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Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

I think we’re missing the boat on teaching behaviors to kids. 

I know I know, we spend a lot of time at the beginning of the school year talking about classroom management and getting kids up and running, but there’s another part of teaching behaviors that we need to add into the mix. 

Of course you need to teach classroom management, but I also want you to focus on teaching instructional management. 

So what does that look like? Well for me, that looked like teaching kids how to have a discussion, how to take notes, and what to do when they’ve finished with their work early. When we’re having a group discussion, how loud do we talk? Do we just shout out answers? 

These are the things that can derail lessons and take us off topic with our teaching, so they’re very, very crucial to teach. 

As you head into this school year, think about what you teach with classroom management, but also, what instructional techniques and management pieces you need to teach your kids so that the lessons will run smoothly?

Books can be found on amazon.com or https://jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

Does More Time Lesson Planning = Better Lessons? | For Teachers, Coaches, & Team Leaders

I love talking about lesson planning, because I think that lessons are made and broken in the lesson planning phase. Not to mention, I think teachers are spending a lot of time in what we would traditionally call “lesson planning,” but it’s not resulting in better lessons!

So let’s clarify something that’s really helped me in my lesson planning. When I’m trying to teach any skill, whether it’s a math skill, PE (though I never taught that!), English, language arts or writing or whatever, here’s how I do it: 

  1. I take a blank sheet of paper and list the skill that I’m teaching at the very top. 
  2. Then I set my timer for about two minutes and I brainstorm every other skill kids would have to master in order to master this one skill that I want them to learn.
  3. Then, I set my little phone timer for another two minutes, and I put all the skills that I brainstormed in a logical order. The simplest skill to the most advanced.
  4. Finally, I pull out my lesson plan book and I plot those individual skills onto the weeks that I’ll teach them.

That is lesson planning at its simplest and most powerful. Give it a try!

For more help and tips on how to get the most out of your lesson planning, check out this book:

Books can be found on amazon.com or https://jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

Balancing Informative and Narrative Text | For Teachers, Coaches, & Team Leaders

There’s a lot of talk these days about the type of text that we’re using in classes – too much narrative, not enough informational text, add more of this, take some of that away. 

Today I want to help you navigate the noise and give you something really practical that will make a big difference. 

What I’ve done with a lot of our clients is to start by looking at everything they’re currently using. 

Before adding anything, take a look at what you’re using right now and make a T-chart:

  • On one side, write all of the titles of the informational text that you’re teaching kids. 
  • On the other side, write all of the narrative texts that you’re using for the school year. 

If those two columns are not well balanced, then you need to make some adjustments. 

But then, I want you to go back to those lists and mark what kind of texts they are – is it chapter text? An article? A narrative piece? Long form? A checklist, or a recipe? 

When you look at not only what type of text you’re using, but what form it takes, that will really help you evaluate where you are and where you need to get to.

Books can be found on amazon.com or https://jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

Should Coaching Be Required? | For Teachers and Coaches

Here’s a question that I get at least once a week: Should coaching be mandatory for all teachers in the school?

My emphatic answer to that is always absolutely YES!

There are a lot of reasons for that, but it’s mainly because if we have teachers receiving coaching, they are becoming better, more skilled, efficient, and effective teachers. 

How? You might wonder.

Because with coaching, teachers are able to see their classroom from a balcony view. When a coach is in the classroom, they aren’t getting lost in the details and can take a step back and see the big picture – and teachers are able to implement changes that will create the biggest impact.

When a teacher is busy teaching, they need somebody else in their classroom looking and watching for things that need changing or reworking.

  • A coach stands with the teacher and can say things like: “Hey, this is what I’m seeing while you’re teaching.” There is no way to figure that out unless somebody else is watching you or you watch yourself on video.
  • Also, we should be practicing what we preach! We expect every student to be corrected and coached through learning, why wouldn’t we model and go through that same process as teachers?
  • Lastly, it gives teachers the opportunity for reflection! The BEST teachers, the ones who get results over and over, year after year, even in pandemics and with the “difficult class,” are the ones who are constantly reflecting on their practice. 

There’s still time for you to register for our next Virtual Coaching Summit, starting on July 18! Learn more and register here: jackson-consulting.com/coachingsummit/

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

Four Ways to Differentiate Classroom Coaching | For Coaches, District Leaders, and Team Leaders

Today I want to give you four ways that you can differentiate coaching for teachers in the classroom! 

  1. Frequency – What is the frequency of your visits? How often do you visit? 
  2. Time – How long do your visits actually take? Sometimes they’re a 15 minute stop in, sometimes they’re 45 minutes if you’re doing a planning session. 
  3. Style – Think about differentiating for style. Do you sit and do a planning session with a coach? Do you go in and observe a master teacher? Do you demonstrate while they observe and take notes and then later you debrief? 
  4. Content – Look at the content. What is the most pressing need that that teacher has that you can focus on? Are you going into the classroom to focus on history content when in reality they need classroom management support first?

By differentiating by frequency, time, style, and content, you are ensuring that you don’t have a one size fits all coaching practice – and that’s a really good thing! 

For more help and tips on how to be a good coach to any level of teacher, please check out our books:

Books can be found at amazon.com or at https://jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/

Two Behaviors Every Class Must Be Taught | For Teachers & Coaches

How Do I Make Sure I’m a Good Coach? | For Coaches, District Leaders, and Team Leaders

Here’s a question that came to me recently: “I’m a coach of teachers who are experienced and doing well. How do I make sure that I’m a good coach for teachers who are already flourishing?” 

Here’s my answer: 

  1. Don’t stop the form of your coaching! Whether you’re using pre-conference, execution, or post-conference, each is as valuable for your advanced teachers as it is for your most struggling teachers
  2. Focus on the little things in the classroom. How is that teacher doing in working with English language learners? Or with moving benchmark kids to advance benchmark, or strategic kids to benchmark? Maybe help that teacher to pick a new task or skill they want to get better at, and then coach them to get better at those things!

What I find is that the successful teachers that I coach are always looking for ways to get better, and you can always help with that.

For more help and tips on how to be a good coach to any level of teacher, please check out our books:

Books can be found at amazon.com or at jackson-consulting.com/buy-stuff/