Building Strong Relationships with Teachers: A Comprehensive Guide for Instructional Coaches

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As an instructional coach, the ability to foster and maintain strong relationships with teachers is not just a desirable trait; it’s a fundamental necessity. These relationships form the cornerstone of impactful teacher decisions and student growth. The following strategies provide a comprehensive guide to building these vital connections:

1. Acknowledge and Celebrate Successes

Recognizing and applauding the good work that teachers are doing is more than a mere pat on the back. It’s a powerful way to build trust and demonstrate that you are genuinely invested in their success. Regularly highlighting their big and small achievements fosters a positive environment and encourages continuous improvement.

2. Maintain a Student-Centric Approach

Emphasizing that your primary goal is to support teachers in enhancing student learning creates a shared sense of purpose. It aligns your objectives with theirs and underscores that the ultimate focus is on student achievement. This alignment fosters collaboration and ensures all efforts are directed towards a common goal.

3. Understand the Individual Behind the Teacher

Building a relationship goes beyond knowing a teacher’s name and subject area. It involves delving into their values, beliefs, motivations, and personal interests. By understanding what drives them, you can tailor your approach and demonstrate that you see them as unique individuals, not just professionals.

4. Share Your Journey and Vision

Transparency about your own journey, including why you became an instructional coach and what your goals are, creates a connection on a personal level. It helps teachers understand your perspective and shows you are committed to a shared vision of success.

5. Be a Constant Presence

Availability is key to building relationships. Being visible in various school spaces, attending meetings, and regularly checking in with teachers shows that you value their time and are actively engaged in their professional development. It’s not just about being there; it’s about being accessible and approachable[4].

6. Adapt to Individual Needs

Different teachers have different needs, challenges, and learning styles. Learning how to differentiate your approach for each teacher shows empathy and understanding. It builds trust by demonstrating that you recognize their unique circumstances and are willing to adapt your methods to support them effectively.

Conclusion

Building relationships as an instructional coach is a complex and nuanced process that requires time, effort, empathy, and understanding. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach but a dynamic and evolving journey. By implementing these strategies, instructional coaches can create meaningful connections that lead to positive teacher decisions and, ultimately, enhance student growth.



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How to Use Google Drive in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide

In today’s digital age, the classroom is no longer confined to four walls. Educators can create a dynamic and collaborative learning environment with tools like Google Drive. This guide focuses on how to use Google Drive in the classroom, offering insights and tips to enhance teaching and learning experiences.

What is Google Drive, and Why Use It in the Classroom?

Google Drive is a cloud-based storage system that allows users to save, share, and collaborate on files. Here’s why it’s a game-changer for educators:

  1. Accessibility: Teachers and students can access files from anywhere, anytime.
  2. Collaboration: Work on documents simultaneously, fostering teamwork and creativity.
  3. Organization: Keep all classroom materials in one place, neatly organized.
  4. Integration: Seamlessly integrate with other Google tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
how to use google drive in the classroom
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Getting Started: How to Use Google Drive in the Classroom

Setting Up Google Drive

Access Google Drive by visiting drive.google.com. Teachers can also install Google Drive on their PCs or mobile devices for on-the-go access.

Creating and Organizing Folders

Create folders for different subjects, projects, or students. Customize them with colors for easy identification.

Uploading Teaching Materials

Drag and drop files or use the “New” button to upload lesson plans, presentations, worksheets, etc.

Sharing Resources with Students

Share files or folders with students by generating a link or inviting them via email. Set permissions to control editing or viewing rights.

