Today's post is brought to you by Penny Antell.
The Rolls Roles of a Literacy Coach
Where does one begin, with no job description that can truly ever contain the tasks a literacy coach is involved in, the job becomes all encompassing. This is awesome! It allows me, as a coach to reach farther, stretch and learn in new ways, and forces me to think outside the box while problem solving with teaching staff.
So, let’s begin with a few adjectives and verbs to define the roles of a literacy coach: supportive, flexible, creative, leader, listener, follower, cheerleader, friend, empathizer, data collector and analyzer, comforter, observer, teacher, learner, and guide.
I would add to these terms baker and cook as well. I find when I provide treats to my team, there is a comfort that comes along with this. The comfort provided through sustenance for my teachers and therapy for me as I am preparing the rolls, muffins, cookies, granola, etc.
Coaching is truly a job of service and growth for all involved. The quote “It takes a village to educate a child,” fits well in the realm of coaching. Everyone has different strengths and areas that can be further developed which they bring to the table for discussion and learning. The literacy coach has the opportunity to strengthen weaknesses through modeling in classrooms, meeting with teams of teachers to discuss data trends, celebrations and concerns, to open the door to talking about what best practice instruction involves, and introduce new learning. Through modeling, observing and guiding instruction, areas where confidence is lacking are strengthened and areas of strength are shored up to higher levels. While working with teachers, coaches listen for the unspoken as well as to the clearly stated beliefs and values the teachers hold. They build on this with each teacher through careful listening, and carefully selected language. They build relationships with the staff developing trust through their interactions. They celebrate successes and grieve losses together, but more than anything, coaches support, guide, lead and teach. By teaching and guiding teachers, a larger audience is being impacted. Coaches have the unique role of creating shift among a vast population by working with those who are working writing our future.
Yes, it takes a community to teach a child the ways he should go. Sometimes, as a coach, I represent each of these hands depending upon the setting/purpose of the current situation. However, I could not do this job alone. I need the community of learners at my side to learn and grow with me. Together we make a difference and all roles are filled.