Tag Archives: Coaching


17 Mar


It has been a massive week here at school with one thing and another. As I walked away on Friday I ticked over 54 hours in school for the week. No violins please it is the job and I love it.  I thought about meetings though as I was driving home. Here are some pieces of GOLD.

PIECE OF GOLD #1: Never have a meeting run more than an hour.

Research tells us that adults need to switch up activities every 5-20 minutes to stay engaged. This will give you at least four different topics to discuss during your meeting. Your audience will not be able to mentally digest any more than this.

PIECE OF GOLD #2: Turn your meetings into work sessions.

If you ask educators what they need more of, often they will say time. Teachers need time to grade, plan, and analyse assessment data. SLT need time work on strategic plans, balance budgets, and analyse formative and summative assessments, among other tasks. Turning your meetings into work sessions to complete these essential tasks will benefit everyone. Plus, it will make everyone more productive, and more collaborative. It will also make them happier.

PIECE OF GOLD #3: Try flipping your meeting.

The flipped classroom concept has been around for years. Teachers preparing content online and letting their students work on it at their own pace instead of needless lecturing has shown to be very effective. Why not run your meetings the same way? After all, educational leaders should be modelling research-based strategies. Bringing in instructional technology will create excitement and intrigue.

PIECE OF GOLD #4: Cancel your meeting if it is not needed.

If you have nothing to meet about, please do everyone a favour and cancel the meeting. There is nothing wrong with sending out information via email.

PIECE OF GOLD #5: Prioritize Mentoring or Coaching Meetings.

These are vital for go forward.




26 Jun


I am currently doing a great deal of mentoring in my role as Leader of the Curriculum group.The word ‘mentor’ comes from a Hungarian word, ‘bus’, which means helping people move. Mentoring is a way of leading and learning, and a mentor is someone who takes the time to have focused conversations with others to help them maximise their capabilities. Mentoring is about creating the conditions for learning and growing. It is the process of Ako.

Teachers are used to being the authorities and possessing the answers. The role has now changed for them now to be facilitators as students can Google the answers a great deal quicker. However, if we want teachers to take ownership for their learning, the mentor cannot be the expert, as this creates learned helplessness on the part of the mentored teachers. The primary responsibility for learning must rest on the shoulders of those doing the learning, and it is the mentor’s role to facilitate the learning and to build capacity.

The danger with mentoring lies in the perceived need for the mentor to appear brilliant, to be seen to have all the answers. When mentors are focused on looking wonderfully clever, they do not listen long enough. They summarize and interpret and direct far too early in the session. Mentors need to realize that the brilliant person is the client. The mentor’s job is to help the client discover that.

Try the WIN technique this week if you are involved in mentoring. Establish and prioritize: What’s Important Now. Thank you for your feedback. Let me know if this works as well for you as it has for me.


5 Points for Curriculum Leaders

9 Aug


  1. Keep Your Goals to the Forefront

 “All learners benefit from and should receive instruction that reflects clarity about purposes and priorities of content” (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006, p. 6).

  1. Curriculum Development Is A Process

You know that I often write about process. Curriculum mapping is an ongoing process which asks teachers to develop curriculum goals, identify essential content, skills and concepts, and reflect on the taught curriculum.  When teacher teams become satisfied with the product, then the process is at risk.  Curriculum development is “an ongoing process that asks teachers and administrators to think, act, and meet differently to improve their students’ learning”

(Hale, 2008, p. 8).  

  1. Communication Is Essential

Curriculum gaps create a barrier for student learning and have a detrimental effect on students’ opportunity to learn.  Gaps are created by a lack of communication among educators, varying implementation practices, available resources, and decisions about pacing.

  1. All by Myself

Empowering others is one of the main roles of curriculum leaders.  If you are feeling lonely at the top, take a moment to reflect on why no one seems to be following.

  1. Data

Curriculum leaders understand that curriculum alignment consists of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  Without a method of measurement, then it is highly unlikely that the curriculum will be implemented across classrooms. Use your data to drive where you want to go.

Read this article then go to Middle Leaders on TKI.


Anderson, L.W. (2002). Curricular Alignment: A Re-Examination. Theory into Practice, 41, 225-260.

Hale, J.A. (2008). A guide to curriculum mapping: Planning, implementing, and sustaining the process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Steller, A.W. (1985). Forward. In Beane, J.A. (Ed.), Toward a coherent curriculum. The 1985 ASCD Yearbook. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  

Tomlinson, C.A., & McTighe, J. (2006). Integrating differentiated instruction and understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Book Review

27 Jun

Find a book that can help you change the way you do ONE thing next year. I recently read “Leverage Leadership” and can’t wait to sit down with my peers and talk about the coaching piece that I read about. In the book, they talk about priority scheduling what matters most. As a teacher, I was most passionate about our campfire talks. It was an opportunity for my students and I to just sit and chat. If I remembered to write it on my lesson plans, then it was way more likely to happen. In the same sense, I am going to be very intentional with my teacher coaching. I’m going to create a schedule and stick to it! Developing a yearlong guide that will systematically–and systemically– be effective will make me more cognizant of my role, empowering teachers!

Connecting With Students

8 Sep

At present I am doing Year 6 interviews along with the rest of the Senior Leadership Team. I find these insightful in a number of ways and I enjoy the look of wonder on student’s faces as they start their journey at our school. I would in no way say that I was perfect in the way I carry out my role and definitely would change some things that I do. I’m hoping that the areas I’ve identified below will help both me and you do better.

1. Connect with students.

I enjoy being on crossing duty in the afternoon. It gives me the chance to think and have a positive contact with all the students, as they leave. I see this as touching hearts. It could be cold, or detached, at first, but then I started seeing this as an opportunity to really connect with students. Not only could you get to know the student better, but you could see problems before they started and diffuse them. I went from hating supervision to seeing this as the best part of my day; it is all about perspective. As the kids leave, be outside again, check in on them, and say goodbye. The same could be said for being involved in extra curricula activities.

Mock exams are coming up at school, teachers do the supervision, and it can be time consuming. I remember seeing this as a pain because you stand for an hour but it is a good time to reflect. It is an insight to see large groups of students in the learning environment.

 2. Be positive.

I want students to see my office as a place where they could come, talk, and grow. My goal is to ensure that I talked to kids and got to know them so that if they ever did end up in my office, I already had established a relationship with them. Some of these relationships could have been built on the sports field or simply at the crossing, as they leave each day.

3. Be there.

Students need to know you will be there for them, especially when they have a problem. Eventually, stories will come out, they relax, feel at ease with you, so then follow up with, “If you were me, what would you do?” I do this a lot. Students usually know the right thing to do

4. Keep your sense of humour.

Students get this. People get this. It lightens the mood.

5. Get amongst it.

I still think that with classroom teaching, team coaching and simply being among the students, to a great degree, you solve many issues with crop up with students.

6. Show you love teaching and the students.

The majority of educators get into teaching because they love kids. Imagine how much more you can get from them in their learning when you display this. This is not just for relationships with students, but in any relationship in your life. Be open to showing students how much you care about them. Be their advocate. Care about them. This comes down to basic Gospel values in Matthew 6:21


Just for Fun…

Love this Japanese Doctor!

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.


Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Fruit very good. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Grain good too. Bottoms up!


Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can’t think of one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain…good!


Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?


Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!


Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.


Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!


Well… I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride!!”


For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Brits.


CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you…!




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