Restart Recharge Podcast

211 - Expand Your Island

June 07, 2022 Forward Edge Season 2 Episode 11
Restart Recharge Podcast
211 - Expand Your Island
Show Notes Transcript

Coaching really should be a team sport. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case…for many coaches, they might be the only one in the building or even district. In this episode, listeners  will hear a first hand account of how one coach was able to kick off a coaching program in her district that will be expanding after just one year with the addition of added coaches in the district! Hear her success and fail forward moments that made up her first year as a coach.

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Podcast Team

Hosts- Katie  Ritter & Justin Thomas

Editing Team- Justin Thomas, Michael Roush, Mark Gumm

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

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

Producer- Justin Thomas

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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 For and hyphen edge dotnet slash coach camp to reserve your spot today.

Katie Ritter:

Aloha I'm Katie Ritter.

Justin Thomas:

And I'm Justin Thomas. And this is the restart recharge podcast a podcast by coaches for coaches. We're bringing the tips and tricks to help you in your everyday work as instructional technology coach or whatever they call you in your school district.

Katie Ritter:

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

Justin Thomas:

We have an exciting episode today because coaching really should be a team sport. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case for many coaches, they might be the only one in their building or even in the district. So in this episode, listeners will hear a first hand account of how one coach was able to kick off the coaching program interdistrict that will be expanding after just one year with the addition of added coaches in that district. So we'll hear her success and fail forward moments that made up her first year as a coach. So let's welcome in Roxy Thompson. Roxy currently serves as an edtech specialist for Washington Elementary School District in Glendale, Arizona. She has been in this position for the past three years. This year, she took on additional role as the district's first Instructional Technology coach with a focus on working one to one with teachers to drive impactful technology use. Roxy spent the majority of our time this year supporting teachers in the district's first distance learning program for families who chose a full time online learning environment for their students. Prior to this, she spent eight years teaching social studies at the elementary and middle school levels. Roxy is passionate about empowering teachers to utilize technology to create powerful learning experiences for students. So welcome, man, Roxy.

Roxi Thompson:

Hi there, it's so funny listening to like your own bio. Great to be here.

Katie Ritter:

We are so excited to have you you are a rockstar Roxie and our team has gotten an opportunity to connect with you online in kind of a number of ways at this point. So we are super excited to finally have you on the podcast.

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, I know, I was like talking about this before. But it's so funny like, seeing you guys and like talking to you instead of just being like coming out of my phone as I get ready for work. And that's funny,

Justin Thomas:

awesome. Well, Roxanne, we did give you a little bit of an expansive, should say kind of background on what you do. But is there anything that you'd like to add about your background in education and in your current role that you have now?

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, um, I mean, one thing that I like to share, especially when I'm coaching new teachers that are maybe struggling is I had a really rough first year teaching. And I know, you know, it's, it's normally challenging for new teachers. But about halfway through my first year, I actually was seriously thinking of quitting, like I was exhausted, I was trying to balance the planning and the grading and, you know, getting back to parents and the PD. And there was a point when I thought like, maybe maybe this was a mistake, maybe I just can't do this, you know, maybe I need to get out of teaching and luckily had an amazing mentor teacher who worked with the new teachers. And so he stayed super late one night, we planned a week's worth of emergency sub lessons. And they gave me kind of a mental health week to kind of, you know, get my head straight, straight and really think about things. And the supervisor for my student teaching program happens to be a principal that year. So she said, you know, come down to my school, and want you to see some social studies teachers, because that's what I was teaching at the time. And, you know, let's, I want you to go in different classrooms, see what's going on. And then let's talk after. And so I went for the day and visited classrooms. And it was, it was amazing. It was amazing, because every single teacher taught a different way. Like it looks so different in every single classroom. And I enjoyed every single one of them, but their their styles of teaching. The way they set up their lessons was different, like everything was so different. And you know, when we talked after, just kind of like so, you know, what's your biggest takeaway, and I'm like, There's not like a right way to do this, right? Like there are different ways that you can teach and it's going to look different depending on your students and your personality and what you're bringing. And so I went back, it didn't quit. I made it through that first year. was actually what I got. I got into hiking because every Sunday I would hike this mountain where I could physically see that school like looking really small down below me and be like, Okay, I can get through this week like I can make it. And then I moved from that school to a different school, moved from middle school down to fifth grade, which I fell in love with, and kind of found a home there in my new school. But, you know, I like to share that with newer teachers, because I think sometimes they think that people that get into these roles, like had these beautiful unicorn rainbow starts to wear. And it wasn't like that at all. And I think, you know, it was, it was a struggle, but it's definitely helped me. It's helped me empathize with teachers that are struggling, but I think it also kept me going through this first year coaching and when there were like, a lot of similarities in some of those challenges. So that's, that's a little bit of background. So if you're out there, and you're having a rough first year, or third year, or easier, you know, sometimes a change of scenery, a change of just mindset, you know, can really help reset, resets you and get you back on the right path and hopefully staying in teaching in some capacity.

