Restart Recharge Podcast

204 - Paving Your Way to Success: The Admin/Coach Relationship

March 01, 2022 Forward Edge Season 2 Episode 4
Restart Recharge Podcast
204 - Paving Your Way to Success: The Admin/Coach Relationship
Show Notes Transcript

Tune in this week as we kick off a three episode mini-series on Admin and Coach relationships. A healthy partnership with building & district leadership can make all the difference when it comes to a coach’s success. On today’s episode we’ll be chatting about the key traits of a healthy admin/coach relationship, how to establish that relationship as a coach, and what you might do if you think your admin/coach partnership is derailing your success.

Links mentioned in the show:


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Podcast Team

Hosts- Katie  Ritter & Justin Thomas

Editing Team- Megan Whitacre, Michael Roush, Mark Gumm,

Social Media/ Promo Team- Annamarie Rinehart, Lisa Kuhn, Maggie Harris

Creative/Content Team- Brooke Conklin, Emily Cowan, Tracee Keough

Producers- Tyler Erwin & Katie Ritter

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Justin Thomas:

Calling all technology coaches join for an edge this summer for a two day coaches camp packed with high quality professional development exclusively for you. Attendees will work with like minded coaches on creating strategies for teacher relationships, executing coaching cycles and building a culture of coaching and tech integration within their school district. There are two opportunities to attend coaches camp this summer. Join us either June 25, and 26th in New Orleans prior to iste 2022 or in Cincinnati on July 28, and 29 please visit foreign hyphen edge dotnet slash coach camp to reserve your spot today. Aloha I'm Katie Ritter, and I am Justin Thomas. And this is the restart recharge podcast, a podcast by coaches for coaches, we bring you the tips and tricks to help you in your everyday work as an instructional technology coach or whatever they call you and your school district.

Katie Ritter:

So hopefully, you're gonna leave this episode with us today feeling just a little bit less on your own coaching Island.

Justin Thomas:

And at the very beginning of the episode, you heard us talking about coaches camp and just a friendly reminder out there that because you are a dedicated listener to the restart recharge podcast, we're gonna give you a special promo code for you to get $50 off of registration. So when you go to register, use the promo code our our podcast in all caps, and you will be able to get $50 off and this is a great opportunity to network with other instructional design coaches and begin to create a culture of coaching in your district some great ideas from our coaches. So make sure that you register for coaches camp. And one of the things that will be discussed that coaches can but we're going to discuss it here in our podcast for this episode with Tyler Irwin is a administrators and coaches relationship. So this week we're kicking off a three episode mini series on admin and coach relationships. A healthy partnership with building and district leadership can make all the difference when it comes to a coach's success. So in today's episode, we'll be chatting about the key traits of a healthy admin coach relationship, how to establish that relationship as a coach and what you might do if you think your admin coach partnership is derailing your success.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, Justin, I was so excited when I saw the content team put this three part series on the schedule for the podcast because it has just been becoming so evident to me through the years of coaching myself of leading our team of coaches and getting to kind of compare and contrast a lot of different districts. And then wrapping up, you know, my research around coaching just kind of drove it home even more just how utterly crucial having a positive relationship is for the success of coaching positive relationship being between the coach and the admin, particularly those building principals who can really help pave the way so I've just been seeing more and more how you know, with our own coaches, those buildings where principals are, you know, they know what the coach does they help the coach how much more success we seem to find compared to buildings where maybe the principal doesn't understand what we do or if they do, they don't really have that follow up support to help us get into classrooms and just the kind of the the stark difference between the two. So I am super pumped, super pumped to have Tyler here with us. He has done his fair share of admin relationship building. So excited to kick it off with Tyler and Justin, I'll turn it back over to you to introduce them.

