Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Preservice Starts Tomorrow

Vacation time is over! I've had a blast the past two weeks and I've tried to do nothing school related in order to just relax. This past week I've been in California and I had a blast. We went to the U.S.S. Midway and climbed aboard the ship to view the museum. We went to the beach and spent a day boogie boarding (my favorite thing in the world to do!). We went to Balboa Park which has 16 museums and so much to explore! One of the days we went out to Coronado island and rented bikes and just biked around the island. The last day we went to Seaworld. I'll tell you my mind is so refreshed that on the drive back to Vegas, I was started planning how I can make this year better.

One thing that I always need to work on is providing balance in my life. I have a habit of becoming so one track minded that I neglect everything else until I become done with that one thing and move on to the next. For example, when I first started my TeachersPayTeachers store, I became obsessed with creation that I just kept going everyday until I burned out. I haven't really been making TeachersPayTeachers products lately because I haven't been in the mindset for it. This past year, my one track mind was so set on work that I neglected a lot! Like I said, I need balance.

So on the drive home as I was thinking of balance, a few things came to mind in order to make this new school year a good one. First off, I would like to work on a better nightly routine to prepare for bed so I can sleep, wake up on time, and feel ready to go. I created a checklist (yes on Trello) of what I need to do nightly in order to build healthy routines. Second, I created a checklist of what I would like to accomplish weekly that is not so one-track minded. For instance, I would like to spend time at the gym, working on homework, and creating one product a week to put back up on my Teacher's store.

So preservice starts tomorrow and therefore, I'm starting these new routines tomorrow! I hope I'm not sounding like Thanos but balance is definitely a good thing!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Planning Part 2

So I go back to work in about a week and I'm half excited, half really sad that I don't get to sleep in everyday. It's been a very short summer, but I'm grateful I finally had one because I haven't had a summer in several years!

The Impact Cycle

Well I'm back to planning because teachers really never stop planning, let's be real here. Anyways, as an instructional coach, my bible is "The Impact Cycle" by Jim Knight. He's the leader of all things instructional coaching. Last year, my work sent me to his conference in Sacramento and I came back so excited to implement what he talked about. It was my first real training on Instructional Coaching processes.

In the 'Impact Cycle' there are 3 stages that a coach works on with a teacher to help them improve.

First is to 'identify' areas of need. That can be through observation, recording, scripting, or however a teacher is comfortable with them being observed. After that, then the teacher watches or reads or listens to what happened during their lesson and they look at areas they might want to work on. During this process, there is a checklist that Jim Knight has provided in order to help teachers look for things that make a lesson successful. That can help them identify what they want to work on.

The second step is to learn about ways that teachers can improve. This could be by watching other teachers, the instructional coach modeling, reading and researching methods and that sort of thing.

The last step is to implement what you learned and see if what you did made an impact on student achievement.

My Current State of Planning

So as an instructional coach, there are a couple things that I needed to do to get ready for the school year and be able to go through this coaching process that I just explained to you. So the first thing that I did was create an effective chart based off how my principal rates teachers based on their evaluations. This will just help me keep track of who needs help and this list is fluid. It will change weekly and there are tabs labeled at the bottom for the weeks.

Here is a blank one:

The next thing I did was create my schedule and made time slots. Here teachers can sign up for when they want help and when they want to meet to talk about their lessons and things like that. Also any teacher can request help regardless of their status.

I am going to try to stick to this schedule but I laugh because I know that it probably won't stay like this all year. As an educator, we know things come up all the time and you have to be flexible so I'll keep you updated on how close I'm able to stick to this!

Still going along with the "Impact Cycle" the next thing that I've done was create checklists in order to help teachers identify areas of need for improvement. I created a bunch of them and I'm still in the middle of this project but I would like to have it all done before school starts.

Before School Starts

The last thing that I am working on something called "The Playbook". This is part of the "Learn" in the impact cycle. Basically its having a toolbox of strategies and things ready to go to help teachers in whatever area they need help with.

Pretty much I'm feeling confident with all the work that I've been doing this summer. If I get those last couple things done, I know that I'll be ready for this next school year and everything is going to rock!

Thanks for reading! Comment below what do you still need to do in order to make this next school year rockin' awesome!