Katie Ritter:

I love that. Well, one, thank goodness, you stayed. Because you are a phenomenal educator, and just what I've seen of your coaching work, I know that that has translated to you know, to your coaching. But I feel like we almost need to like hit the pause button. That'd be its own little episode that goes out. So it's just a quick like, couple minutes pep talk for people. But Roxy, will you also share your social media handles so people can like hit the pause button, go follow you. Or come back after the episode to give you got follow?

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, so I'm at Roxy underscore Thompson because some Roxie Thompson out there had already taken the

Justin Thomas:

that. That's why mine is.

Roxi Thompson:

I know when Ben Saunders wrath is talking about having a unique name, I'm like, Man, that would be really helpful. media handle. So I'm at Roxy underscore Thompson on Twitter. I'm also on Instagram at the same one. I think there is a tick tock account. But like, hilariously, I didn't set it up with some sort of backup with a phone or an email. So I can't get into my account. Because I remember what the password was. So I might have to start a new one with a different handle. But Twitter is primarily where I live for the most part. But I also have been doing some I've been trying to do some Instagramming. And that's a little bit more of a mix of like education slash hiking slash my husky puppy, so no one has a little bit more from this.

Katie Ritter:

I love it. We can all use more puppies in our life. So that is

Justin Thomas:

for sure. Rock Did you want explain a little bit more about the culture of coaching that you've begun to create at your school district?

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, so I, when I became when I moved from the classroom into my coaching role, it was actually it was a social studies slash ed tech coaching role. And there was another, there's another person who is Ela slash at Tech coaching. And halfway through the year, they decided to rearrange that. And she was going to be just ELA slash social studies and an IoT full time ed tech. So the idea was for there to be more coaching because traditionally, I think the people that were on that team had just done more, more traditional training, right where they, you know, got in front of the educators and took them through some PowerPoints. And the person that was the coordinator at the time of attack, really wanted to bring more coaching in. I started that year, that was the year of COVID. So my first year there in this new role, like trying to figure out what I was doing, having no experience with an ed tech coach, like on the teacher side, like it didn't really know what that should look like. And so I tried some things in the beginning of the year, mostly just like throwing a million things at these core teachers, like, here's Google Maps, and here's how you can make time lines. And here's, you know, all these different tech tools that I love using kind of throwing them at them. And it wasn't working like I mean, they were very nice. And they were like, oh, that's kind of a cool idea. And then one about their ways, right? And like nothing seemed to be translating into implementation. And I didn't I didn't know why. Like it couldn't figure out why. I didn't know like, strategies to help move from you know, here I'm showing you things to like, now you start doing that in your classroom. And then COVID happened, ironically, right before that I was about to be they were trying to downsize for budget reasons. And as the newest person I was going to be like, oh, so I found that out like February, right before COVID Hit Oh my god, I actually started Yeah, interviewing at other school districts, you know, trying to prepare, and then all of a sudden, they were like, hold up, maybe we're gonna go ahead and keep you. So that ended up working out. But it was also at that same time that Google came out with their certified coach curriculum. And you know, I saw it on Twitter and was like, what sounds you know, interesting. And so I looked at it. And at first sight, I was like, holy cow, like this is a lot. I mean, in comparison to like the trainer program, especially like, it was like full on modules and curriculums, and all these resources. But as I started going through it, I was like, Oh, my gosh, yes. This is like, what they're looking for is some like concrete, research backed ideas of like, what actually works when you're trying to get people to integrate technology in ways when you're trying to go from just showing them tools to them actually using them? And so I was like, Yes, this is what I've been looking for. And around that time, you guys started doing, you know, your webinars, and I was like, yes, like, you know, there are people attending as, as I'm seeing people's names in there, and like trying to find them on Twitter and see, like, what are they doing? Like, what things are they sharing. And that the EC open chat came out of that too, which was a group of educators going through the group, the Google certified coaching program, and decided to start like these book studies, and like, you know, people were meeting together. So I joined that. I mean, I was just looking for anything like, I will do anything, I will talk to anyone.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, you were like, Coach fun. Yeah.

