Breaking out

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Breaking out

  1. As a former lit coach, I completely understand how you feel! I desperately missed having my own class, yet I loved being able to interact with so many different students and teachers across the grades. I’m glad that the teacher was able to see her colleague teach! Everyone should do this!

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  2. I liked hearing about the joys of being a coach and what you miss about the classroom. Getting the opportunity to support and encourage teachers must be a wonderful job! And the bonus is working with all kind of students from all ages and classrooms. Wow!

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  3. Your words resonate with me. As a literacy specialist, I sometime long for the deeper connections with students that days and days affords, but I love the diversity of my position and the ability to see the long view on a daily basis. As I alternate time between working with teachers to plan, then teaching some lessons in groups, and also working individually or in small groups with students and their teachers, I know that this is the perfect job for me. Glad we share that.

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  4. I absolutely love getting out of the classroom! Sometimes I pop into other K rooms during prep times and I’ve managed to sneak away to the school next door from time to time. I don’t find that many of my colleagues are game for that, though. I’m not sure why. I’ve often thought becoming a coach was appealing because I would get to see lots of teaching in different rooms. Pondering that for the future. Thanks!

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  5. There is something so special about being in your own classroom, but then having the ability to work across the grades with a variety of teachers and students is so exciting too! I think it’s a great idea to have teachers visit other classrooms. What a fantastic way to build capacity and conversation about teaching and learning!

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  6. I remember when we started visiting each other’s classrooms. Scary at first, but we quickly learned it was a powerful way to extend our learning and be re-energized for the teaching journey

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  7. I am a literacy coach as well, and I love to see the aerial view of all the good things teachers are doing. It is hard for the classroom teachers to see the overall picture of how the curriculum works interdependently.

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  8. I too miss those similar aspects of being a classroom teacher and having my own class. While I’m not a coach, I am a reading specialist and I do enjoy seeing students for more than one year and watching them blossom from one year to the next. I make it an effort to visit classrooms and share the love of reading that way also.

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  9. Taking the opportunity to observe other teachers and classrooms is SO powerful. It’s amazing to me how many teachers are resistant to it. Those of us out of the classroom are truly blessed to have the opportunity to see and experience so much from a different angle.

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  10. It is so nice to be able to visit such a variety of classes! I get to have a bit of this in my role as coordinator (about 1/3 of my time, where I get to be in many classes and leading a team in school improvement endeavors) and 2/3 time teaching grade 5. I guess I get the best of both!

    By the way, congratulations on the new baby joining your family.

    Warmly,
    Denise

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