Justin Thomas:

Oh, yeah. Tyler Irwin has been in several districts as a coach, and now he oversees coaches and multiple districts. So you can definitely see how that admin and coach relationship is so vitally important. You got an eagle eye view on this topic. So welcome in Tyler, glad to have you on The Season. Episode Four of the season two.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, I'm excited to be here. I don't know exactly why I got nominated to be on this episode. But I guess, right, right, right, that maybe it gives me a little bit of a leg up, but I can see the value of it, especially for a new coach. You know, it can be intimidating. You think back to your time as a teacher, maybe you didn't have as much like, say, or maybe as much opportunity to really spend time like with the district administrators. And like now as a coach, you get a lot of opportunity for that. So that can be a big change up and one that if you capitalize on it can really make your coaching a lot more successful.

Justin Thomas:

Absolutely. So let's dive right into this. Tyler, what are some key traits of a healthy admin coach relationship? And then how do you go about starting that as a coach when you're starting in a new district? Or if you're in a district already,

Tyler Erwin:

right now, I think some of the big ones would definitely be make yourself and your contact information as easily known as possible. You know, share your cell phone number, make sure they know how to access an email you both maybe your work email, your district email. I think too, it's really important that they know Know what days you're going to be in the building. So like in my position, I'm not in the district every single day of the week. In some cases, I rotate between buildings every other week. And so for a principal with a million other things on their mind, they can easily forget, like, hey, is this your week this week? Are you going to be here? When are you in the building, and so make it abundantly clear what days you're going to be there, what times you're going to be there, where you're going to be, I think that it's almost more important that you're visible and easy to be found for the administrators, just like it is for your teachers so that they can take advantage of you as well. Because I do find that it's a little bit more predictable when teachers are going to be free. Yeah, it's not predictable with principals. It's not predictable with district administrators who say the least right, and so oftentimes, you will go to seek them out, and they may not be available. And so when they do have that little sliver of time, and they know where to come seek you out, like that's crucial. So those would be some of the big pieces. And then just like you do with teachers, you know, relationship build, kind of figure out, you know, do they have kids? How long have they been in the district? What did they teach, maybe before they became a principal, like all those little nuggets of information can just help you build that relationship up from maybe scratch? Maybe you didn't come into the district, knowing anyone? And so that's crucial as well, just like as you would do with teachers, you want to build that relationship with district administrators as well.

Justin Thomas:

Yeah, I think that's vitally important, as you said, especially the aspect of being available because admin, I mean, you think their, their lives are crazy. You just have to actually double that on how crazy their lives are. I mean, there's been times when my meeting with administrators has been just us walking into a certain classroom where they have to be so definitely making yourself very available. Yeah, walking me, right. It's on the move or all over the building. So I think that is some very good nuggets, do you have any specific stories you could perhaps share of how you've been able to or seen some of those successful relationships doesn't necessarily have to be with you, but and then maybe some opposite stories that maybe hindered some coaching aspects, whether it was you or someone else that you saw or anything like that, if you have any on either side?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, so I'll start out with some good examples. And I'm probably going to lean on my own experience. This isn't necessarily a testament to me being like a great coach or a model or an example. But it's more so just taking advantage of the opportunity that was presented. And so once again, a lot of these conversations with principals are walking meetings, they are quick two to three minute little snippets of time that you get with them. And that tends to be when a lot of these bigger ideas. And some of these more, I don't know, these conversations that have more substance to them come up even in those small amounts of time. And so I'll give you one instance, we were really focusing in on when COVID kind of started and teachers started using Zoom. There were a lot of issues with students using technology inappropriately and not getting on for class and trying to access things they shouldn't. And even using it to do things like cyber bully, like there was definitely some pretty tricky situations. And so in one of those moments, I wasn't even there to physically be with the principal, because a lot of the classes were remote. But she had actually reached out to me over text, like Tyler help having so many issues with Zoom. Yeah, kids are just not, you know, maybe treating it responsibly, like we thought they would like what can you do. And so in that moment, one of my big lessons that may come up later on is just, if they present a problem to you, like you don't have to necessarily be ready with a solution, but be willing to dive in and tackle it for them feel like anything you can take off of an administrator or principals back anything you can take off of their plate, they're so appreciative of, and then when they see that you're dependable. And in this case, I was able to put together like a little digital citizenship program for the fifth through eighth grade. And we did it that year. And then we actually followed up the next year and did like a 2.0 version. And so once you can kind of take some of those things off of their plate, provide students with maybe some of the encouragement, they need some of the practical knowledge, they need to treat technology and use it wisely. Like that was just huge for her. And so that was one instance that kind of led into a bigger and better relationship with this relatively new middle school principal. And so I think that, you know, once again, it just comes down to like, if it's a text, and it's a call for help, like respond and just be ready to dive in. If it's an email, if it's a walking meeting down the hall, like that's another opportunity as well. Funny story, so at least it's funny to me. I actually, I actually was on vacation. I was getting ready to go on a charter boat fishing with my dad. And I got a call from a principal who needed help with like a rostering issue. And so that's not normally something that I would help with, but he knew, hey, I can reach out to Tyler because it'll get done. And so as I'm getting ready to get on the boat, I mean, we're talking seven in the morning, it's maybe like a Friday, I'm down in Florida. And I was able to call this principal back and direct him to the person who could help. And it was solved. And so that's another opportunity as well, like, you just want to be dependable. I think that's another thing that administrators are really looking for. Because once again, they do have a million things on their plate. And if they know, oh, this coach, they're dependable, even if they're not the person that necessarily will fix it, I know, I can go to them to get you know, the right direction. That's another thing they really value too. And so yeah, like, the fact that I took that call that was maybe kind of a random thing, I might not have done that every time. But I'm glad I did. And once again, it's just being available. So I think that that's huge for any new coach is just be there, because it may not be on your time, it may not be on your schedule. But the key is just being reliable and dependable. And then that'll open up so many doors for you as a new coach.