Roxi Thompson:

I think it coincided too, with like being in lockdown, and like wanting to find ways to connect with people, any way that you could, so it all kind of just came together and sort of a perfect, perfect way. And so that was what I took back to my school. You know, once I kind of felt like I had a solid understanding of like, the different things I needed, at least to get going, right. Like, I knew I'd keep coming back to that curriculum, because some of the stuff I was like, but it was because I hadn't quite gotten there, like in my coaching journey. But I had at least enough to kind of like plant a seed. And we had just gotten the new director. So you know, I was, I was trying to sell it to her, basically, you know, why we might need this. And so I sat down and made this little like table where I had like, okay, here, here are the, like, challenges we're facing as a district. And here's how this coaching program because, like, meet each one of these challenges, and then I had, you know, some coworkers, like, poke holes in it and leave comments, you know, give suggestions, and like, where do you think they're gonna, like, you know, what parts of this is like the seventh or eighth? Or is it gonna rub people the wrong way? Luckily, I have colleagues that are like, very honest, and aren't afraid to give constructive feedback. So yeah, so that's what came out of it. It was this Google Doc of like, here's what I think this could look like. A lot of it was based on the coaching the Google certified coaching program, but with Flexi twist that I knew would fit better with, like our school districts. Yeah. And then some of the, like, ISTE, coaching standards language, you know, because it sounded good. And they liked that. And it had some like keywords, I think that aligned to things that like they want it to accomplish in a district. So that was that it was a doc, and I emailed it and cross my fingers. Got back an email that said, like, I like that, like, let's keep talking about this. And I was like, yeah, so that was the little seed. That's kind of how the whole thing started.

Katie Ritter:

That's awesome. There's so much there that I want to like dig into more than you said, That's just like so good. But first thing you said kind of at the beginning, I think you pointed out like a really key piece that there was a lot of training going on. And a lot of like, here's this tech tool, but there wasn't so much coaching and there wasn't as much like transferring it back to the classroom and like true coaching solves that transfer problem of like, actually, like helping them learn the skills, master the skills, but then actually like by transfer problem, I mean, like transfer those skills to the classroom and actually implement the skills. So I think that's awesome. And I think that is a challenge that a lot of coaches face where they are. They haven't started more of like we call them formal coaching cycles is like what we call what the Google's Google coaching model is, but they haven't started these formal coaching cycles and they are really just doing trainings are kind of like quick fly by help, especially if they're more of a tech Coach rather than like a content coach. And so, you know, they they aren't making as much of an impact into that instruction, if they're not actually doing the coaching work, which is that deeper work. So I love that you kind of pointed that out. And I know, you know, I know, it's a challenge, especially for coaches and like really large districts, you know, they're responsible for so many teachers, like, where do we find the time to do this, but, you know, we preach all of the time, like coaching cycles are worth it, you will see the impact. So I love hearing that, like, from your perspective to how that just kind of like shifted what was happening across the board for you, and kudos to you for all of like, the research and the work that you put into it. You know, it's easy to say like, Wow, what a dream scenario like you asked for it. And your boss said, Yes, and like you move forward, but you put in all the hard work to, like, make that conversation happen. So kudos to you for that.

Roxi Thompson:

There was a lot of like moments after someone had like poked holes, and I just sat there and went like, oh, maybe I should just go back to the training and the PowerPoints and like, maybe, you know, this is gonna work. But yeah, so it definitely wasn't some smooth, you know, there are a lot of, you know, a lot of moments when you think like, my, this is gonna happen, like, what, like, what am I doing? Like, am I putting all this work into it? Is it's just gonna, like fall apart? Or is this not gonna work. But like, I had a lot of people in the coaching program that I was going through it with, you know, at the same time, we were doing that book study together. So we would meet on Google needs and talk about, you know, some of the challenges we're having. And some of them were just in my same position, like trying to sell people they needed to sell on this idea. And so, you know, you had people there that were like, yes, like he bought it, you know, don't give up. And so that was really helpful.

