On Friday, June 30, at approximately 8:00 am, I got to the end of my driveway and made a left turn.
This is significant because, for the last six years, the start of my work day has always required a right turn, westbound, to Eagle Heights Public School.
As I made this slight kinesthetic adjustment, a cognitive shift occurred. A new reality became tangible and I drove, east, toward the Board Office, reflecting on my new career path.
I began my first day in a new role as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) working as an Instructional Coach (IC) with a focus on Literacy and Math with Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes for four schools in our Board.
When asked by friends to describe this role, I have had to rely on my own experiences working with the IC's assigned to my schools. Last April, I accessed release money provided by our Federation (ETFO) and had the chance to “shadow” a colleague, @Kylede08, for half a day. This helped me solidify my understanding.
Recently, I was provided with this article by Heather Wolpert-Gawron called “The Many Roles of an Instructional Coach”. I was asked by the supervisory team to read it and ...
- Identify three, very important points.
- Identify a personal “aha” moment.
- Reflect on how I see this impacting our work (as IC’s) moving forward.
I have decided to use this article as an opportunity to do some professional writing and also to explore the idea of #BookSnaps that I had read about on the @TaraMartinEDUTwitter feed and through her R.E.A.L. Weblog page. #BookSnaps make use of Snapchat and Bitmoji to annotate and share ideas from things that you are reading.
So, here are my “three, very important points” using #BookSnaps.
|"The position is defined differently...and attempts to standardize (it) can undermine its effectiveness."|
|TOSA's don't evaluate teachers/ We're teachers just like them. Through a partnership based on trust & respect...(we) help teachers reach their fullest potential."|
|"Instructional Coaches...have a lot of insight into the daily victories that occur in all classrooms. He or she would know that photos need to be taken & tweeted for all to see."|
My personal “aha” moment came here.
|"I use all of the walls and don't have a front of the room, per se."|
I had no idea that some Instructional Coaches had access to a classroom where they could set up a flexible seating space for students and teachers to visit. That would be a wonderful situation. Many teachers with whom I speak are interested in moving toward a flexible seating/student centered classroom design. Wouldn’t it be great to provide them, and their students, with an opportunity to experiment with the experience, rather than making a bold and sudden transition.
Here is what I will reflect on as I move forward into this role.
Identify your strengths.
This is what I am going to focus on next.