In my role as literacy coach, I often feel the pull back to the classroom. I miss the community, the relationship with parents, and the every day moments that only come with spending day in and day out with the same group of kids. Getting to know them…really know them. What do they like to do? Who do they play with? What are their dreams? What kind of books do they love? Do they prefer crayon or marker?
But there are also times where I am so thankful to be a coach. The ability to go from kindergarten to fifth grade in a day and the different level of thinking work required. The vantage point of seeing similar misconceptions or successes across a single grade level or even across an entire school. Being able to walk out of a classroom after it’s been raining all week and the kids have been cooped up with indoor recess and desperately need to release some energy!
This week, I encouraged a classroom teacher, who currently has a student teacher taking over in her room, to visit some of her grade level partners’ classrooms. I said, “There are great things happening out there!” She jumped on the idea and was so glad she did. The experience sparked a conversation at a grade level meeting, where she and the host teacher raved about how fun it was to teach together and see different students, approaches, and perspectives. The rest of the team is now eager to find ways to break out of their own classrooms.
Experiences and excitement like this remind me how fortunate I am to look at and think about the culture of a whole school and how the pieces fit together. It’s also important to find ways to share that expand that viewpoint to all of the players involved.