I had such a blessed day today and the highlight was working with a student from creative writing class. This student struggles academically and has an IEP but with support in a quiet setting and the promise of a reward for working for a certain amount of time he was able to complete his story. I had no idea what reward I would give him if he actually completed the assignment.
When he did finish the entire piece (working twice as long as his teacher and I required) he asked,”Do you have any candy?” Luckily, I had tucked away a Snickers bar into my purse the night before so I happily gave it to him. He deserved it along with lots of praise. I want to remember this day and how proud this student was to return to his class and tell his teacher he had finished his writing piece.
ALWAYS believe in every student. Give them your BEST. (And if you have one, give them a Snickers bar.)
“…’Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” – Matt 25:40 NIV
“Then before I left class, Ms. Gruwell told me something that would change my life forever. She told me she believed in me. I have never heard those words from anyone… especially a teacher.” – The Freedom Writers Diary
As I reflect on my new role as an instructional coach, I’ve noticed that my most powerful tool is passion. I’ve been in classrooms these last few weeks and have seen excitement become contagious – excitement for learning, writing, creating and for sharing.
“The best partnerships aren’t dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion.” — Sarah MacLean
If a coach can bring an energy of hope and passion into a classroom or into a conversation, she can ignite or renew a passion in the heart of teachers and students. I’ve not only brought that energy with me but have received energy given by those teachers and students who are passionate and driven to learn. Together, we are creating a synergy that I hope will spread to others inside and outside of the school!
I’ve seen it happen several times this past week and today – bright-eyed excitement at the prospect of creating an online portfolio, enthusiastic planning of a school website, smiling faces finding joy in the writing process, thoughtful reflections on how to make learning more accessible to all students and satisfaction in learning new things like setting up a video camera.
Seems really easy, right? Yes, it is easy to inspire others to passion and excitement when you possess those things yourself. You can’t give away what you do not possess. I believe the best instructional coaching is inspirational coaching. And so my mission continues…
My mission in life in its purest form is to inspire. Prompt to extraordinary actions – that’s the definition of inspire and that’s what I most love and value doing. In order to best inspire and serve those with whom I work and do life, I apply the following.
— My Mission Statement
Photo Credit: flickr
It’s been a while since I’ve posted but with good reason. I started a new job July 31st and have been very busy. I am now serving as the instructional coach at Washington Co. High School and I absolutely love it! 🙂
I can’t express enough thanks to all of my family and friends who have faithfully encouraged and blessed me during the process of getting here. And most of all I thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching me who You are and for loving me in the most amazing ways as I stumbled and doubted You.
As I continue to learn new things, meet great new people and serve the wonderful staff and students at WCHS, I am amazed at how life works out. Here are some things for me to remember…
Never count yourself out. You are strong and capable.
You have family and friends you can count on – let them help you.
Continually surrender it all to the Lord and He will guide you.
NEVER lose hope!
Always believe the best is yet to come.
“Effective leaders focus laser-like on the quality of instruction in their schools. They emphasize research-based strategies to improve teaching and learning and initiate discussions about instructional approaches, both in teams and with individual teachers.”
taken from The Effective Principal: Five Pivotal Practices that Shape Instructional Leadership, The Wallace Foundation
I stumbled upon this on Twitter and LOVE it! Thank you Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano for this super sketchnote. @langwitches
Yesterday, I watched the 2001 documentary The Accidental Hero: Room 408 and am still thinking about it. The success these students have with Mr. Lindsey is incredible. These kids and Mr. Lindsey have inspired me. The love, care, discipline, guidance, dedication and hard work are evident in this classroom from not only teacher to students but among the students; they study together, encourage one another and even pray together. This is an example of a true learning community in which these kids are working their way into exciting opportunities in high school then college and beyond. What a blessing to see that as of 2015 Mr. Lindsey was still teaching! I hope he still is. 🙂