Justin Thomas:

I think that's so important. Because a lot of times as coaches we feel like we have to be the Know It All right. And especially when you're talking with an administrator, you feel like you gotta know, every single thing administrator comes to you with but really, it's just about being dependable, being reliable being that person that they can lean on with issues. And you know, if we have to go and do some more deep diving and circle back, then that's completely fine. Because administrators, you know, they're kind of like teachers in the same way. Most of them came through that, that aspect of teaching and then became an administrator, they understand that, if you're reliable, you're going to figure out the answer, and what's the best solution for them and for their staff. So you don't always have to be the the note on have an answer right then and there, you can always kind of take that time to kind of feed with what they've given you and really come back with a really good answer to help out.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, and I think too, like so I've mentioned a couple of times that were kind of like panic moments for administrators, and those are going to happen. But I think another big thing that maybe I could have mentioned at the beginning, is those like on the fly on demand, help me sort of things should lead you to then start to try and meet with them regularly. So even though their schedules are so packed, you know, if you can kind of say like, Hey, you know, if we can kind of plan ahead, let's look at some upcoming PD days, or I've noticed these trends like would you mind just a standing meeting every two weeks, once a month, if they're even a little hesitant at that once a quarter, you know, whatever you can do to keep it regular, and then come to the table, kind of like with an agenda in mind. I think that's so key just to kind of share with them some of the insights that you've gained, once again, to ask them questions. How can I help? What do you have planned for the upcoming PD day? Are there some opportunities for me to create some sessions that I think would help your staff? You know, what about working with this teacher in this way? Do you think that's a good idea? Or hey, we did this digital citizenship thing at the middle school? What do you think about a version of it at the high school, I mean, there's so many little things that once you kind of like, break that seal, and start to build that relationship, then you just start to edge in and all these other areas. And I think that, I don't know, they just begin to count on you as someone who will get stuff done. And that's a real badge of honor to have, when you know that they do have so many responsibilities on their plate,

Justin Thomas:

especially with how helpful you could be in long term attack goals.

Tyler Erwin:

Exactly. And so sometimes they will look to you because they're like, Well, I don't know, what do you think we should focus on? Or what do you think would be a reasonable goal or reasonable focus, if we were going to add something to our building goal sheet for the year, what would be something that's realistic that these teachers could work towards. And once again, you may be put on the spot. But I would encourage new coaches to like, think, go back, do a little research, talk with teachers, see where their needs really are. And then if you have the opportunity, come back chat with the principal again, and have a good conversation around it. So I think a lot of it's funny, you know, this is obviously very much focused on administrators, building principals, a lot of what we do with teachers is the same as what we do with principals just carries a little bit more weight can make us feel a little bit more intimidated sometimes. And maybe that's why newer coaches, shy away from it. But man, the value is there if you get that relationship kind of growing from the start. Absolutely.