Katie Ritter:

Well, I think if we important, yeah, well, and I think, I don't know that anything I've done in my life has been worthwhile, that I haven't had those moments of like, Oh, my God, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Is this worth it? Have I lost it? You know, it's not worth it, you know, whatever. So I think if you're having a smooth unicorn ride, then like, he's not doing the right stuff. Something's going on. Something's not right. Okay, so Roxy, off the podcast, you know, you have shared with us and with me personally, that your team is now expanding. So you went from like, hey, I want to do this, you know, you just shared you almost the position got cut. So you were like, facing that to like, this position needs, you know, in the work I'm doing needs like, to be rejuvenated. So I'm making a bigger impact to now you are now adding how many coaches to the team?

Roxi Thompson:

What right now we're adding just one more? Okay, so

Katie Ritter:

still, just one more is like, don't say, oh, yeah, cuz you're growing one by 100%. Um, but that is huge to even add, like any coaches to the team. So if you could talk about like, how did you go about advocating for not just like, what it should look like and for yourself, but like, how did you go about advocating like adding to the team? I mean, there are so many coaches that need more of them in their district. So talk us through, like, what that looked like to you. And anything major that sticks out is like a big contributor to your success.

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, I mean, I would say the biggest contributor is like that, I got a chance to put it in action. And people saw it like, so I didn't have to sell it as much as like it. The coaching kept our distance learning program like afloat, I think that was a large, like, I think people could see the impact that it had. We actually have, so there's, there's technically like three of us, I have a coworker, Mike cannon. And he has is traditionally more comfortable, like in a training role. Like we always talk about, like how, you know, we kind of complement each other in that way. Like he feels more comfortable in sort of those more traditional trainings that you do for teachers. And for a lot of teachers, they like that. I mean, there's a lot of our teachers that like, love going to my cannon, because of the way you can break things down and explain it like step by step by step. So he's amazing. We had a another person on the team that left at the beginning of the year. So we're going to try to fill that role. But it was so difficult, because most of the people applying were teachers in our district, and there was no way that we're going to let a teacher out of the classroom. Because we're so short, you know, we were like, Let's off, let's talk about what we want this team to look like, towards the end of the year, and then we'll repost it. And so my boss, her feeling was you know, this coaching model that we've been using With the distance learning teachers has worked so well, like, that's what we need to replace this person with, which was not really what he was doing. We used to call him the architect, he was really great at like building websites, and he was amazing. But like in classroom coaching the way that like, you know, we were looking at doing that wasn't really what he had done with that role. So my boss felt like, we need another coach, like, We need someone else, that's going to do the same thing. So we can take this out and spread it out into the district. So I think part of what sold people that needed to diesel hold on expanding the coaching program was that they saw what could happen if you really worked closely, one on one with teachers, like if we had someone in there, that established relationships with these teachers that got to know them, that were in their classrooms, seeing what was going on seeing the context of you know, the learning and the teaching, and then able to help those teachers look for new ways to use technology, or, you know, think about how they could solve problems with technology based solutions. And they, they just saw the results of that. And so my boss and her boss, you know, really felt like, this is something we need to take out, spread out in the district and try this and see what this will work, work and look like in brick and mortar classrooms.

Katie Ritter:

I love that. Well, and I think it you know, because anyone can go around saying, like, we need another me, you know, but it's, you know, you've got to like proof has to be in the pudding there. Right? And like, we've got to like show the impact. Was there anything that you did that you could think of even like, the smallest nugget could be helpful to another listener out there? Like, were you tracking the data or teacher growth in any way? Or like what you were doing with teachers? Did you like present that to add? Like, how did the people above you know, what was happening in these coaching cycles? What did that look like for you,

Roxi Thompson:

