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.