Thursday, September 22, 2016

"You must go slow to go fast"

After attending ISTE & Tots for Tech this summer I had a vision and numerous ideas of things I wanted to implement in MY dream classroom ... then I remembered, it is not my classroom.  With my change in position (which I LOVE), I had to change my mindset from the start.

Me, being me, I wanted to share all of my ideas with my collaborating teacher and have her incorporate everything on day one.  Quickly learning this wasn't going to work, I learned the most important coaching lesson thus far: "You have to go slow to go fast"

Four weeks later, we are making progress!

Step 1: Alternative Seating.  So far we have purchased exercise balls and core seats.  The kids absolutely LOVE it!  It makes a world of difference for our students who are now more attentive and focused on their learning.  Other teachers on our campus have followed suit and have also seen a decrease in behaviors and an increase student learning.  Who knew something so small could make such a big change in the classroom environment?  At open house, parents were so excited to try our new seating options!  Their one complaint: "Why can't we have alternative seating for ALL of the kids?"  

Step 2: Flexible Grouping.  Each week teachers on our 4th and 1st grade teams are regrouping their students based on student needs.  The goal is to meet each student at their level and provide focused instruction.  Stay tuned for our results!

Step 3: It's Learning.  I am currently working with a few teachers, including my collaborating teacher, to get everything set up for student use.  Hopefully we will be rolling this out with the kids soon!

Now that my mindset has changed, I can see one of the best parts of my new position: I have the opportunity to see a lot of classrooms, obtain new ideas, collaborate with a lot of people, and share my knowledge with everyone on our campus!  We are off to a great start & I can't wait to see where we go from here!


  1. Sensing you have embraced your new role and are looking through a different lens. Sounds like the flexible seating is a hit with everyone. I wonder if the students might be able to share some insights into how the seating options help them focus on learning. I'm really curious... (Hoping you can also grab a few pictures! Looking forward to learning how your collaborating teacher might be shifting some instructional practices to include choice since she is providing choice in seating....

    You have probably stepped into the coaching role sooner than most fellows. It sounds as if being a listener and finding pathways to small changes is really working. Thanks for providing your insights in the role.

  2. The power of coaching is that you can pull in so many different ideas - it is all about sharing and collaborating! Keep taking those baby steps and looking for the rays of sunshine!