Build a Schedule
What your day will look like could vary wildly depending on how your district defines your role.
Some coaches are involved in testing students for standardized assessments, curriculum coaching, PD development, multiple committee assignments, coordinating programs, teaching classes, and being a sub.
This is why we stressed in step one of building a coaching program that ample time is given to defining the position.
Your definition is how you will start conversations with others when you are asked to add more to your plate.
Far too many other demands will encroach on your ability to do your defined position or to get time for your own PD so that you can continue to grow.
It is a balancing act, and being intentional and having clear boundaries on how to use your time is essential in providing clarity around what you do.
One thing is for certain: your schedule will change. It is no different from when you were in the classroom and changes had to be made on a weekly basis for special events.
With this knowledge, know which parts of your week are most important. Is it the PD you offer, the teacher meetings you have, the committees you serve on?
Ask yourself, and others, this question if you are unsure: Will this have a direct impact on teacher and student performance?
The answer should be a quick yes in order for you to commit.
Administrators need to know what stops you from doing your job well.
A schedule is your framework for how you will accomplish your weekly goals–or at least attempt to.
You need time for yourself, time for administrators, time for paperwork, and time for teachers. The last one is most important, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you will burn out quickly.
This job can be a lonely space. You get one foot in the administrative world and one in the teacher world. Many teachers will see you differently. So will the admin. It is a high wire balancing act at times.
The need to be diplomatic is paramount. No joke. Teachers will need to know you are on their side. The administration will need to know you have the chops to get things done.
At the end of the day when you have had your fill, who will you go to?
The self-care movement isn’t to be dismissed. It needs to get done. You can’t go to your teacher friends and talk about things the way you used to.
In this day and age, you are the person teachers will seek out to unload their concerns and stresses. They are tapped out. You will be a primary support if you have built the relationships necessary to be most impactful in this position.
Many coaches in smaller districts are a team of one. In larger districts, there will be a team you can go to for support. If you are a team of one, the idea of networking might be a new concept, but it will be important to build relationships with coaches in other districts and schools to help you understand your new reality.
It can be as simple as sharing your common trials and tribulations. Ways you handle the balancing act, and how to navigate the stressors of this position. With so much ambiguity around how coaches do what they do, your network will become ever more important in helping you navigate your new reality.
The idea of balance will help you remain on course. Once you have started to move through an established schedule, have a clear idea of what your role is, and have made your way into the practice of the theory, you are deep into being a coach.
If you have made it to the point that you are starting to see the nuances of coaching, you are coaching. It may not feel like it, but that should be expected. You are deep into learning. It’s a journey, not a destination.
So you have your schedule set, you are being as balanced as possible, and you are likely seeing there is so much growth you have to do for yourself.
The next stage in starting a coaching program is focused on you. It is when you see the need to grow in how you serve. It’s a mindset shift for many and it will start you on a long road of self-discovery.
You do not have to walk alone. Feel free to message Agile Ideas Leadership for any questions or thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ross Herdina, Co-Founder, Agile Ideas Leadership.