um, you know, a lot of word of mouth. Every time like, my supervisor would talk to the teachers, they would tell her like, Roxy has been so helpful is the thing she kept saying to me, which was amazing, because, you know, when you're in the thick of things, and especially just the crazy year we've had, and all the things that were going on with trying to keep this distance learning program afloat, you know, there's days when you're like, Am I doing anything like there's like, an endless amount of like, emails coming in, and you know, texts coming in from teachers or phone calls, and you never feel like you can give anyone enough time or enough support. And so every once in a while, she'd be like, hey, like, you're helping people like, like, I just want you to know that you're helping people. So that was great. I think a huge one. And I know, in a previous, you had some previous episodes about this, but the admin support and the admin relationships. That was huge this year, and I hadn't, I don't think it's something I thought about in years before, like about proactively trying to establish relationships with the principals at the schools, I kind of thought like, Well, my job here is to support teachers, like, sure I'll, you know, I'll be nice. And I'll be polite, obviously, like, you know, I want them to let me in the door. But I hadn't really thought about like, how do I actually form relationships with these people in a way that's going to allow me to work more closely with their teachers, and want them to invite me back and work with more teachers. And so our unique situation, you know, it was, this program had two different principles, because it was housed, there was like a k four program at a K six, campus. And then there was the five, eight, part of it, it was at a middle school campus. So there's two different principles that I was working with, and just being there, and like being a dependable person that they could turn to, when like, things got at their craziest and most like, chaotic. It was so important to making this all come together and work. And I think it was Tyler That was talking about, you know, some of his tips for like, forming those relationships. And he had this really funny story about taking a phone call from one of the principals. Yeah. But I was laughing when I was listening to that, because, you know, there were times I was like, at the dog park, you know, watching my dog run around, and my phone would ring and you know, it was one of the principals, one of the one of the assistant principals, you know, calling to ask me a question like, how do you you know, in Google Classroom, how do you make a specific assignment for just three students and I'm like, there I'm like, I don't you know, I'm like, doing this off of memory. Yeah. But like doing that for her that like, I think really helped that build that relationship is like I showed her like, hey, like, if you need something, you know, call me I will be there for you at the smallest thing. And that like it was It was really kind of blew my mind. Like I didn't I don't think I quite understood until I was in that situation, like how helpful that was. And then how different, right, because like, every principle is so different and what they value in the thing, the things that are important and what they prioritize, because the other principle was like, for 30, no foot, like we're not having phone calls. You know, the thing is he prioritize, and what he valued was completely different than like, the way that you know, that in her life. And so like just realizing that and then like spending the time and getting to know like, what makes these people tick? And like, what are the things that I can do for these individual personalities that are going to help them? You know, help them want me to succeed in this and like, want me there working with their teachers, that I think that was huge. And something that I really want to keep in mind and take back in this coming year, you know, if I'm going out to other schools, like how can I not going to be a replication but like, what are the things I can take with me? How can I be more proactive than I was in previous years about really reaching out to and forming those relationships with those principles, so that I think that was a huge part. And maybe not something you think about when you're like a new coach, I'm not sure that that's always top of mind, especially like, you're at a at a school, if you're a tech coach for a specific school, then, you know, you kind of have that natural, natural times you see those principals, right, you're passing by, or you're in meetings, but like, in my position, it's at the district level. So I mean, unless you proactively set aside that time, or reach out to people, you're not going to see that, like, you're not really in their eyeline, you're not really on their mind, you know, they have their day to do things that they're doing. And so you really have to, I think, really think about creative ways that you can form those relationships.

Katie Ritter:

Yes, I love it. I'm a big preacher of forming that relationship with admin. Okay, and Roxy, I'm gonna ask you about one more thing, that I'm just curious if you feel like this contributed, you have a Data Studio where you are collecting kind of all of the work that teachers were doing in coaching cycles, so that could kind of be like shared and repurposed in some way across the district is, Am I remembering that correctly? And if so, could you please clarify and fill in the holes of what it is I'm trying to think about?

Roxi Thompson:

Although I would say I didn't, it's funny, you mentioned that I forgot I, I didn't use that last year. That was okay. That I added to last year and the previous year, when I just started trying to do coaching cycles with teachers. It was something that I had set up so that as we went through these coaching cycles, I would add it to that data studio, once I watched a million videos and learned how to use it. But yeah, so the idea was that it would be this like, collection of like lesson ideas or resources, that then we could like sort by, you know, maybe grade level or by like challenge areas of other teachers, you know, we're also looking for ways to like have their students collaborate more, right, like maybe you could filter it by like collaboration ideas. So that was the idea with that. It's something I'd love to definitely get back to next year. It didn't quite fit in with what was going on this year. So but yeah, I mean, I think I think the potential for that is really awesome. And I don't remember who I got someone on Twitter, I'm sure we're sharing something similar. And so that was why I think I created that.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, well, I mean, you can't do everything right. So like you had to divide and conquer focus on the big rocks. Um, so I totally hear you on that. But anyway, I do think that could be something really cool like a cool way for other coaches who like to your point sometimes just like word of mouth and letting admin know what's going on. Like that could be a powerful resource. If someone else is thinking about like how to help spread the word, listeners, hang on. For just a few seconds to one minute for us. We're gonna break for a quick break from our sponsors.