Katie Ritter:

Well, Tyler, if I could jump in and ask you, you mentioned something a couple minutes ago about like anything that you can do to take something off the administrators plate will go a long way. So if you can maybe think about some examples, like what were some of the like when you say take it off their plate because I think this is super helpful and important. So I'd like to just maybe have you add a little color like what are some specific things that you've done ahead of time after the fact to take something off of the administrators plates that have really helped, like propel that relationship or help you get in with teachers in a new way. And then even maybe, maybe some missed opportunities that even maybe you can identify like looking back maybe on your early years as a coach, that would have been like, super helpful to know now.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, so I'll give you some examples of things that I've done. But I'm also going to lean on my experience with the rest of our coaches as well. So when big things like PD days come up, that's seven hours worth of time that these principals have to plan for. And so ask them if you know, what's the structure of the day. And if they're maybe incorporating some choice, or there's going to be a big like all district portion, or maybe there's going to be some time for teachers to have the ability to meet amongst teams or work time or whatever, whatever part, you can manage and help plan, do it present to them a plan of like, Hey, I could offer these three sessions, we could cycle them in this way, so that everybody could get to at least attend two of the three, I'd be more than willing to do something for the elementary, the middle, the high school, whatever you can do. So that is a huge one, because that's a big responsibility. And oftentimes, principals are looking for help when it comes to planning PD days. So that's a big one. I would also say things that you can do to offer learning opportunities for teachers outside of PD days, those would be ones that aren't necessarily like the principal's mandated responsibility. But if you come to them with a plan, hey, I would really like to do lunch and learns, you know, here is a schedule that's worked really well in another district, here's the sessions I'm going to offer, the times they're going to be on demand, I'll post them to my Schoology course or my Google classroom course, take all of the guesswork out of the equation for them. And you're most likely going to get a yes, you're actually going to get a thank you like, Oh, my goodness, this is awesome. Like, go for it. So that would be another thing as well, just any extra learning opportunities. And then when possible, when it fits, I think things that you can do to support students. And so maybe that's connecting teachers to like guest speakers, maybe that's looking for grants or after school opportunities that have to do with edtech initiatives. Maybe even that's you going in and doing like some co teaching or some modeling or helping out teachers in that way. Once again, when you are taking the initiative, and they see you helping these after school clubs, or they see you supporting students in unique ways that really just like takes all of some of the burden that they feel of working with all of these teachers off of their mind. And I think that that really helps embed you into the culture of the school as well. And then I mean, it can even come down to simple things, you know, when things do need to get done. We mentioned like rostering before, if that's something that like, for whatever reason isn't being handled correctly, or there's no one in the district that's really doing it, you can help dive in and just kind of take care of some things in the interim. And so I even think it comes to that that may not be our area of expertise, or why we're necessarily there. But when you can do those kinds of goodwill things to get an immediate need off of their mind and solve and taking care of that just you know, is another piece of goodwill, you're building up with them. So I think that's really important as well.

Katie Ritter:

So we know having this positive relationship is really important with our admin. I think a lot of what we've talked about, though so far is almost dependent on the admin understanding what our role is. So like, if we take that a step back, because I think a lot of times maybe where that relationship kind of goes, like takes a wrong turn is when there's that lack of clarity of what the role of the coach even is, where they may think you are there to do all the rostering or break fix or things like that, right? So how have you in the past maybe put, like, corrected that course where maybe an admin didn't really understand what your role as a coach was kind of how do you approach clarifying the role to the the admin the building principals specifically, that may or may not be different from how you do it with your teachers?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, that's a that's a really good question and one that every coach is going to deal with, like, how do you clarify your role? That's something that we talked about, really from the start

