Most people like chocolate. A lot enjoy peanut butter. But whoa, when you melt those two together, you really get something amazing! The same holds true for combining a few important ingredients to make teacher coaching extraordinarily powerful and ensure classrooms are positive places to learn.
Here’s our recipe for coaching teachers to create a positive classroom culture. Give it a try, and you’ll realize the power of this Kickboard-unique combination!
Ingredient #1: An Evidence-Based Observation
Observations are an important part of the overall Culture Data Cycle for helping teachers grow. They give leaders a chance to experience first-hand teacher actions, management systems, learner engagement, and teacher-student interactions. Capturing anecdotal notes as well as quantifiable evidence will paint a vivid picture of what’s happening in the classroom.
Your campus may already have exemplars for teacher practices and student actions you expect to see in a classroom, but make sure capturing evidence of these is part of your observation tool. If your protocol doesn’t already have specific evidence collection points, you might include one or more of the following:
- Positive versus corrective interactions tally
- On-task and off-task behaviors tally
- Percentage of students following stated expectations
- Number of students smiling or showing joy while learning within a given time period
These types of quantitative data points collected during a classroom visit will provide measurable evidence of success and will serve as valuable measuring sticks for gauging progress.
Ingredient #2: Kickboard Culture Data
No leader can be in a single classroom all day, every day. How, then, can they get a complete picture of classroom culture in order to best coach the teacher? With Kickboard culture data, of course!
You have a broad array of Kickboard data at your fingertips, so you’ll want to select which data best compliments the culture you’re helping teachers achieve. Here are a few examples of Kickboard data that will compliment your observational data:
Melt Both Data Sets Together for Powerful Feedback
Build both the classroom observation and the feedback conference into your calendar and hold these times sacred. Spend some time preparing for the feedback session by looking for trends and correlations in both the observational data and the Kickboard data. Make sure you plan out a few probing questions to help guide the upcoming conversation with the teacher.
Expect the same preparation of your teachers. This reflection tool can serve as a guide for helping teachers reflect on their classroom culture and consider the data they’ve captured in Kickboard over time.
For the observation debrief meeting, instead of written feedback, we recommend a two-way conversation that allows for true collaboration. You want to send the message We’re partners working together to build a classroom culture that will help children learn. Ideally, this debrief session occurs within a few days of the observation. Use or adapt this meeting protocol to help guide the session and ensure the conversation moves through the data cycle from reflection to analysis to action.
Savor the Results!
Combining single-visit observational data with longer-term Kickboard data can help both you and your teachers create the classroom culture you desire because you’ve made decisions based on a complete picture rather than a single glance. Taste the sweetness of success and repeat the recipe again and again in a continuous cycle of culture improvement.