Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Rewind five years ago.

I am a rookie teacher in the small city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania at Loyalsock Township Middle School and I sit, frantically checking my email to catch up on the busy day. Daily bulletin…athletic eligibility…and then, an opportunity to become an instructional coach! A what? Like most young teachers, I jumped at any opportunity to get my feet in the door. I quickly learned what it meant to be a teacher leader through instructional coaching.

I was determined to change lunch room talk into teacher talk. I wanted to transform traditional learning experiences into 21st century learning opportunities. I wanted to reach everystudent in every classroom. I wanted to affect change.

Fast-forward to today.

John Hattie (2009) mentions that one must believe with the “mindset that we can affect change” (p. 6). As a young teacher, I walked into this opportunity wanting to be part of something bigger. The only problem:  I didn’t know where to begin. After building relationships, working with my PIIC mentor and attending numerous PIIC workshops and even the statewide PLO, it’s evident that I am part of something bigger. I was given an inch, but I’ve gone a mile. I’m affecting change within the classroom, the building, and the district.

John Hattie challenges my thinking with three simple words:  know thy impact. Being an instructional coach has taught me my impact. I went into this position expecting to lead change. Yet, teachers are impacting my coaching daily. I’ve learned that being a change agent is not just about a coach leading change, but rather, sometimes true coaching takes place leading from behind the scenes. It’s a reciprocal effect—a true coaching model.

I have chosen to become a change agent. It’s in the way I walk; it’s in the way I talk, it’s in the way I teach. A coach is a coach in everything he or she does.

I coach through my teaching failures and humilities.  I coach thinking outside-the-box. I coach with a growth mindset. I coach for change.

As the coaching culture grows in our building, change is inevitable. Positive change is occurring in our building—teachers and students. As a collaborative team (administrators, instructional coach and teachers), we work together to build a scaffold approach to our Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). As a team, we create individualized learning plans for students based off of classroom data. As a team, we are transforming education for our students. We are leading from within.

Five years ago I accepted the role as an instructional coach not knowing what to expect. Today, I am an instructional coach. I am a teacher leader. I am a change agent. Tomorrow we all grow!

Zegarac, G. (2013). Know Thy Impact: Teaching, Learning and Leading. In Conversation , IV (2), 18.pexels-photo-636246.jpeg

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