Katie Ritter:

because we've been seeing it within the same district, right? Where you've got some principals where it's like coaching is taking off because those principals get it. And then just the middle school or high school or you know, insert whatever building just it goes nowhere because that building principal doesn't really even know that we exist or what we're there to do, no matter what our efforts are, right so

Tyler Erwin:

yeah, I mean, I can kind of give you some of the practical things that I've tried that I do feel like have helped. So reach out to the district level people first. And so I can give you kind of like my experience, you know, working with the assistant superintendent, we actually have monthly tech leader meetings. And in those meetings, one of them actually, one day was dedicated to kind of like a, what do you do? If? And so we created like a Google slideshow presentation that had some link slides in it. And it was like, what do you do if and then it had different scenarios, right, your printer breaks or your projectors not working? Well, if you clicked on any of those things, it would take you to the submitted tech ticket website, which would then of course, go to the it, folks. And then there was what do you do if and then there was a bunch of Instructional Technology Integration type things, lesson planning, or utilizing some new digital tool to create, you know, a more engaging experience for students, or you can list all sorts of different things. And of course, when you click that slide, it went to information on how to get in contact with me, where to find me how to send me an email or set up an appointment with me. And then of course, even some other things that had to do with things you mentioned, things like rostering, or the student information system, or the learning management system of the school. And so once again, that went to someone else that went to someone at main office. And we literally sat there as a team and came up with what the responsibilities were for each person or for each group of people. And when you start out with that vision, and you're literally doing that with the assistant superintendent, I think that that trickles down to everyone else. And then he was the one that sent that out to the whole staff. So everybody in the district got this direction, from one person in the district, who's kind of taking charge and leading people in that way. And I think that that was huge. When we could all come to terms and agree on who was handling what, that not only avoids so much confusion, but then everybody's on the same page. And so you know, even the teachers down to other staff members, they all know what to do in any particular scenario. So that's a huge practical one. And then I would say another one is, it may sound silly, but even in a district, I've been in for four years, the beginning of every school year, I send out like a profile. And it's a profile of myself, you know how long I've been teaching how long I've been working as an instructional design coach, and even some of the services I offer, and planning with teachers doing a tech news and notes newsletter, offering Lunch and Learns PD, those sorts of things. And everybody gets that principals included. And so once again, it's just like, kind of reinforcing my role, and letting everybody know why I'm there. And I think that just those consistent messages, not only from district leadership, but also from you repetitive as they may be, are really key to helping establish like, why you're there, what you're there to do and how you can help.

Katie Ritter:

I love it. And that's a good way to to just kind of not only for new people to the district who may not be familiar with you or the role, but also like, Hey, you down the hall, we didn't get to work together last year, but maybe you're ready for it this year. So good way to fool around. So okay, thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Because I do think that's like clarifying the role with the admin is almost like, I think the first step so they know what to even depend on you or lean on you for. So that's awesome. But so now let's talk about the unfortunate situation where, you know, you've clarified the role, you're doing all the right things to get to know them, you are dependable, but they don't really maybe see you as an instructional resource. Or, you know, maybe they don't even really consider you at all for those types of initiatives. So what are maybe some key signs that you would give the listeners to be on the lookout that that relationship may be kind of taking a wrong turn, or they don't really see you for all that you can do for the district?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, it's funny, like as you were asking that I started to smile just because in my mind, you kind of liken it to like a dating relationship. That sounds weird. But if you're the only one ever texting or emailing or ever reaching out, like that's probably a problem. Like, yeah, you may get broken up with relatively soon, right? And so

Katie Ritter:

we may need like a coach admin second date up, right? Exactly.