Justin Thomas:

Looking for a program that reaches all teachers and learning new tools to integrate in their lessons and you badges is the answer and using anytime, anywhere badging program that is designed to take bite sized tools for instruction and teach teachers how to use them edgy has received the STC of alignment for Educator Standards, and each badge in our expanding library is aligned to the ISTE standards and the Samer model. Learn more about the program that teachers call addicting at Ford hyphen edge dotnet backslash and you badges. Instructional Coaches support teachers, students, administrators, and really everyone in the district. In fact, research shows instructional coaching is one of the most impactful forms Professional Development, the results in improved teacher instruction and student achievement. But who is supporting the coach Ford Edge provides multiple year long mentorship options recommended by the Google for Education certified coach program. To help you gain the valued support you need as an instructional coach, visit Ford hyphen edge dotnet to start giving PD to the ultimate PD providers. Welcome back to the restore recharge Podcast. I'm Justin Thomas. We have Dr. Katie Ritter, and also Roxie Thompson, join us in here today for this episode and Roxanne, you're talking a little bit about how you are building that you're kind of coaching team here. But as someone that you are now building the coaching program from scratch, and now you're having another coach coming in, what are you looking forward to taking into this upcoming school year? And what are some things that maybe you would ditch?

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, so I mean, I definitely think you know, we talked about the admin relationship. So you definitely want to keep that front of mind, you know, moving into this next year, and I think, luckily, now I have at least those two principals that I already have this relationship with, right? So it's definitely a good place to start, like, hey, you know, remember all that great work I did. When you were abandoned? Seeing the DLP? You know, they're, you know, how can I help you out now and with all the rest of your teachers that are teaching in the, the physical classroom, so definitely, that one of the more interesting things that I think like has come out of this is the idea of like, what virtual coaching can look like, you know, outside of the DLP, outside of like when it's forced on people during lockdowns and pandemic, it's something I've really gotten interested in and kind of been doing some research and looking around at is like, what are people doing? And, you know, how are people using virtual coaching and what they've learned through COVID? And how can we kind of add that to the toolbox. And as an option, now that we're back in classrooms, and so I've started doing some just like signups, you know, where teachers can sign up for virtual coaching sessions. And it's been really interesting, just, first of all, that teachers are willing to sign up for a virtual coaching session. Now, I don't know that that would have ever happened before, you know, COVID happen. I mean, they know how to share their screen, right? It's just like, half the battle, when you're trying to do technology coaching. But you know, when you're at a, when you're the tech coach at a district level, in a large school district, you know, there's just no way that you can physically drive out and get to everyone. Yeah, there's just no way. And I think there's a lot of potential for, for saving some of that driving time, when, like, the task makes sense, right? So if you're talking about like, modeling something for a classroom, or, you know, there's certain things when it makes more sense, you know, to be there in person, helping that teacher, but I do think there are some times when it makes a lot of sense to just jump on to a Google meet, you know, and walk through things like, Oh, you want help creating a digital, you know, choice board for your students awesome. Like, let's pop into a collaborative document together. And like, let's brainstorm. So I think that's really interesting. Part of it, too, I think, is because, like, I really enjoy it. Like, I know, there's some people that were like, couldn't wait to get back to being in person and you know, wanting to be in the office and having their like, office birthday parties was like, dropped by, you know, stop and and talk to people, but I don't know if it's because like, I'm a proud introvert, but I found that, like, I really enjoyed a lot of these things that came out of like, the, the, you know, being in this virtual space. I think, I think for some teachers, like, it's a nice step in if you're a little bit nervous about the idea of coaching. Not having someone in your physical classroom, like it's kind of private, no one even has to know you're talking to a coach, right? You just pop on and you have to worry about if your classrooms looking clean or you know, whatever. I think that can sometimes lower the anxiety for some people is having that virtual options. So I'm really hoping to see like how that can help me not just reach different people, but I also think like maybe some people that otherwise wouldn't have wanted to meet in person. See if that maybe helps draw them in and shows them like hey, like, you know, like, I can be helpful if you just want to bounce ideas off of me work, there's something you want me to show you and then once they feel more comfortable, maybe that's a foot in the door, you know, into their classroom.

