Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coach. Everyone knows what a coach is and you are probably picturing a football or basketball squad. But what if the management hired the coaches, but no one knew that they had made the team, when the practice was or even the rules of the sport? And the coach was still responsible for having a successful team and reporting on that every day.
That's sort of what I feel like in Term 2 of being a literacy coach. It has been great, a creative and rewarding experience so far. But I feel as though I am detached from the team of teachers that I am supposed to be working with. I have put forward many ideas and a lot of them have been received with much appreciation. So far so good.
But I think there comes a time when the team needs to be told about the finer points of the sport.
In my case, I think it would be great if the role of a literacy coach was more directly linked to the teachers.  And that the process was ongoing  and reciprocal. It would be helpful if each staff person was responsible for coming up with their own literacy goal. I could even help them articulate this goal. And then I could look to see commonalities and form groups for PD, or simply make a schedule that would satisfy everyone's needs in a timely way.
To me the fact that the board places a lit coach in the school is only half the task. There has to be an openly acknowledged culture of coaching, of working together to set meaningful goals, and then bringing my background and expertise into the picture to coach. And it could very well be that we would explore topics and learn together. Which would be great for me too.
Right now it is all informal, and I feel responsible for both sides of the coaching equation, when the principal says, "So what are you doing?"
As was said at a PD event I was at last week, the organization's objectives should be understood by everyone, and everyone within the organization should be able to state the goal. I don't think we can as yet, when it comes to literacy.

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