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

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/

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

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/

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

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/

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

Principals, Teachers, and Trust | For Principals

Principals, this one’s for you!

The number one reason I find that teachers don’t trust principals is they know, or they perceive, that the principal doesn’t know the content. 

So principals, if you’re trying to figure out how you can strengthen or build trust between you and your teachers, you need to be on a mission to master the content that your teachers have to deliver in class. You need to be able to talk to them at their level about what interests them. 

Here’s how I encourage you to do that: 

  1. When you attend professional development, TURN OFF your phone! Stop hopping up and down to put out fires and stay present.
  1. Engage in the professional development. Commit to going as if you’re an eighth grade teacher, or sit with your fourth grade team literally put yourself in the seat of a fourth grade teacher. 
  1. Use the language of that professional development with the teachers to build trust and credibility. 

For more help and tips on how to build trust with your teachers, please check out our books:

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

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

Never Say It’s Just Good Teaching! | For Teachers & Principals

Warning: (gentle) rant coming! 

A phrase that I hear a lot in education is “it’s just good teaching.” Ugh. 

Not only do I find that phrase super annoying, but it’s also totally inaccurate! To me, it shows that whoever says that doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

Here are just a couple of reasons as to why I think “it’s just good teaching” is the worst thing that we can say in education:

  • First of all, good teaching is an actual thing! And it looks like this: 
    • Explicit instruction
    • Teach and model
    • Guided practice
    • Application
    • Feedback throughout

That is good teaching. That is teaching explicitly. That works!

  • Second, when we say things like “it’s just good teaching,” that gives cover for some questionable teaching techniques. If you have a technique that really works, call the technique by name! 

Don’t diminish good teaching and don’t dismiss the hard work of good teachers! 

Okay, rant: over. 

For more help and tips on how to dive into more explicit and research based teaching practices please check out all of our books online. Books can be found at amazon.com or by clicking here.

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

Restating the Thesis in the Conclusion | For Teachers

Confession: when I was a student, I never knew how to end my essays, so they always ended very randomly and abruptly! 

I don’t want that to happen to your students, so let’s give them some help. Here are three simple ways to restate the thesis in a conclusion paragraph or statement:

  1. Answer the question, ‘so what?’ In light of what I’ve told you so far, what are you going to do about it?
  2. Consider telling the reader what they should do next. Given what I’ve told you, here’s what you need to go out and do.
  3. Remind the reader why the topic or the information is important. Present a sense of urgency to the reader! 

Those are three ways students can restate their thesis in the conclusion to make it more interesting for the reader. Now, go give it a try today! 

For more help and tips on how to improve your teaching practice, please check out our books.

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