Tyler Erwin:

We truly would. And so that's the biggest, I think warning sign 100% If you were always the one initiating contact, if you're always the one reaching out via email, popping into their office, asking the secretary Hey, where's Mr. So and So or Mrs. So and So. That's, that's probably sign number one. And it could be for a variety of reasons. Like you mentioned, they they don't see the value, they don't understand the value. It really doesn't matter why. So Oh, I would just try and, you know, work around that and keep trying to initiate the conversation and get it going open up that line of communication, you may just be reaching out at the wrong times, it could be something totally, you know, unrelated. And so you may just have to vary your methods. So that may be the the first place you start, I would say another warning sign is when you don't get included in like PD planning. I just think that that's, it's not the central focus of what we do as instructional coaches. But I feel like if principals and district administrators see the value in what you do, you're going to be looped in, because they know that you're going to offer sessions that are going to be relevant to teachers that teachers are going to enjoy. And you take just such a big burden off of their plate. So if you start seeing yourself, you know, never included in PD planning or just totally off the roster of people who present, that would be another area where you're like, Okay, this is starting to get to some dangerous territory, this is kind of unhealthy. That's once again, where you just need to come to the table, like with everything planned, here's the session, here's the agenda, here's some of the learning takeaways, here's what they're going to create at the end. Hey, and just keep pestering them and saying I am available at these times, I'd be willing to do it virtually in person, you name it. And so just take all of the guesswork out of the equation. Another big one, I think would be when they're only reaching out to you for things that you truly shouldn't be handling or taking care of. So if you become the go to for all of the it requests in the building, or if you do become Mr. or Mrs roster of all student information in the district, that's also a problem. If you start doing things with, you know, just too much with students and not really getting to work with teachers are now you're delving into like district level planning meetings, or student behavior, all of these things that are really outside your scope of expertise. That's once again, a clarification issue. And that's means that your relationship might be on unhealthy terms, it's good because they're at least including you, but they really don't have a clue of how to include you. And so that can be a problem as well. And then I would say maybe one last one. And this isn't like the biggest deal. But if the only time they reach out to you is in like panic mode. I think that's also a problem. You really want to work on that consistent, regular communication, not just oh, I'm in a pinch, I'm going to reach out to our coach, I think that's unhealthy as well. Just like it would be in a relationship with a friend, if they only call you when they need help how good of a friend are they? Right? It's like, you know, can we actually talk about me for once? Or can we do something fun for once, you know, there's just, you know, you start to get that vibe of like, Oh, I'm kind of being used right now. So you definitely want to make sure that that relationship is, you know, working in a way where you're having that regular communication so you can long term plan, so you can look to the future and kind of have things in place. Because the teachers will benefit so much when it is that kind of communication as well.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, you gave a lot of great warning signs. So I am going to ask you about some tips to put that relationship back on the right track if if any of these warning signs are ringing some bells for some of our listeners. So we will get to those tips here in just a minute after a word from our sponsor. Looking

Justin Thomas:

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Katie Ritter:

Welcome back to the restart recharge podcast. Myself, Katie Ritter and Justin Thomas are here talking with Tyler Irwin about building positive relationships as an instructional coach with your admin Illustrator's at both the district and in particularly those building principal levels. So we left before the break, asking Tyler about some warning signs when that relationship is maybe off the right track. So Tyler, what tips do you have for our coaches to put that relationship back? On the right track? If if they've noticed some of those warning signs that you mentioned?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, that's, that's a tough one. Because you have to think these are, you know, people, they have their individual personalities. And they are obviously going to have their own individual view of like, why you're there and what you do. So I don't think there's a one size fits all sort of answer. But I would say one thing that really,

Katie Ritter:

if you had one, if you Well, one size fits all.

Tyler Erwin:

