I find that lots of coaches and principals hit the wall when it comes to debriefing teachers. They struggle to know how to get into it without it seeming evaluative and overall really weird or awkward feeling. In the end, coaching a teacher and doing a debriefing (whether you’re a leader or a coach) IS evaluative. It’s evaluating how efficient and effective the teaching is. When we say “Oh, this is not evaluative,” we’re not totally telling hte truth.
Where we get into trouble with unions, resistant teachers and generally freaked out educators is when we don’t make it clear to people that what we do during the lesson debriefing won’t necessarily end up on their FORMAL evaluation. There is no way to successfully coach without evaluating how the teaching went.
I have seen that when we can deconstruct the debriefing process with teachers and tell them WHAT it will look like, we find much less resistance. With less resistance, we can get down and dirty into conversations about how to improve the impact that our teaching has. And THAT is an on-going conversation that is worth having with every teacher!
In an effort to deconstruct the debriefing, I wanted to share with you a script that I recently used. I show you each part of the debriefing and label it for you. I hope that you’ll use it as a script for your future debriefings. I have found that it is basically fool-proof. The structure of the script is a sure-thing.