• 3 Tips for Instructional Coaches From a Teacher

    Are you an instructional coach? Check out these tips for instructional coaches from a teacher! These tips will help you build the relationships you need to be successful! #instructionalcoach #tipsforteachers #tipsforinstructionalcoaches

    I’m not a fan of instructional coaches. Honestly, it is because, in my almost 11 years of teaching, I’ve never had one that helped me grow as an educator. I know amazing coaches exist; I’ve just never experienced one. So, this post is pretty much my wishlist that can help you become a stronger coach for your team.

    Be Trustworthy

    People don’t respond to people they don’t trust. Make your staff trust you by simply being honest. If you don’t know an answer to a question or how to do something, be honest about it. We know coaches are human, but nothing is more frustrating than to be given inaccurate information or the run around simply because they don’t have answers or solutions.

    If you make a mistake, own it and fix it. If fixing it means teachers will have to do more work, then you should do the work to make it right. I’ve had coaches that have caused minor to big mistakes and then not own up to it and then blame someone else! Do you think I trusted those coaches? Heck no! Our relationship was forever damaged. I lost respect for them, and nothing they did moving forward was credible. 

    Finally, keep your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. I had a coach tell my team they would help us test our kids. We were like cool! They are actually going to help us! When team members reached out for their help, guess what, they didn’t do it and then told my teammates to take care of it themselves. 

    Establishing trust is the best way to get your team on your side. It establishes credibility. You can deliver excellent information, but if your team doesn’t trust you, they won’t receive it. Teachers won’t apply what you’ve given them, and you’ll never get the results you want. 

    Be Supportive

    I mean, really be supportive. Don’t just give the line, if you need anything let me know. Because chances are, they won’t. There are so many ways you can be supportive. Think back to when you were a teacher. What did support look like to you and your team? Here are some different ways you can be supportive.

    1. Print off resources like tests, scantrons, centers
    2. Provide a bank of resources
    3. Do something for the teachers that they don’t have time to do
    4. Eliminate tasks when possible
    5. Provide solutions to problems
    6. Be open to feedback
    7. Be flexible with deadlines when possible
    8. Set reasonable deadlines
    9. Have clear expectations
    10. Provide examples
    11. Send friendly reminders

    Teachers have always had a lot on their plate, and there’s even more now. If you can find a way to support them and make their job a little easier, your team will appreciate you more than you know. 

    Be Passionate

    There’s nothing worse than an unmotivated and lackadaisical instructional coach. If you aren’t passionate about your job, then why should teachers respect you. I’ve actually had coaches tell me they took the position because they got tired of all the hard work that comes with being a classroom teacher. This is the biggest slap in the face. Not only were they flaunting that they are doing less work for more money, they let me know they didn’t take their position seriously. Them becoming a coach was a way to escape the classroom. Any position in education has to be executed with passion. We are directly impacting the quality of our students’ futures. 

    I hope this post helps current and future coaches meet the needs of the teachers they support. I know there are awesome coaches out there, but there are some bad seeds yall. Really bad. And some of us have, unfortunately, had the experience of working with them. The most important take away is to make sure you are building great relationships with your team if you want your team to give you the results you need. 


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  • Books to Encourage a Positive School Culture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you! #schoolculture #positiveschoolculture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you! #schoolculture #positiveschoolculture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission.

    I’m also a Bookshop Affiliate. Bookshop works with local independent bookstores to deliver books to your door. You can shop this list on Bookshop here.

    The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy By Jon Gordon

    I bought this book as a gift for someone who was a leader. After they told me how good it was, I read it myself, and I loved it! The Energy Bus is a great starting point if you’re looking to make an overhaul of the culture in your school. Bookshop Affiliate Link

    Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life By Ron Clark

    You know the importance of having a positive culture on your campus, but what do you do when everyone isn’t on board? This book labels different members of your team (and they’re pretty accurate) and how to help get them on your bus. Clark also gives excellent tips on how to reward those who are already keeping your bus moving. And yes, the author is The Ron Clark of Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta

    Move Your Bus was our campus’s book study book for the 2018-2019 school year. Bookshop Affiliate Link

    Time for Change: 4 Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders By Anthony Muhammad & Luis F. Cruz

    Are you a leader on your campus? The answer is yes! Anyone has the power to be a leader. You don’t need an official title to lead.

    Time for Change shows you how to make changes on your campus and gives specific tips on how to make sure everyone is implementing those changes.

    If you’re looking to start something new at your campus and you know there will be naysayers, you need this book to help move your school forward. Bookshop Affiliate Link

    The Power of a Positive Team By Jon Gordon

    This book is all about how a positive team is necessary for a great team. A positive team addresses issues and works together to solve problems. 

    Each chapter explains how a team can commit to working together to achieve a common goal. The Power of a Positive Team can be applied to groups outside of education, so it’s an excellent book for any leader.

