Restart Recharge Podcast

018 - Coaching Cycles Part 4: Time to Shine!

October 19, 2021 Forward Edge
Restart Recharge Podcast
018 - Coaching Cycles Part 4: Time to Shine!
Show Notes Transcript

Join us as we wrap up our final episode of our mini-series on coaching cycles! This week Tyler and Brooke will discuss how they close out coaching cycles and celebrate the progress educators make throughout the semester.

Links mentioned in the show:


Google's Certified Coach Curriculum

Google Coach Curriculum with Google Classroom Write up from Brooke

Follow Tyler on Twitter

Follow Brooke on Twitter


Podcast Team

Hosts- Katie  Ritter & Justin Thomas

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

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

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

Producers- Tyler Erwin & Katie Ritter

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Justin Thomas:

hit the restart button recharge those batteries

Katie Ritter:

Aloha everyone, I am Katie Ritter.

Justin Thomas:

And I'm 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 you know, whatever they call you and 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:

And today's episode is wrapping up the four part series that we've had on coaching cycles, it is time to shine, if you will, we're going to talk about everything towards the end of our coaching cycles. And we have two amazing coaches with us here today. Tyler Irwin is back for a fourth episode. So Tyler is here and ready to go. I'll introduce him just in case you haven't caught up on the other three real quick but Tyler Irwin is the Assistant Director of Curriculum and technology integration here at Ford Edge. He has six years of classroom teaching experience, including four years as a seventh grade language arts teacher at a local middle school currently serves as a Google Certified Trainer and mentor coach is four years of experience as an instructional coach for multiple school districts here in the Cincinnati area. And he worked with the entire Ford Edge team to ensure high quality technology integration across our partner districts. So welcome back for a fourth time, Tyler.

Tyler Erwin:

It feels good to be back as hopefully with this last episode, Brooke and I can I don't know I think in this coaching mini series with a high note. That's that's what I'm hoping for today. We'll see.

Katie Ritter:

We love it. Yeah, like ended on a high note. All right, and then I have the pleasure to reintroduce you to Brooke Conklin, you may remember her she's been on a number of episodes. But most recently from our three part mini PD series, Brooke was our our constant through that series. So if you are following along on the podcast or social media, you may have also seen Brooke do a few takeovers earlier in the summer that will be coming up again in the fall. We love following along our coaches on social media. But beyond living her out her dreams as an amateur social media influencer, Brooke is gearing up for another great school year getting that started offering some powerpack PD with her teachers getting her coaching cycles in gear. And then this year, she will be returning to serve as a technology coach for pre K through 12th grade teachers in southwest Ohio. So All right, welcome back. Brookey. Thanks, Katie. All right, guys. So we are going to kick it off. So Tyler, you know, you've been with us, for a past three episodes, diving in deep talking all things coaching cycles. And today we're focusing on kind of that in piece. So thinking back from your coaching cycle, since you haven't wrapped up in yet this school year, but from previous years, you know, after the goal has been set, the planning is done, the educators have actually implemented their solutions. You know, what's next? What does the ending of a coaching cycle look for you guys?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, I think Brooke and I wrap things up pretty similarly, we'd like to have some reflection, at the end, give the teacher an opportunity to really talk about their growth, like, see if their confidence has risen, talk about some of the great things they've been able to do with their students. And if it's maybe going to, like spur them on to try some new things on their own. And then I think one of the things we also like to do at the end of the cycle is share out all of the great lessons or units or activities that were created with others, to hopefully spur some of that systematic change and get other teachers excited about what's going on with coaching cycles, possibly get them to sign up as well. And I think ultimately, you just want to celebrate what's been going on throughout this entire eight week cycle. And so however you do that, it can be, you know, a little formal celebration where everybody comes and has breakfast together. Or it can be something that you just do with the teacher on your own. But I think it's good to applaud their efforts, give them the kudos that they deserve for volunteering their time, and definitely reflect on all of the great successes that we've had together.

Brooke Conklin:

Yeah, and I will say that Tyler was really the first of our team to pilot coaching cycles in his district, so much of what I do actually came from his first year of trial and error. So like Tyler said, we are we are very similar in our especially our end of cycle routine. So like Tyler mentioned, and I'll just kind of elaborate. One of my favorite meetings is the last meeting and that's really the reflection meeting with the teacher. So we talked about their growth. We talked about their project, what they felt like went really well What they might change for next year. And then next steps. But one of the things that I've discovered while doing coaching cycles and how to make that, that meeting a little bit more fruitful, is I like to give the teachers make it more conversational. So where I'm asking them, I'm not asking them to like write down things or fill out a Google Form survey at the end, because that can feel like just another thing. So what I will actually do is make a Google form, and then use the get prefilled link feature of the Google Form. And I just jot down notes to the questions as they talk to me. And then after our conversation, I'll go and kind of correct my spelling and formalize my notes, and then send them the prefilled link. So they have an opportunity to add anything. That way, there's like documentation of what they felt like their wins were, what they thought their next steps were. So it's evidence from my own coaching work. But it's also a nice, concrete, tangible thing that they can take away and look back on to. So that's been really helpful in that last meeting. Then, like Taylor said, we always do some kind of breakfast or celebration, where we can gather everybody and really celebrate all the hard work and time that everyone's put into it.

Tyler Erwin:

And Brooke mentioned, Google Forms. And I do it a little bit different than Brooke. But same sort of thing. I mentioned a few episodes back that at the very beginning, I have them do a self evaluation on the four C's and on their current confidence level of tech. And then I like to have them do that same Google form at the end, as we're sitting down together. So kind of the same thing as Brooke, I don't necessarily want it to just be another thing they have to fill out, we talked about it together. And you can kind of see like the light bulb go off. As they're kind of noticing, like, wow, I do encourage collaboration a lot more effectively now, or my confidence level and self esteem and using technology is a lot better now than it was just eight weeks ago. And so I like them to do that both at the beginning and the end. So they can really see the growth. And I think that that's the biggest thing is to just like build that own self efficacy. So that like they'll want to keep doing this even after I leave and coaching cycles are over.

Katie Ritter:

That's a that's a golden golden rule, I guess. Right? I'm trying to strive for good.

Justin Thomas:

Absolutely. Coaching cycles, as you kind of mentioned, you looked at those, that growth from the beginning to the end. And obviously coaching cycles do require a lot of work and risk from the teachers, you know, they're kind of diving into some unknown, uncharted territory, they're not sure what's going to really happen with it. And when they're trying something new or implementing something, they aren't really the expert into it, right. They're kind of using you as some kind of guidance, but they're really making a lot of growth and progress. So how, as a coach, do you recognize that work and risk reward throughout the entire process, and especially at the end?

Brooke Conklin:

Yeah, just in like you mentioned, coaching cycles are a huge time commitment for teachers. And we all know, as educators how valuable that plan Bell is, or that after school before school time, that time away from students is so sparse, and our teachers are up against a lot with everything that they're asked to do throughout the day. So then sacrificing an hour, like each week, bi weekly, whatever the structure of your coaching cycle is, it really takes a lot and they are making a conscious choice to put other tasks aside for their own learning and growth. So I think that that is something to be very intentional about celebrating and recognizing, if not for the growth of your coaching program, just in respect for the teachers. So like we both mentioned, we do an end of cohort celebration. So I think for both of us want to speak for Tyler that's included breakfast, because that tends to be the common time to bring people together. So we'll normally bring something in like doughnuts or bagels, something that's pretty cost effective. There's no like I hop buffet, sugar, carbs, and some coffee. And then in my, in my breakfast every year, I like to kind of build some peer recognition. And so often I'll put up like on the board all of their how might we statements further goals. So like how might we help students with speech difficulties better connect to their teachers, so everyone can see like these big, like, monumental ideas that everyone's working on. And then I actually like let them go through and like talk about their experience in their project. And the work they do is so impressive that it Everyone is impressed by by each other in the room. So that's super cool. I also like to bring like little gifts like little pen, sticky notes, little postcard just just any little teacher item that might be a tangible Thank you. And then I relentlessly tried to brag to admin as well throughout the coaching cycle so that they can hopefully get reinforcement from their administrators, but also at that end of cohort breakfast Have The admin can see what they've been up to. And then I also know it might be out of your control, but something to advocate for. Some districts offer a PD exchange day. So that can be a recognition that the time that they're working with you throughout the year is just as valuable as a, like consecutive eight hours on a PDF a table. So I know that that's, that's been really helpful.

Katie Ritter:

Love it. Who wouldn't want to start the day off with that celebration?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah. Yeah, there's a nice way to start today.

Katie Ritter:

I feel good just hearing about it.

Tyler Erwin:

Well, I feel like that's an interesting question that Justin asked, Could you talk about the work versus the risk, and you think about the fact that it's only eight weeks. So yes, as a coach, and as a teacher, there's only so much you can do. And so I do think that a lot of that goes back to the goal setting, it certainly can't be too narrow of a goal, where you're going to like, come up with a solution to that challenge in two weeks. But it definitely can't be, I want to flip my entire curriculum that I teach the whole year. And, you know, try like more of a flipped approach to class, because that will be impossible to do in eight weeks. And so I think it is important for you to start off on the right foot with the goal. And then once you have a good goal in mind that's appropriate for the size and sequence of the cycle, then you do want to encourage as much risk as you can, you know, have them get out of their comfort zone a little bit, encourage them to try new things with their students, new strategies, new ways of interacting with the kids. Because I think that ultimately, you're really not accomplishing the overall goal of a coaching cycle if you're not truly trying something new. So if you're going in and the teacher has kind of already done some of the things that are incorporating inside their goal, then maybe that's you want to come with a different angle to it. So I do like to encourage them to think outside the box and get outside their comfort zone a little bit. And I think that teachers have a lot more fun, when they do try something risky or innovative, knowing that they have you as a backup. And so kind of always being there to provide any support that they need. Whether it's co teaching or being there in the class, or helping them put together the lesson, that's really key to to balancing out that work risk ratio, and finding the proper mix for it.

Katie Ritter:

Love it. Um, so Okay, so Brooke, I love though I love your expression that you use that you like to relentlessly brag on the teachers. I think that's really great. And so thinking about these, you know, what happens in these coaching cycles and the amazing work that these teachers do throughout? You know, we really it a lot of times, I feel like administrators will push back on implementing coaching cycles, because they think like, oh, you're only going to be working like with so few teachers, and not realizing that like really what the work with those teachers can really ripple effect out and help create this more systemic change. But in order to do that, right, we have to make sure that we're like sharing out the work that is being done. So I love your term relentlessly brag. So that's definitely one way. But when you guys talk a little bit more in Tyler, in our first question, you also mentioned like part of your celebrations, making sure teachers know the other work that teachers did. So I'd like to just kind of pull that out of you a little bit more like how are we really making sure that the work with these individuals is really helping support the more like larger systemic change within the district?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, Brooke is spot on, you know, teachers won't really brag on themselves, at least most don't. So you have to do that for them. I know some of the ways that I've done this in coaching cycles is taking advantage of social media. So when you're in there and doing your observations or your classroom visits, you know, take pictures, if you're allowed to post them to social media, like do it tag, the teacher, tag, the school tag, the principal, any of those stakeholders who you want their eyeballs on the great work of the teacher, make it easy to find. And then the other thing is, I know for me, I'll use like a Google classroom or a Schoology course, to almost set up like this portal for everyone in our cohort, make sure that the principal is a part of that course or group, add in the assistant principal add in who may be doing the teacher evaluations so that they can see that, like this teacher is putting in the work to try new things. They're trying to change their instructional practice. And I think the more eyeballs you can get on it, the better. I think another great way to is whenever you have created a goal with a teacher, and you know when you're going to be doing some classroom visits, or trying out a new instructional strategy or digital tool, let the principal know let the assistant principal know Hey, did you know Mrs. So and So down the hall is going to be doing this third bell today. Like I'm going to be in there you should swing by too. So whenever you can just make things and a lot of different angles like available to different stakeholders, your administrators, they are going to not only like appreciate the work that teachers are putting in, but they will stop by and they will visit and I think the teachers feel really good when they see that it's not just you the coach Like, Oh, I'm just doing this for this coaching cycle. I'm just doing this to please the coach. No, this is really about the students, the school the district as a whole. And there are other people watching as well. And I think they really appreciate that because teachers are humble, and they're not going to brag on themselves.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, I love that. And just a quick follow up question to something else that you said earlier about the way that you use your form and kind of that wrap up reflection, where you had them do like a pre and post forms, they can kind of see their growth, I think that's a great way to like, just, yes, we can look at what's happening in coaching cycles, and just like inherently know that it's making a difference in these teachers are growing, but there's not real like data to show it or prove it. And again, I'm just thinking back to like, proving the effectiveness of a coach showing how we're actually growing our teachers. Do you ever share that that growth data, like an aggregate for maybe everyone who's going through a coaching cycle that semester, or year, do you share that with admin,

Tyler Erwin:

so I didn't even use the form my first year of coaching cycles, that was like one of the improvements I made. But the second year, I did work very closely with one of the administrators in the curriculum department. And she did not only like join the LMS course, we had set up, she looked at the aggregate data with me, she definitely knew who had signed up for coaching cycles and what their goals were. So you definitely want to like draw a line in the sand and keep certain things anonymous and private between you and the teacher. But at times, whenever you can brag about their growth and the things they are doing. Yes, loop them in, share the aggregate data, that was a really impactful thing that I think that she enjoyed to see. Because it did just take it from the individual teacher and what they're doing and kind of almost give you this picture of like, oh, together as a staff, we're moving forward in these ways, or my staffs confidence in their technology use is growing. And so yes, I would highly recommend that if you don't do something like that to new coaches trying this out, loop them in as much as you can. Yeah. And

Katie Ritter:

I really liked the way that you did it too, because you did it in a way that was more of a conversation, but you're actually getting something that you can prove and show growth. So it doesn't feel like this evaluative process, could you not want coaching cycles to feel like that, right? So that'd be going the wrong direction. So sorry, Brooke, let's hear from you how to how do you take that relentless bragging and connect other teachers in your admin? A little bit more, more specifically, for us to give our listeners some ideas? Yeah, well, I

Brooke Conklin:

would first like to say that I had never even thought about including my admin on my Google Classroom, for my coaching core, but it was a brilliant idea, Tyler, for them to see the work and the process and things unfold throughout the semester, and just keep them in the loop that those things are happening. Going on, I promise. They're like stamp of approval on it at the beginning and then show up for the breakfast at the end. But they're part of the whole process. So that's an awesome tip. So I would I would put my two cents and say that, obviously we want to highlight the work that teachers are doing, we want to like showcase it we want to raise awareness about the work that they're doing. But we also have to be pretty cognizant of the the comfortability of our teachers and our staff, and that some people don't like that spotlight, it makes them feel uncomfortable or awkward. And also, we have to be aware of the like culture and climate around these types of things in our buildings. So I've worked in and I've taught in buildings and districts where being the, the golden star student was not a good thing. And that the staff would roll their eyes because you were yet again, the feature of the staff meeting. And everyone admin was constantly saying, Look at Brooke, she's doing this, she's doing that she's, and it kind of put me in a place where I didn't want that spotlight. And I wanted to close my door more often because I I wanted to blend in with my peers. So you have to be cognizant of that. And I found that that one way that typically works. And an observation I've made from my teaching staff that I work with is that like all all, all teachers typically have like a little pod of influence that they work with, whether that's their grade level team or so at the elementary or the high school, it's often their department. And a lot of times you can grow teachers organically through their department, or their their little part of influence. So that teachers that want nothing to do with me, close their door every time I walk by avoid eye contact, like literally look at look at me when we're walking down the hallway, that often I can reach them through their peer their little pot of peer influence. So I say that to say that with coaching cycles, if you can point teachers to the people that are in your coaching cycles. If you mentioned like Hey, Katie did this like really awesome thing you should like ask her about it or I know Katie was just working on that she might be willing to share it with you. Sometimes that like one on one organic, organic connection can help to spread growth throughout a department or a grade level two, and then it always feels good as a teacher when your peers coming to you asking, rather than like standing on the stage in front of the entire staff, while people are on their phones and rolling their eyes, so not that I'm scarred in any way, no. But I think that don't be.

Katie Ritter:

Don't be those people that tear other people down,

Brooke Conklin:

you don't always have them. But I think that just building connections like that, and connecting outsiders to the work that's happening within your cohort is a great way to promote systemic change, too.

Katie Ritter:

I love all these ideas. And I'm gonna ask you guys one more follow up question on this one. Because I think like this is so important. Like if, if we're not letting this ripple out, admin won't support the coaching cycles, because they'll see it as these isolated pockets. So sorry that I keep like digging in on this, I just think it's so important. I would love you guys have both mentioned, like your Schoology, or your Google Classroom, or whatever LMS you're using, like using that as kind of a landing page for the cohort of people that are going through the coaching cycles, where you guys talk a little bit more about that. And we can also link in the show notes, we can maybe link to the place in Google's coaching curriculum. Brooke actually did a write up on this. But I'd like you guys to like talk more like what purpose does that serve? What What things are you posting, what things are teachers, adding, if anything,

Tyler Erwin:

I'll just start real briefly, you know, for me, it was a place to put things like the schedule, like some of the documents we would use to track goal setting or to track our meetings together. So it certainly held like a practical purpose just to keep track of all the things that we were working on together. But then I did open it up to have a discussion board. So if teachers wanted to bounce ideas off of each other, not just me, there was also a discussion board feature to it. And then at the end, each of them had their own folder that they could add materials in that they created. And so in a way, it almost becomes like a lesson archive that other teachers can then pull from. And so you may not be able to work with every teacher in the district. But you can certainly give them links to these great lessons that were created by other teachers. And so that also just adds that ripple effect and the change not only in isolated pockets, but in the school as a whole.

Brooke Conklin:

Yeah, I think similarly, my Google Classroom Use of in the coaching cohort, was more for like workflow organization. So schedule, managing the documents, we share back and forth so that both of us know where that document is, I could easily make copies for everyone. But then it evolved to really, like Tyler said, become a place of community for all the educators that were all doing similar work going through a similar process working on these like big ideas. So we would like have discussion boards, like little questions that they could respond to, or they could reach out to each other, and they could show off and see other people's work. And then I would also use it as a place to communicate updates. So Google classroom with the school that I work at, that's their LMS. And within the coaching cycles, I'm sure has been mentioned on the previous podcasts, you work with a variety of skill levels. So there were teachers that might not have been as comfortable using Google Classroom, or weren't used to that digital, digital LMS. So I also use that as a place to like model how to really build a digital community within your classroom and organize your digital resources. Love

Katie Ritter:

it, great ideas. And I'm going to share one more. And I just want to give a shout out to one of our listeners, Roxie Thompson I know she shared with us in I forget where she shared it with us at some point, but um, she was talking to a group with us and she shared that she will use Google's Data Studio to collect like the work from the teachers and like what they're doing in their lessons. And then every teacher across the district has access to that so they can actually filter by like the topic or what the teachers worked on. So that's that's just another idea that I thought that was a great idea of a way to like share out with other teachers to allow them to access from the hard work that these teachers did in the coaching cycles. So shout out to you Roxy,

Justin Thomas:

yeah, very cool. Obviously modeling you know, what you want the teachers to do always a perfect thing. And Data Studio, definitely a kind of a tool that is becoming more and more trendy. Yeah, that's pretty, pretty tasty. Yeah. That's a great

Katie Ritter:

word for digging it on our team. Yeah,

Justin Thomas:

absolutely. carving out time for celebration or ending a ceremony can be very tricky. And we're going to talk about how you can get these finally and get time really to get all these teachers together after a break from our sponsors. Looking for a program that reaches all teachers and learning new tools to integrate in their lessons, and you badges is the answer and you isn't 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 four hyphen edge dotnet backslash and you badgers. Welcome back. Justin Thomas, Katie Ritter here with the restart recharge podcast. We have Tyler Irwin, we have Brooke Conklin. And before we went to a sponsor break, we were talking, talking a little bit about carving out time for celebration or ending ceremony. And that can be really tricky, especially because usually it's towards the end of the semester, which is either a getting in those grades and going towards a winter break, or B, it's getting in those grades and just surviving to the end of the school year, depending on what semester we're in. But there's definitely value in finding time to bringing the cohort together. So how do you go about doing that? How do you go about getting these teachers to all be able to meet together for the sending ceremony.

Brooke Conklin:

So I will send out a Google calendar invite, like day one. So you have eight weeks notice, you're not getting out of it. Getting out of it that includes to admin it is on their calendar, I know that we probably all have experience, sometimes it can be impossible scheduling with admin, I have also found speaking more to admin, that the afternoons tend to get trickier because the behavior starts and piles up. And so the afternoons tend to be a little bit more unpredictable. But typically nothing has happened at 7am to interfere with our breakfast, so I will I will send that Google Calendar and buy out. First thing I always when we go over the coaching cycle, the celebration is a part of that so that it is known by all the cohort members, that that is coming, and will give like a little preview of what of what that is. And I've really found that in my conversations, as the years have gone on and doing coaching cycles, that that is one of the favorite things of educators, because they really value that time to connect with like minded people. And so that's actually been like requested is can we meet on our PD days together as a cohort, rather than saving it for the end. So I think there's a lot of value in connecting like minded people. It builds a community of growth. I think, speaking to what I was mentioning earlier, often you can feel like you're on your own island striving for professional learning and innovation when it might not be happening in the rooms around you. So having the chance to connect with people that you might not normally cross paths with, I think is really beneficial and contributes to the sustainable change that we were talking about earlier. So I just say advance notice reminders, use the autumn auto reminders on Google, make sure you're mentioning it to your admin weeks in advance, can't wait to see it the breakfast, can't wait to see the breakfast, can't wait to see the breakfast.

Justin Thomas:

Morning, there's Wade, we have a breakfast today.

Brooke Conklin:

I'm just just making sure it's friend of mine, because it really is so valuable, as it as accumulation of all the hard work that these educators have done.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, like Brooke said, I think the real value is in bringing all of them together, different grade levels, different subject areas, different goals that they had. And all of the tools that they use are lessons that they came up with. Because I think that when educators see one another, like working hard, and doing some of those things that normally would be like behind the scenes, but then it's brought out that, you know, I did this, I created this, I did this with my students, my students absolutely love this. It was, you know, such a transformative experience in my class. I think that's what spurs the change, like after coaching cycles end. And so if you don't have this celebration, I think you can have like, eight weeks of awesome and then it can come to a kind of a grind to a halt. And so this celebration is meant to spur that change on and on and on. And people notice when they're like not invited to this special breakfast when there's like Panera bagels and, you know, coffee and little treat bags around the hallway to carry the right yeah, like, Look what I've got today, everybody. So I think that's important too, just to be like, hey, I want to be a part of that, you know, that looks like a group of teachers that are like minded that are doing really cool innovative things in their class. And they're being celebrated because of it. And so I think that's the real value. And like Brooks said, there's a lot of strategies you can use to make sure that teachers actually show up. In one of the districts, I actually just paired it with the end of semester celebrations that the district was doing. So they always had one right before winter break. And they always had one right before summer break. And it was before school, it was early in the morning, but they would do a potluck both times and so we would just kind of have like a special little designated table for coaching cycle setup, and they could still be around everyone else and everyone else could see that we were doing this little mini celebration inside of the district one. And so that was really cool too. And they had to be there anyway. So that definitely helped. But yeah, finding the time is super essential to closing off coaching cycles on a high note,

Justin Thomas:

you had a little VIP table right away. Yeah, the boundary was roped off.

Tyler Erwin:

It was yeah, it was awesome.

Brooke Conklin:

To ask if they got to eat first. If that was like the real perk,

Tyler Erwin:

we should probably implement that next time. I think that's it? No, it definitely was not like that at all. But it was it was nice to have that just embedded in something that everyone was already at. Because then there was really no guesswork on whether they were going to show it or not.

Justin Thomas:

Now, just a follow up question. Obviously, you have a lot of teachers are working very like minded working towards a goal. But what if you have a teacher that is willing to work with you on a coaching cycle, but doesn't really want to actually share out their successes to their other teachers? How do you kind of combat that for an end of the year celebration?

Brooke Conklin:

So I didn't have anybody that just straight up refuse to talk. But I did have some that were a little bit more reserved. So when whenever the board I mentioned before, where I had their how might we use anything that I had like digital evidence of like pictures of like their lesson or a link to the Google site they created, I would link that on there. So that there was something for them to talk about. But then I was always prepared to step in and kind of explain my experience. So like I saw kids doing this in their room, I was able to witness like this. And a lot of times that would like prompt other educators have questions or like a conversation to start, and then the teacher might open up a little bit more.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, I think that's kind of like an anti coaching cycle attitude. So I personally have never seen that. Okay, that's not to say that it couldn't happen or wouldn't happen. But I would say that would be an expectation that I would set up is, you know, part of what you're going to do at the end is share out some of the resources you've built on this LMS or on this shared course. And then we do like a little celebration at the end, where you get a chance to kind of like, pat yourself on the back. And I think that setting that up ahead of time will likely avoid any of those issues in the end.

Katie Ritter:

Good call. Okay, so coaching cycles coming to a close with this group of teachers, the work that you're doing is so great. So you want to make sure that it continues into next semester or quarter or next year? So how might you guys leverage the group of teachers that are wrapping up in your current coaching cycles in order to like continue to grow the coaching cycle program in your buildings?

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, Brooke mentioned it earlier, you have to do this, like use positive peer pressure. They don't necessarily like care what I say if I go into their room, and I'm like, Hey, I got a spring cohort of coaching cycles, like do you want to sign up, you'll get a lot of like, maybe, or I don't know if I have enough time. But if they're good buddy down, the hall just did coaching cycles. And I can go in and say, Hey, this teacher, they just got done with coaching cycles, they love the experience. And guess what they recommended you as someone who could really benefit from it as well. Like, maybe you should talk to them about like their experience and what they were able to do. What do you think about signing up for our next cohort, but nine times out of 10, they're gonna be like, alright, I'll do it. Because then you've got two people kind of leaning on him a little bit, you know, the teacher who just did it, all that positive enthusiasm that will rub off. And then plus, you can kind of go in with that angle of like, look, this wasn't my idea. It was the idea of your buddy down the hall. That's a great way to just like keep the snowball rolling downhill, keep that positive momentum going.

Brooke Conklin:

Yeah, I think that I mean, exactly what Tyler just said that recruitment is, is a great tool to use your your past cohort for theirs. It just, it feels different coming from your teacher friend than it does maybe an outsider that you don't know very well. And I think that having that group of teachers that have been through the coaching cycles before, it also gives everyone peers to ask questions about coaching cycles, especially when you're first starting them up, or a really new thing. And there could be a lot of questions or maybe uncertainty about what they're even getting into. So I think that the more you can ask your past cohort members to recommend and recruit for you, it really helps to grow the program, just spread awareness of what the program can do for them. Absolutely.

Justin Thomas:

How might we continue to invest in our teachers post coaching cycles, obviously, we've invested in them for this semester, but I've seen you know, regardless if they do the coaching cycle or not in a spring semester, we still want to have them continue on with the success that they've come through with post coaching cycle. So how do you follow up with them and keep them growing in that positive way?

Brooke Conklin:

So I'd say that trying to help them become teacher leader within their little pot of influence, so whether that's like directing other teachers to them, or encouraging them to share things with their department or their grade level. So helping them like elevate themselves to to lead other teachers and contribute to that systemic change. I've also found that after coaching cycles, class visits, and organic coaching becomes a lot more comfortable. So what I mean by that is like, once you've established eight weeks of working together, it's really not invasive, awkward or a big deal if I come into your room for like, 10 minutes and check out what's going on. And then like, maybe leave a little note of like, this was a totally awesome activity, I loved watching what your students were up to, I wonder if like when they actually do their project, you might be interested in blah, blah, blah. So I think that the more organic coaching comes a little bit easier.

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah, Brooke nailed it. If you're having trouble with like the informal Poppins, or you feel like all you ever get called to help with his break, fix, coaching cycles will solve that. Because your role is clarified for them, you have a better relationship with the teacher, so that when you go back to visit their classroom later on, like, it's so much easier, and they know what you're there for, they're going to talk to you about their lessons instead of what's broken on their projector. And I think that that's just really key. The other thing too, is you want to provide them opportunities to grow on their own. So what I would try and do is, especially on our spring cohort that would end right before the summer, is give them suggestions on professional development opportunities they can take advantage of over the summer. So whether that's some conferences, they could attend some webinars, they could watch, possibly even some certifications they could earn. The good thing is with a lot of coaching cycles, the things that they will build, especially as an instructional technology coach, you know, they are rooted in some sort of tool, some sort of digital tool. And oftentimes, a lot of the certifications that you can earn to become a Flipgrid ambassador, or read and write certified teacher, they likely did a lot of that in your coaching cycle. And so encourage them to earn that certification and see that, you know, not only can they get the kudos from the district, but they can also be recognized nationally with this certification that they've earned. And so I think the more that you pique their interest and how they can grow personally, after coaching cycles in, the better. And that's just one thing that I would do for teachers, you know, as these coaching cycles come to a close,

Katie Ritter:

I love it. Great ideas. And just in case you hear any sounds in the background, we've got yard work going on right outside the window now. But I've I've also seen you guys Tyler, I know for sure you at one of the districts that you were at one thing that they also did with the teachers who went through coaching cycles was like it was it was sort of like a district expectation, since they were getting an exchange day an extra day of Spring Break basically that they should like they had multiple options, but that they shared out in some way, whether it was like to add to like a repository or give it I don't I don't know, we talk because I don't want to say it wrong. So we

Tyler Erwin:

Yeah. Tyler Yeah, she's exactly right. They had basically one of four choices. And so they could write a blog post about their experience in coaching cycles and the lesson that they built, and that would either go on like the district blog, or in a couple of other places they could share amongst their team. So that district had very set and protected team time where they we get to meet, you know, almost every day. And so they'd have to almost take, you know, 15 or 20 minutes of that time and share out what they did, then they could kind of step it up to the next level, and they could do a district PD session on it. So then they can almost become the coach or the professional development trainer, and help. Who knows, however, many people attend the session to learn how to use this tool, or to integrate it into their lessons or their curriculum. And then I think the fourth choice was to not do something in district but to apply to present at some sort of local Conference, which there are plenty of here in the Cincinnati area. So it really did encourage them to take their learning and their experience, and share it with others. And so that's a huge part of like extending this growth as well is once again, it's not for me the coach. Yes, I'm super proud that you did all of this work. But I want you to be able to take this leap of learning that you've done and share it out with others so that once again, we can create this ripple effect we've been alluding to throughout the whole show.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, great. Okay, guys, well, you know, we'd like to wrap up our episodes here with your top three tips. So give us your top three tips for wrapping up and ending your coaching cycles.

Tyler Erwin:

So for me, I'm in these past four episodes, you've probably noticed that I've said similar things every time this question has been asked So, I would say number one, keep it fun, keep it enjoyable, especially near the end. So you don't want it to become like this big paper trail of forms they have to fill out and documents that they have to complete. But make the celebration fun, make it something that they're going to enjoy. And remember, I would say the other tip really comes to the question that you just asked and give them options for growth after graduation. So whether that's personal professional growth, that, you know, opportunities that they can seek out on their own, or possibly ways that they can share out with others, let them know specifically some of the options that they have. Because they could be the next coach right alongside you in the district, they could be the next administrative leader who knows where they might end up. And I think that you want to continue to encourage their growth. And then I would say probably third is use this time to recruit your next cohort. Because really, you as a coach, I think, especially if coaching cycles is your focus, you're only as good as the amount of people you have in your next cohort. And if the cupboard is bare, that can be pretty tough, right? So you want to use previous members to recruit for you, you want to get your next cohort out there and market it up and jazz it up. And the more you do that, the more fun your role is going to be.

Katie Ritter:

And I want to share a tip that Emily Cowan on our team just did. So she was actually like in the in the spirit of recruiting that cohort, she was struggling to get some teachers to sign up in a district this fall. So she ended up like pushing the time line of the start date back. And then she sent out and FAQs. She kind of joke she was like I didn't get any questions, but I just put these things together of what I'm hearing why no one's signing up, you know, so then she put something out like can I buddy up? Yes, you can, like we can do it together with someone else on the same plan time, like so just some different things like that. So if you're struggling to recruit, there's an idea for you.

Brooke Conklin:

Sometimes you have to get crafty. Um, my first tip would be to document the end of cohort reflections. So that's not saying like, make sure your teachers fill out a reflection form. That's saying like document that conversation, write down their their highs, their lows, their next steps. Because education is so fast paced, and teachers are mentally like moving to a million miles a minute. So it's really easy for them to forget small wins, especially if like from year to year. So make sure that you you document those and they have them so they can keep them I as a teacher always have like happy folder. Like self help strategy, really. But just like my little folder of like any, like positive note things that went well. And then when I'm sitting at my desk sad, because I had like 10 kids do Lord knows what in the back of the room. And I've got five parents that need phone calls and everything else my happy folder is the thing that I could break out and just remember the small wins. So give them something to add to their happy folder, document those reflections. My second tip would be to build a network. So be very intentional about connecting the educators that you're working with. Because a lot of times, they might be like the solo charger in their department that's willing to innovate and learn. And they might not be surrounded by people that think like them. So connect, connect to them build a network, because those friendships and experiences will last and transcend the eight weeks that you work with them. And then my last tip is super simple, but just thank educators for their time. Like I said before, it's such a huge time investment. And they are they're consciously choosing to put other things aside to work with us. So I think all of us here write like a little handwritten note. And a lot of times I've seen that like on desks and on bulletin boards and years past, so just thank them for their time and make sure that they know that you're grateful.

Justin Thomas:

Love it. We get such great tips every single time that we do this, this is why we do the three tips right now. They're always really amazing.

Katie Ritter:

We just love them so much. We're like we're doing this every time.

Justin Thomas:

Be prepared. If you're you know, if you're out there and you're gonna join us you need to have three tips that are gonna be really, really good. Tune in next time for another great episode. Obviously, this is wrapping up our four part series here on coaching cycles. But we still have the restart, recharge podcast, another episode coming up in two weeks, so make sure you tune in for that.

Katie Ritter:

Yeah, we'll look forward to seeing you. And in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to restart recharge wherever you listen to podcast. We would also be very grateful if you would give us a rating and review. It helps other educators find the podcast and see if that's something that they would be interested in listening to. And then you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at our our coach cast and maybe you'll catch our very own so social media influencer over here, doing her next takeover.

Justin Thomas:

So also feel free to reach out and let us know what are the topics that you want to discuss on those social media pages. Maybe you'll even be connecting with Brooke out there as well let her know. And also, to steal a quote from broke make sure that you are still continuing to do that relentless bragging of all the amazing growth that your teachers are experiencing.

Katie Ritter:

Yes, and with that, you can press the restart button,

Justin Thomas:

recharge your coaching batteries and leave feeling equipped inspired to coach fearlessly with the restart recharge podcast, a tech coach collective