Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Spring into Action: Three Tips to Keep Coaching Alive When Teachers are Dead Tired PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis

Well, PSSA is here and we know what that often means for coaches! Schedules are up-ended, test administration and test security are top priorities, and teachers don’t want anything to do with you!

Yes, you will get through the few weeks of testing, but then what? After a busy and productive year, when PSSA is finished, many in the education world believe that school is over and it’s time to relax. This is when teachers and students need you most, coaches! Everyone is tired and in need of some inspiration. Consider these tips to keep teachers engaged and active learners through the official end of the school year!

  1. Share a new strategy or tool with the teachers.
  • Close Reading Non-traditional Texts

                Are teachers and students growing tired and bored of reading selections from their textbooks or reading series? Shake it up with some non-traditional texts such as songs, maps, photographs,  graphic novels, or even virtual reality! What a great way to preview content and build background knowledge about a topic students may be learning next year!

  • Vocabulary Factory

                Are teachers looking for new ways to practice vocabulary in any subject? Try Vocabulary Factory, a new free digital tool from Pear Deck. With this tool, students work with partners in a “factory” to draw pictures of and provide examples for select vocabulary words to create digital flashcards. Students vote for the best cards and they get “shipped” to Quizlet for more practice and games.

  1. Help teachers reflect on their year so far, readjust for the remainder of the year, and plan for next year. Try a reflection protocol, like one of these from the School Reform Initiative.
  1. Remind teachers how to keep students physically active while learning.
  • Gallery Walks- Students can share their work and give feedback to their peers while walking around the room.
  • Four Corners- Students can choose one of four questions to answer, quotes to respond to, or problems to solve and move to the corresponding corner and discuss and/or collaborate with others there.

These are just a few of the many ways to keep teachers engaged in teaching and learning throughout the spring. Keep coaching alive!


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