As the school year comes to an end, it is a great time for reflection. As a Wolfpack Works literacy coach, there is much to reflect on as our “pilot” year with teachers and students come to a close. As I sit back and unpack the journey that began 11 months ago, there are two areas that transformed the work that I did as a coach: building relationships and implementing digital tools in my coaching work.
Building relationships is at the core of coaching work. As a Wolfpack Works coach, building these relationships was imperative because of our “distance” coaching model (we worked with teachers both face-face and remotely). Building relationships happened organically and over time by connecting to the “hearts” of my beginning teachers and identifying with them on a personal and professional level. We have created relationships that make coaching conversations safe and very impactful. Next year, I will continue to foster and nourish these relationships as we continue our work in literacy.
Digital tools for coaching were not components that I immediately implemented when my distance coaching journey began. I actually shied away from these tools in the beginning of my work. I thought that my knowledge and experience in coaching would make up for the distance and that digital coaching platforms would not be necessary. I was so wrong! Once I plowed through my fear of the unknown and embraced such programs as Zoom and GoReact, it took my coaching work to another level. As I reflect on my resistance to using digital tools for coaching, I realize the importance of starting with these tools at the very beginning of next school year with my new and returning teachers. I want the use of technology for coaching to be a key part of my coaching work.
This year as a Wolfpack Works coach has been very rewarding. It has stretched my coaching capacity and allowed me to use my strengths and expertise to coach and partner with beginning teachers to improve literacy instruction. As I look forward to next year and begin to plan, I can’t help but reflect on how grateful I am to be part of an important project that will impact K-2 literacy instruction in North Carolina.
Wolfpack WORKS Literacy Coach