Right, I write a book and retire, I know. And so I don't have that, because I'm not retired. But I will say that one thing you mentioned earlier really stood out to me. And I thought, wow, I've seen a lot of our coaches do that with great success. And that is you want to capitalize on the success you've had at other buildings, or in other opportunities. And so you know how it goes. The world of education, it's, it's pretty small administrators, even across districts, they talk. And I think, especially inside of a district, they're going to kind of see when a certain school is excelling or doing well. And so when you can kind of offer those suggestions, maybe to an administrator, or a principal, who you're not working so well with, Hey, I've done this over at the middle school, it's worked really well. What do you think about giving it a shot at the high school, or maybe the way in which you've reached out to, you know, a principal at a certain school has really resonated with them. And maybe you want to try that out at another school, I just think that using the success you've had elsewhere, and kind of saying, Hey, here's some of the great things that have come from this. Or here's some of the awesome things that the middle school is doing. I think the high school could do them just as well. That can sometimes give like the administrator that extra motivation, to maybe just like rekindle the relationship, try again, refocus, rethink how they you are being used as a coach in their school. And it also kind of puts the heat on them a little bit. They're thinking to themselves, Oh, yeah, the middle school, like, they are doing some pretty cool things like I better step up my game. And so that can help you a ton. The other one is, I mentioned it before, but you just have to vary your tactics. Sometimes we as coaches perceive lack of engagement, or an unhealthy relationship, because maybe we're not getting the consistent communication we want or we're not able to connect with them throughout the day. And that really could just be like chance and circumstance. And so that could require you to get there early, could require you to stay late, give them your cell phone number, give them your work email or your district, email, I mean, whatever they don't have, again and again, so that they know when to reach out to you and you make it very evident and clear. When you're available. You know, sometimes it could just be you're just crossing paths and doesn't work out. So that's another big one. And then I would say, lastly, it's this has just been a consistent theme throughout. But whatever you can do, even without them asking to come to the table with things that add value to what they do as an administrator, whether that's PDS planned out, extra learning opportunities, planned out initiatives for after school clubs, or whatever it might be, come to the table with that stuff ready. And hopefully cross your fingers that they'll take a chance on it. And they'll let you try it that they'll say hey, run with that initiative, or, you know, go for it, do lunch and learns or Yeah, that sounds great. Like, that's a great way to plan out the PD day, let's try it out. If you come to that, everything planned out no guesswork. That's a nice way to get that relationship kind of rekindled and moving in the right direction. Sometimes we can as coaches be very good at coming up with ideas. But we don't necessarily have like the logistics in place to make it happen. And so get all those logistics out of the way first, because that's what the principals are worried about. They're worried about like, do we have the time to make it happen? Do we have the interest to make it happen? Do we have the money to make it happen? I mean, you name all the things that they're balancing in their head, get all of that planned out for them? And then they're more likely to say yes, which is a great way for you as a coach to start up some new programs and get really embedded into the district and what they do.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, well, I think that last one is so huge, and I think I think maybe there's this other area too if I can kind of build on what you're saying by just taking the initiative. And really kind of the whole point of why this relationship is so important is because you care about what your boss cares about. Right? So as a teacher, if I don't think my boss cares that much about me using technology or working with the coach, then why am I going to do it? Because as a teacher, I have so many other things that I'm expected to care about and do and keep up with. So if this isn't something that my boss cares about, why am I going to do it? Right? But so then I think also as a coach to figure out, okay, well, what is it that this principle cares about? That's going to speak to them, right. So if they, you know, they, they may not, it's hard to like, choke down. But we all know those principles that still don't really see the value in instructional technology, I think it's mostly a lack of understanding and how it can be used in transformative ways. But if we as coaches can't sit them down and say, Hey, you should care about this, right? Because that may not be the best way to build that relationship, but figure out what does matter to them, right? Like, what matters this year is a lot of like SEL topics, and a lot of folks just trying to, like help get kids back on track and try to help figure out where they're at. And, you know, so figure out what is that topic, even if it isn't inherently screaming ed tech, if you're an instructional technology coach, but how can you then develop a plan, like you're saying Tyler to present in a way that's not in your face technology, but we're going to kind of circumvent it, like, Hey, I know, this is really important. I know, You've been pushing this a lot this year, I'd love to lead XYZ sessions on your PD day, here's what I can do, right. And then what we do is deliver that through the lens of like, using instructional technology to support those things. So I just think, you know, I just want to kind of piggyback that I think that's a way to even take what you're saying, and even take it like an another step further, especially if this principal doesn't get or outwardly seem to care about whatever it is your role is to like support and coach in the district.