Katie Ritter:

I love it and I feel like be prepared to be penciled in for another episode next school year. About virtual coaching, spoiler alert

Roxi Thompson:

I was looking at looking at coffee to see lineup from you Another one that just happened. I'm like home. Yeah, it looks like there is some good sessions on. Like, you know, people talking about this. So maybe next year because I'm hoping to go to my first FTTC cons conference. So we'll see. Yeah, but I'd love to hear what people are doing in that space.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, that's awesome. I feel like I'm going to stop myself now before we go down a rabbit hole. Totally off topic on this four hour podcast. I know. Okay, so unfortunately, loyal listeners, this last piece landed on me and I'm not near as entertaining. Justin thrown his pencil down. Okay, so we end every episode with top three tips. So Roxy, what are your I'll try to do Justin justice here. What are your top three tips for someone who is on their own coaching Island, trying to expand their program.

Roxi Thompson:

So the first one, I am probably singing to the choir here but are preaching to the choir, what do you do to acquire,

Katie Ritter:

we do whatever, whatever you want here. We make up our own sayings around here.

Roxi Thompson:

Your Personal Learning Network network, I cannot tell you like how important it was for every step of this process, from first integrating technology into my own classroom as a teacher, to stepping out and becoming a coach to you know, trying to expand this program, like every step of the way. The reason I felt like I stuck with it and had ideas to bring to my district was because of that personal learning network. And you know, I'm a huge Twitter fan. But I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. You know, whatever it is that you feel comfortable with. Maybe it's you know, just a group of teachers that you know, personally that you meet at the coffee shop with in person, right. But I just think that's such an important. I think it's so important for specifically at Tech coaches, because I am it is you are one of the only people at your school. And sometimes you just need someone to be like, You need to be like, Am I crazy? Like, am I crazy for thinking this and you need someone to go like, No, you're not crazy. This is real, like, the things that you're seeing are real things that you want to do like, are valuable, like your ideas are that like stick with it. So that would be number one. Number two is if at all, if you can find someone to champion or collaborate with, I think that's really important. And you know, oftentimes is the to coach, you are not the person that makes those decisions about what gets launched or what stays or you know, what, what things really get, get the backing, they need to have staying power. And so if you can get someone that has some sort of power, if you can get them behind you that is incredibly helpful. Like I had my boss who was the director, it wasn't so much that she like was gung ho about coaching herself. But she really, really liked and believed in me and knew it was something that I was really passionate about. And so that was enough like to get her behind it. So if you can get a champion or just look for people to collaborate with. And, Katie, I know you wrote that like blog post recently. I was thinking about that, when I was when I was thinking about these tips. And that one about chips Creek and one of them was you know, about, like thinking outside the box about people you can collaborate with. And I think that's such an amazing point. The other day, I had someone sign up for a coaching session, it was like social workers. And originally, they just want to know, like, how do I organize my Google Drive, right. And then it turned into this conversation about Google classroom and how they have these classrooms. And they have their own Google websites. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, I had no idea. Our social workers were like doing all these things. And using technology and all these, like really interesting ways. And they wanted to make like, how to videos for all the other social workers. And it really blew my mind. And so I think, you know, never, never count out, like certain groups of people or certain departments, because you think like, like, they're not going to be interested or that's not important to them. There's, I think there's a lot of interesting ways that you can find people to collaborate with, and like, show how useful this role can be. It's not just classroom teachers. I mean, those are obviously like, you know, the first people we think of, but this can really touch like every part of the organization. So be open minded, that what that can look like and then I think the final one is just like, be brave, and push yourself outside of your own comfort zone. I think because first of all, it keeps you in a position where you can empathize with other teachers. Right? So like, try new things. And I don't just mean like in the education sphere, you know, things outside like I'll give you an example. I have my little husky puppy that I got last summer and we did like a beacon Your training class was there. Any of your listeners have ever had a husky puppy, but oh my goodness, it's a lot. And so in this training class, it's basically every week of going and failing that kind of a group. And it's hard, right? It's hard to learn new things. And it's hard to do that in front of other people. And it's hard to be vulnerable and to keep going at it. And I think if you do that, as a coach, and whatever area interests you, I think that really helps you remember when you're coaching people like what that feels like. And the depraved part is just like, do things maybe that you normally wouldn't do. And that looks different for everyone. For me, it's just like speaking up in meetings sometimes like saying something. Because that always makes me a little bit nervous. It's not really something that I naturally do. But the more you do it, the more you get comfortable with it. And I think you know, you have ideas, right? Like, if you're a tech coach, it obviously means you're passionate about education, it means you're passionate about helping people and like you have good ideas like Believe in your ideas. Speak up when you have an opportunity to speak up. And you know, planting seeds because you never know, you never know when it's gonna grow. Right. So, so don't be scared of your own voice.

