“Schedule or be scheduled” may be the rallying cry for any teacher who becomes a literacy coach. Often the job and its responsibilities are ill-defined, and the danger is that you will find yourself with many responsibilities dumped into your position if you don’t define the job yourself. The definition for many literacy coaches begins with a schedule and knowing how to prioritize tasks. Here is where we share examples of how different literacy coaches and leaders have divvied up the minutes, hours, days, and months of their time in ways that lead to balance and success.
Ruth Ayres explains why setting a coaching schedule is crucial for success, even if the work is mundane and challenging at the same time.
Dana Murphy too often finds herself feeling like she's begging to go into classrooms. The solution? Create a yearlong schedule and put the onus on teachers to sign up for a coaching cycle.
Melanie Meehan finds that a simple process early in the year that gives teachers more control over the professional development plan builds excitement for new learning.
Brian Sepe ponders the best uses of his coaching time when he is between cycles. He shares three options for building relationships with teachers.
Matt Renwick rethinks his strategy of responding instantly to requests for his time, considering his priorities as a literacy leader.
Gretchen Taylor ponders what literacy coaches can do to make their presence and the possibility of collaboration better known to teachers, focusing on her work in public spaces and on her coaching calender.
Ruth Ayres explains why these are the three most important words for literacy coaches to say throughout the day.
Jennifer Allen plans for next year's study groups and other ongoing professional development offerings each spring, to give teachers lots of time to choose which groups might meet their needs.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain why unstructured coaching support time may be some of the most valuable to include in your schedule.
Principal Karen Szymusiak has tips for getting the most out of classroom visits, including setting up master schedules that follow similar formats.
Heather Rader finds that understanding whether teachers work best in the morning or afternoon can be crucial in timing professional development.
Heather Rader has a tip for ensuring you stay on schedule and "in the moment" during your meetings in this brief video tip.
Heather Rader explains why starting meetings on time is crucial for the learning climate in this quick video tip.
Heather Rader has a quick video tip for organizing low-stress birthday celebrations for colleagues.
Heather Rader shares a quick video tip about the importance of closing rituals at the end of the coaching day.
Jennifer Allen discovers there are limits to planning, and too much of it can hinder growth in professional development settings.
Karen Szymusiak explains why large blocks of time for literacy instruction are crucial, and how she worked as a principal to develop a master schedule for the school that included them.
Jennifer Allen plans a year of study group offerings designed to help everyone align their classrooms to the Common Core, and build community at the same time. The article includes a sample calendar for the month of October.
Jennifer Allen ponders what professional development structures support authentic changes in curriculum tied to the Common Core.
Jennifer Schwanke uses the charming "book hook" activity to recommit to keeping reading and classroom visits at the heart of her work as a principal.