Tyler Erwin:

Well, it's interesting that you said, you know, find out what matters to them. Because that's another way in, you know, if you know, every year at the beginning of the year, they lead a student orientation. And maybe they've struggled with like keeping the kids engaged. Or maybe, you know, they do like a college and career fair. And the way they did it in the past was very much like in person, and there were little booths set up. But now they had to do everything like virtually because of COVID. Like, that's your end, Hey, have you ever thought about creating a Google site, and you could create all of these booths that you used to have in person, you could have them as their own page on a Google site, or for student orientation, have you thought about trying out a Pear Deck, you know, we have a premium subscription here in the district, I can help you set one up, it's a great way to solicit student responses, keep them engaged, everyone can join from their phones, then not only are you helping them out with like these tasks that are definitely weighing on their mind, but they're kind of also like getting an understanding of what you do and why you're there, and how you can help their teachers. And then so it all kind of starts to click. And so if you can pick up on those little key things that they take care of every year as a principal or as an administrator, and then kind of work your way in to help them. That's another huge way to get that relationship going, too.

Justin Thomas:

All right, restart recharges, you know what time it is, it's now time for the our our top three tips. We do it at the end of every single show. So we're obviously going to do it at the end of this one as well. And Tyler, I mean, you had just amazing tips all throughout. But maybe we can kind of bring them a little bit more concise here at the end, what are your top tips to create support or build a partnership between coaches and administrators?

Tyler Erwin:

Ooh, top three tips. need three of them? Okay, if I had to go with my top three, I think the first thing I said is crucial. And it sounds so obvious. But oftentimes, we just we don't think about it enough to really put the work in. And that's make yourself available in all avenues. And in all aspects. If that includes giving your cell phone number out, you know, I think that that's important, you know, be available, and make sure that principals know where to find you know how to contact you. Because we already talked about how, you know, kind of few and far between those opportunities might be just because of how busy they are. The second one, and this kind of came up organically at the end. But as I think about it, I think it has to be said, find out what matters to them. So that includes the district. What are the district goals, the building goals? What are some of the things that the principals are thinking about or trying to focus on with their staff? What are some of the ways that you can help enhance the great things that they're already doing? And that's not just from like working with teachers. That really is like working with district administrators and principals in the work that they're doing? All the communication, they're sending out all of the little things they're supporting thing after the school day ends, how can you help make those things even better. And then I would say, if I had to go with a third one. The third one is take all of the guesswork out of what you do. So that means clarify, clarify, clarify. If that is working like I had the chance to do with the assistant superintendent and making a little flowchart that explains what everyone's role is and what you do, when then do that. If that includes making a profile and explaining like, why you're there and seeing that out every year, if that includes maybe having to say no, sometimes to some of the things that you're asked to do. It's so important that you clarify your role. But of course, add value when you can, but make sure that everyone across the board understands why you're there, and why you can help. That's not only going to lead to less frustration for you. But I think eventually, once they form an idea of why you're there, it's going to help them push you to be used by the teachers, because they're going to know what to say, hey, here's why you should work with this coach, here's how they can help. And if they can't articulate that, that's a real problem. So I think clarifying your role is is very vital as well.

Justin Thomas:

Wow, amazing top three tips there from Tyler. Make yourself available, find out what matters most of those administrators, and then take all the guesswork out. So you need to clarify what the role is. Perfect. That was really nice and concise there. Tyler, a lot of great information. Thanks, Tyler. coming through here. A reminder that this is the first of a three part mini series in admin and coach relationships. So you can tune in, in two weeks, march 15, as we interview a coach from Monroe, local schools, and one of their administrators to hear how they're working partnership has spurred transformation across the district. So we're excited to have them come on a next episode. And once again, that's coming out on March 15.

Katie Ritter:

Yes, and Tyler thanks again for being here. Really excited to kick off this super important three part topic. So that's it for today, folks, be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcast, and we would never turn away if you would rate and review us we love a good five star if you're willing to help others find the podcast and you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at our our

Justin Thomas:

cast. And also a friendly reminder that coaches camp is gonna be coming up quicker than you think. So make sure that you can register and get the $50 off using our our podcast promo code in all caps. And also feel free to reach out and let us know what topics that you want to discuss or want us to discuss in upcoming episodes.

Katie Ritter:

So press the restart button,

Justin Thomas:

recharging coaching batteries and leave feeling equipped and inspired to coach fearlessly with the restart recharge podcast. A tech coach collective