As many folks know, I am in the process of writing my fifth book!  It’s about instructional coaching…tentatively titled “How to Coach Teachers to Teach (Almost) Anything” – – – I mean, it’s not like it’s going to be published by Yale or anything, right?  😉

One of the things that I wanted to really drive home for coaches are the fundamental skills that teachers have to have in place.  So, I broke those fundamental skills down into five categories:

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavior Management
  3. Engagement
  4. Lesson Planning (the most often un-coached skills that is the starting point of a successful lesson)
  5. Delivery of a Basic Lesson (like the very least the teacher has to do to deliver a successful lesson)

In this series of five blogs, one on each of the topics, I have broken down those skills for you, too!

If you’re a teacher, you can use these as a checklist for lesson planning

If you are a professional developer, you can use this is a checklist for a new teacher (or veteren teacher) training program

If you are a principal, you can use this to help you set your instructional goal and as a tool to determine where you staff might need strengthening.

If you are a coach, you will use these lists to prioritize the content that you will coach.  If a teacher is struggling with any of these, then that struggling point is where your coaching should start.  After all, if a fundamental is missing, then the teacher doesn’t have much of a chance of getting the fancier stuff well implemented.

Here are the Classroom Management Priority Skills for Coaching

The teacher:

  • Has a signal for getting whole class attention
  • Gives directions when students are all quiet and all eyes are on her
  • Has a go-to redirection routine
  • Sets up, signals and has a very brief time limit for transitions
  • Modulates her voice to get attention and focus students
  • Has a routine for revving students up when their energy is waning
  • Greets students in the morning/top of the period and gives a task right away so they enter the classroom with purpose
  • Has a simple routine for written responses
  • Has a simple routine for discussion
  • Has a simple routine for partnering