    The Power of a Positive Team was our campus’s book study book for the 2019-2020 school year.  Bookshop Affiliate Link

    Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindset to Effect Change by Anthony Muhammad

    I know you’re wondering, how did a book about students make this list? Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap is about how schools can change their culture so that all students can achieve. 

    Some districts, schools, principals, and teachers have gotten used to the achievement gap. Educators who accept students’ lack of growth as normal create environments where the expectations and the quality of teaching are low.

    Overcoming the Achievement Gap shows educators how they can change their mindset so they can change the culture of their school so that all students learn. Bookshop Affiliate Link

    These books are game-changers if you’re looking for ways to implement change or a way to encourage a positive school culture on your campus. Have you read any of these books? Are there any you recommend? 



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  • How Teachers Can Check the Culture of a School Before Applying

    How Teachers Can Check the Culture of a School Before Applying (1)

    Are you a teacher thinking of applying to a new school? Before for you apply, there are things you can do to check the school's culture. Find out how you can get an idea of a school's culture before you fill out an application. #schoolculture

    I don’t know about you, but a school’s culture is everything to me! ⁣It influences your happiness and your students’ success.

    ⁣If your searching for a new campus, listen to how you can get a feel of a school’s culture before you apply.⁣

    For more tips and tools to help you find your dream job, grab The How To Land Your Dream Teaching Job Workbook.  

  • Why Teachers Don’t Like Change & How to Change Their Mindset

    A lot of teachers don't like to change their ways. Find out why and how to help them change their mindset!
    A lot of teachers don't like to change their ways. Find out why and how to help them change their mindset!

    Last week I attended the Response to Intervention (R.T.I.) At Work Institute by Solution Tree. I thought we would spend three days going over different strategies for R.T.I. and tools we should use. Instead, we focused on school culture and why you need your team on board for changes to happen. Luis Cruz, our keynote speaker, called our coworkers who are resistant to change C.A.V.E people.

    What’s C.A.V.E.? Colleagues Against Virtually Everything. We all know a few of them. They always complain when things change. Luis’ acronym made me think about current and past colleagues. I’ve always thought that my coworkers who are resistant to change were lazy. In my mind, they didn’t want to put in the work to make the change.

    But, Luis Cruz explained that there are three reasons why C.A.V.E. people exist in our schools, and if we want changes to work, we need to address their needs.

    They Don’t Know The Why

    I am that teacher who typically doesn’t resist change or new ideas. If you tell me to try out a new initiative, I’m open to implementing change. We all know some teachers aren’t receptive to change. For some, it’s because they don’t understand why.

    These teachers need data to prove its effectiveness. They want the reasoning behind the change. Showing them data, statistics, and any other facts can help C.A.V.E. teachers see why the new initiative is critical to implement for their students. If you show how their students will benefit, they’ll be more likely to buy-in.

    Class Goal Setting Guide. Set goals with your students using the Class Goal Setting Guide #studentneeds #differentiation

    They Don’t Trust Who Is Delivering the Message

    On many campuses, there is a lack of trust. The administration doesn’t trust the teachers, and the teachers don’t trust the administration. Change for better won’t work if there is not a positive team on board to implement the change.

    Did you get that? For change to work, you have to have a positive school culture. If your team is toxic, you should fix your culture first. I feel that in the past, this is why some schools I’ve worked for only saw pockets of growth. Everyone wasn’t on board due to the culture. Since it was coming from someone who seemed only to want to increase our workload, the teachers didn’t digest the information that was given, let alone implement it.

    They Don’t Know How

    Not knowing how to implement the change is something that never crossed my mind. I thought that some C.A.V.E. people were just stubborn. Or didn’t want to do the work. When you think of people that don’t want to do the work, do you think that they may not know how?

    Before we make changes, we need to think about what kind of support is required. Which teachers will need help? What resources will teachers need? When will they get time to plan? How will they access the resources they need?

    If the change-makers provide their teachers with everything they need in their tool belt, there is less of a chance they will be against the new changes.

    We all know that change is hard, but changing ineffective policies at schools is what’s best for our kiddos. Those who are resistant to change, for the most part, do so for one of three reasons. They’ll need an explanation for the change and information about its benefits. If they don’t know why, then why should they change?

    Others don’t trust the messenger. The person who is delivering the change is essential. Are they trusted? Does the staff respect them? It doesn’t matter if it’s the best idea in the world; if the team doesn’t like who is making the change, everyone won’t be on board.

    Lastly, if the team doesn’t have what they need to implement the change, they won’t want to do the work. It’s pretty hard to convince someone to do something if you don’t have what you need to get it done.

    Are you the C.A.V.E. on your team? I know I’ve been on at least once. But, it was for one of the reasons above. If you’re working with a C.A.V.E., think about ways to support them!