Katie Ritter:

Oh my gosh, the opportunity. I love literally everything you said so much. It's amazing, amazing advice. I can also personally relate to the puppy story. Not have a husky but my little Sasha man. She's a doozy.

Roxi Thompson:

Yeah, I'm gonna start like a podcast for like coaches and their dogs or something.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah. Perfect. Love it. Justin's bringing his cat I'm bringing my cat. Yeah, I don't know. Do we let him join? Yeah, well, we'll

Roxi Thompson:

keep it open all sorts all

Justin Thomas:

sorts of pets. Okay, good. All the time. Anyway. So yeah,

Katie Ritter:

um, and then I do just want to like take a quick second because we haven't shared it on the podcast yet. But I believe the time this airs and goes live we will be have already shared it or will be really close to sharing it. So I'll keep it brief. But to your first point about like finding your PLN we here at forward edge have kind of crafted and designed a PLN specifically for instructional coaches. So it's not just for tech coaches. It's really kind of all encompassing coaches, called the edu coach collective. So for the sake of I don't know if we will have officially announced this yet or not. I won't go into more details, but at least for now, follow us on social media. And to kind of learn what that's going to look like it is we are at edu coach network on all the things Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the tick tock tick tock, oh, well, we're everywhere. And then you can can find the link to sign up for our newsletter too with lots of great coaching resources that are just going out every other week, every other Tuesday. So just a little plug for that I wanted to share that. But I think that's all the questions that we have Roxy you have just dropped like so much amazing coaching knowledge that thank you so so so much for coming on the podcast. For your first time. First time Yeah, yeah. Because there's gonna be more

Justin Thomas:

rugby coming a regular occurrence here.

Katie Ritter:

I know. Just take my seat.

Justin Thomas:

No, we need you. You did a fantastic job on the top three tips sci fi did better than than me. Alright, so thank you. Thank you again, Roxy for joining us on the episode here today. And as Katie mentioned, we will probably see you at a future podcast and less we scared you away here on being on this one. I don't know.

Roxi Thompson:

Not, not at all.

Justin Thomas:

Awesome. Well, thank you Roxy. Remind you can tune in next time for another episode here on the Restore recharge podcast. I also want to mention that as this is airing we have just a couple of days left to register for the virtual coaches camp. So if you are interested into and joining us virtually make sure that you registered quick because that registration deadline is fast approaching there is still a little bit of time coming up to register for Cincinnati. So if you are going to join us virtually make sure you do that quickly. If you're planning on coming in and visiting us here in Cincinnati. You have a little bit more time but we hope to see you at NBA coach camp

Katie Ritter:

as we do so almost miss McHugh so be sure to subscribe to restart recharge wherever you listen to podcasts. And follow us on social media Twitter, Instagram, Facebook And Tiktok now at our our coach cast, and of course don't forget to follow our wonderful guest, Roxy Roxy you want to tell tell us one more time your handle for people to find yet

Roxi Thompson:

yeah so I'm out proxy URL five underscores on Twitter and

Katie Ritter:

maybe tick tock but you won't be posting that

Justin Thomas:

that's all right but hey you can also feel to reach out to us and let us know what topics you want us to discuss as well on all those social media places press the restart button recharge your coaching batteries and leave feeling equipped and inspired to coach fearlessly with the restart recharge podcast

Katie Ritter:

at Tech coach collective

Justin Thomas:

but you didn't need to make a ticket oh my god,

Katie Ritter:

I will do this

Roxi Thompson:

that's amazing. Yeah,

Katie Ritter:

I started laughing say when I listened to the one that just came out because we recorded it so long ago yeah, I forgot we even like we've just made a tick tock whatever so we do you have it? I still don't know what

Roxi Thompson:

you know my boss. Oh, she's so proud. Like Mama Bear proud when I told her I was gonna like do a podcast

Katie Ritter:

we ready to start right? Why do I feel like I've never done this before.

Justin Thomas:

I've done it for like two months. It seems like

Katie Ritter:

Okay, here we go.