Bestseller No. 1
Google Drive
  • Get access to files anywhere through secure cloud storage and file backup for your photos, videos, files and more with Google Drive.
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 2
The Google Workspace Bible: [14 in 1] The Ultimate All-in-One Guide from Beginner to Advanced | Including Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Every Other App from the Suite
  • Pascall, Robert G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 258 Pages – 03/07/2023 (Publication Date) – Zetra WebWorker (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
Mastering Google Drive: A Step-by-Step Handbook for Beginners to Streamline Your Workflow, Secure Your Data, and Collaborate with Ease
  • Pascall, Robert G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages – 06/30/2023 (Publication Date) – Zetra WebWorker (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 4
Google Drive Made Easy: Online Storage and Sharing the Easy Way (Productivity Apps Made Easy)
  • Bernstein, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 113 Pages – 08/25/2022 (Publication Date) – CME Publishing (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes: The unofficial guide to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets & Slides
  • Lamont, Ian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 104 Pages – 01/26/2021 (Publication Date) – In 30 Minutes Guides (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 6
Google Drive Reference and Cheat Sheet: The unofficial cheat sheet reference for Google Drive
  • hole punched
  • high quality card stock
  • 4 pages
  • made in USA
  • keyboard shortcuts
Bestseller No. 7
Google Drive Quick Reference Training Card – Laminated Tutorial Guide Cheat Sheet (Instructions and Tips)
  • TeachUcomp Inc (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 2 Pages – 09/09/2021 (Publication Date) – TeachUcomp Inc (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
GOOGLE PIXEL 8 AND 8 PRO USER GUIDE: Detailed Manual with Comprehensive Illustration on How to Setup and Use the Google Pixel 8 & 8 Pro (Android 14 Manual) With Tips and Tricks for Beginner and Senior
  • WHETZEL, SCOTT (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 205 Pages – 10/05/2023 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 9
Google Drive Quick Source Reference Guide
  • Quick Source (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 6 Pages – 03/01/2013 (Publication Date) – Quick Source (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 10
Google Drive & Docs in 30 Minutes (2nd Edition): The unofficial guide to the new Google Drive, Docs, Sheets & Slides
  • Lamont, Ian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages – 01/26/2015 (Publication Date) – In 30 Minutes Guides (Publisher)

Collaborative Learning with Google Drive

Collaborative Projects

Assign group projects where students can work together on the same document, encouraging collaboration and critical thinking.

Real-Time Feedback

Provide real-time feedback on students’ work by adding comments directly in the documents.

Classroom Portfolios

Students can create digital portfolios within Google Drive, showcasing their work throughout the year.

Tips for Using Google Drive in the Classroom

  1. Set Clear Guidelines: Teach students how to use Google Drive responsibly and set clear guidelines for collaboration.
  2. Use Templates: Create templates for common assignments to streamline the process.
  3. Explore Add-Ons: Utilize add-ons and extensions that integrate with Google Drive to enhance functionality.
  4. Monitor Collaborations: Keep track of changes and contributions by using the “Version History” feature.

Conclusion: Embrace Digital Learning with Google Drive

How to use Google Drive in the classroom is a question with an exciting array of answers. From fostering collaboration to organizing resources, Google Drive offers a plethora of opportunities to enhance the learning experience.

Teachers can create a more engaging, interactive, and organized learning environment by integrating Google Drive into the classroom. It’s not just about storing files; it’s about creating a dynamic space where education thrives.



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Best New Books for Teachers September 2023

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September is coming, and you know what that means – a fresh start to the academic year and a chance to revamp your teaching toolkit. It’s also the perfect time to dive into some inspiring new reads that can transform your classroom experience. Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or just starting your journey, the right books can be your best friends, mentors, and even your daily dose of motivation.

So, what’s cooking in the literary world this September 2023? We’ve scoured the shelves, talked to the experts, and even sneaked a peek into some classrooms to bring you the absolute BEST new books for teachers. These aren’t just any books; they’re game-changers, filled with innovative ideas, practical strategies, and heartwarming stories that will resonate with educators of all stripes.

Ready to discover your next favorite book and take your teaching to the next level? Buckle up, because this list is packed with gems you won’t want to miss. Let’s dive in!

Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal by Bettina L. Love

Dr. Bettina Love argues that Reagan’s War on Drugs ushered in a War on Black Children, pathologizing and penalizing them. She makes her case through the real lives of 25 Black Americans and sets out a roadmap to help repair the damage.

Sale
Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal
  • Hardcover Book
  • Love, Bettina L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 09/12/2023 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)

Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World by Devorah Heitner

The kids in your classrooms live their lives in a public way we could never have imagined a few decades ago. This book is a must-read for parents and teachers who need to help them navigate today’s social media-driven world in a way that’s safe and supportive.

Sale
Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World
  • Hardcover Book
  • Heitner, Devorah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 09/12/2023 (Publication Date) – TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates by Katie Barnes

Title IX brought important changes to schools, especially when it came to sports. But clearly, the gender debates in sports (and the world in general) are far from over. This book evaluates multiple sides of the sensitive issue of transgender and intersex participation in sports and offers potential solutions. School sports coaches will find a lot to consider in this compelling read.

Sale
Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates
  • Hardcover Book
  • