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Coach. Better. Episode 4 Show Notes

We’re All on the Same Team: A School Leader’s Perspective with Christina Botbyl

This week we’re chatting with Christina Botbyl, Director of Curriculum at the American International School of Kuwait. Christina offers us her perspective as a school administrator and shares some of the successful strategies to a build a culture of coaching at AIS Kuwait as well as how instructional coaching supports student learning through teacher development and growth. This was a really deep and thoughtful conversation about coaching with a school leader who is as passionate about coaching as we are! 

Featured Guest:

Christina Botbyl: https://twitter.com/cbotbyl

 

Hosts:

Kim Cofino: https://twitter.com/mscofino

Clint Hamada: https://twitter.com/chamada

 

Discussion

1. What do you think coaches do?

Instructional coaches are K12

Instructional coaches support student learning through teacher development and growth

Would like to flesh out belief or value statements from this

Instructional Coach: Technology Integration / Literacy

2. How do you work with the coaches at your school?

Learning walks, ½ hour at a time. Goal that coaches take teachers out on learning walks

Positive feedback loop from coaches to teachers and back

Builds relationships & coaching team

Provided a context for the leadership team to talk together about instruction

Direct supervisor, goal setting & evaluation, strategic planning

2 hours together every day during September (Foundation Time), PD for coaches

Support them in project management & productivity

 

3. What are some good opportunities for coaches to work with you?

Supporting teaching & learning – leadership might ask “how can you help us?”

Support initiatives like standards based reporting, in line with IB curriculum

Leading PD at staff meetings

Mock up for reports

Coach acting as a mentor for challenge working with struggling teachers to help them feel supported

 

4. What do you do when you don’t have the opportunity to work with a coach?

Built capacity among middle leaders through Eduro course, so that it’s not just someone with the title of coach you can go to for support, peer coaching. Anyone and everyone can be a coach

You’ve got to model learning as a leader. None of us are best yet, we’re works in progress.

Your PLN as your coach – not just file retrieval / resource sharing

 

5. What are the essential elements for coaching success in a school? What’s needed to build a coaching culture?

Time & Patience

Leadership needs to be on board – political, need to have lots of extra conversations, use other forums like curriculum leadership to continue conversions and open discussions, involve everyone and clarify that everyone is on board

Communicating what is coaching / shared vision / plan

Larger group to write coaching mission

Positive interactions with teachers / building relationships

 

6. Where do coaches / does coaching fail? And what can we do about it?

When coaches are only seen as the people who can fix the struggling teacher – sends the wrong message about coaching, mentally exhausting for the coaches

Tech coaches can get caught up in minutia of helping teachers use devices and platforms, but that’s also how they build relationships, but if that becomes all that they do, they’re not really coaching

 

7. What makes a coach invaluable to you?

The team is out there doing it, don’t need reminding, inspired, excited, passionate, self-driven

Anticipating teacher needs

Don’t need to wait to be asked or told or managed

Help teams work smarter not harder, let teachers work with students

Become experts

 

8. What was your “aha” moment that shifted your perspective from not caring about coaching to being on board?

Water on rock, takes time and persistence to turn it into a smooth stone

 

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