Resource creation. Collaborative conversations. Goal setting plans. Taking phone calls, reading emails, and sending texts. Distance coaching meetings over ZOOM. Watching classroom videos in GoReact. Poring over books written by experts named Augilar, Burkins, Calkins, and Knight. And laughter. A LOT of laughter. If you were to walk into our bright, modern, and open project space on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, these are just some of the things you would see.
My name is Jack Bates, and I serve as the project manager for the Wolfpack WORKS initiative here at NC State. Every day, our team of twenty literacy coaches is hard at work becoming better at the art of literacy coaching. Through weekly team meetings, independent study, one-on-one conversations, monitoring teacher progress, and engaging in a team book study, our literacy coaches demonstrate incredible commitment to their work. Alongside their colleagues, coaches listen,
discuss, read, think, learn, and reflect on their practice. And after reflecting on what’s been learned, our team considers why these lessons matter and how this newfound knowledge applies to coaching beginning teachers. This ongoing exchange of wisdom, experience, and knowledge is truly powerful to witness.
The talent of our coaches is on display every time they interact with their beginning teachers. Whether supporting teachers remotely or traveling to schools for in-person visits, our literacy coaches offer guidance and resources on topics such as conducting morning meetings; facilitating small group reading instruction; choosing the best books for large group “read alouds”; and how to engage and encourage young writers.
Winston Churchill once said, “we make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give”. For the Wolfpack WORKS Literacy Coaches, their efforts to support beginning teachers as they teach reading and writing means much, much more than merely making a living.