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May 9, 2015
This Week: Coaching Models, Observational Notes, and Giving Feedback
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Watch how you can improve your practice with virtual and real-time coaching.
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Many coaches script what teachers and students are saying, but most have their own approach to organizing and sharing these notes. Get ideas here.
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An instructional coach decides to use video to document practice. Find out what she learns in the process.
Sarah's Notes

Over the years, I've changed the way I perceive and use feedback, which is probably not surprising since I'm a teacher who is constantly in some iterative loop of her practice. Early on in my career, I spent endless hours giving feedback on everything, believing this was the most crucial teaching I did. I still believe that my hardest job is responding to individual students and their work with a presence of mind that creates authentic differentiation. Yet, I’ve learned that the feedback I ask for is just as (if not more) important than the feedback I give. Whether it's from students or colleagues, the perceptions and insights of others help define our learning path. It’s the difference between listening and talking, being present and staunchly following best-laid plans.

So, it makes sense that I would want to ask some of my teacher-heroes for their feedback. Teaching coaches Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey have helped me think more carefully about my Teaching Channel video, When a Lesson Goes Wrong. Their questions, observations, and commentary continue to give me new insights that only a second (and third) set of eyes can. Using their observations, I wrote this blog that focuses on how coaching through Teaching Channel Notes makes a difference to teachers who are trying to get better. If you aren't familiar with Tch Notes, or need a refresher, watch this helpful how-to video.

And speaking of feedback, I must tell you how overwhelmed and humbled I've been by your response to the blog post I wrote last week, A Letter to My Children, about what it means to be a teacher. When I asked my oldest son, Evan, what he thought about the letter after I shared it with him, he said, "Mom, I can't explain it, but I understand it."

My thoughts exactly.


Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
Tchers’ Voice
Img LeftIn this Big Tent blog, instructional coach Jennifer Morris turns the camera on herself to help colleagues overcome their own sense of vulnerability.

Img LeftFor Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re giving away hundreds of “Thank You” gifts. Come and see if you made the list of winners.

Q&A: Answer These Questions
Q: What’s your favorite protocol for looking at student work?
Q: When coaching a teacher who needs help in almost every aspect of their teaching, how do you focus on just one or two things?
Q: I’m looking for ways to integrate ELA standards into my science and social studies lessons. Ideas?
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