” 🙂


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