May 9, 2015See All Newsletters
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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.

Enjoy!

Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
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Tchers’ Voice
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