Peer Coaching Project: My Reflection
During the quarter I have been meeting and working with a peer at my building to help improve a learning activity that is in line with the larger goals of the school. I had the option to work with my coworker that I co-teach physical education classes with on a weekly basis, but wanted to expand myself beyond my content area and reach out to a classroom teacher. In the end, I chose to work with a 3rd grade teacher at my school to help improve division lessons.
This project ended up becoming frustrating and a bit of struggle since it was hard to match up schedules, (I’m at multiple schools during the week) as well as other things that kept popping up during the past few weeks. However, the times that we did meet I felt were productive and although it was unusual to be in a coaching position, I felt confident in what I was doing. It was a little strange at first to be the one that was looked to for answers on how to take the conversation, but after studying and practicing the protocol it almost felt natural.
I feel that practicing and really being mindful about active listening was one of the more important aspects of what I learned about through this coaching experience. The act of really paying attention and try to put myself in the others shoes allowed both of us to feel more comfortable and it seemed like she was able to open up more about what she wanted out of the conversation. Additionally, I also realized that it is important to stay in contact with my peer and try to check in and see how they are doing outside of our official meeting times.
If I were to do this project over again I would have laid out a more detailed time-table of meetings and what needed to be done at each meeting, but it was also hard to get a feel in the beginning of how much time it would take to do each step I felt rushed at one of our meetings where we only hand fifteen minutes and I tried to pack in way too much information in one sitting and it ended up becoming overwhelming. In the future, I would do what I could with the time that we had and would leave the excess for later (hard times scheduling future meetings was a factor here).
Overall, I realize that doing this sort of thing is out of my normal routine and expectations of others so it was a bit more difficult than it would be if coaching was my position. I realize that I need to take it easier on myself and understand that it’s okay to not reach the expectations that I had set for myself. No matter what, this was a great learning experience and I feel more comfortable, ready, and most certainly excited for my next coaching opportunity.
Part 2: Online Communities
The last couple of weeks we have also focused on our last triggering question related to supporting and sustaining successful coaching. As this project ends, I want to make sure that I have some way to keep myself current in coaching and to not let this skill just sit on the back-burner. My triggering question for this was: What are some online communities that can help me grow as a coach?
ISTE Coaching Standard 6 covers deepening professional knowledge and and regularly evaluating and reflecting on professional practices and I believe that participating in an online community would be an excellent way to accomplish this standard. The following are some of the main portals I found for online communities that specifically relate to coaching or specifically ed-tech coaching:
Twitter is a resource that can be used for coaches and due to the way Twitter works, different hastags can be searched for depending on how specific you want to get in coaching. The link above takes use to the #techcoach page, but you can easily search for other keywords, such as edcoach to reach other communities. I have viewed and been inspired by some of the pages and think that taking the next level of interacting with certain people will really help with reflection and growth.
Google Plus Communities
There are multiple Google Plus Communities that are related to coaching (the link here will take you specifically to the EdTech one.) Communities will allow you to post articles, ideas, or share whatever you want related to coaching and can be a quick way to get inspired, receive feedback, or ask questions of others in the community.
ISTE also has a network on it’s website that helps EdTech Coaches connect with each other. The website features a discussion board, blog, event page, as well a library. It looks like the most used component of this site is the discussion board.
I am excited to try and interact more in one or more of these communities and see which one is more of a right fit for what I am looking for in terms of professional development.
Google Plus Communities. Instructional Technology Integrators & Coaches. Retrieved December 09, 2016, from https://plus.google.com/communities/118257375639026937151
(2016). Home – ISTE Community. Ed Tech Coaches Network – ISTE Community. Retrieved December 09, 2016, from http://connect.iste.org/communities/community-home?CommunityKey=3144c376-a435-4bad-9080-f25d9d8cb17f
Twitter. #techcoach. Retrieved December 09, 2016, from https://twitter.com/search?q=%23techcoach&src=typd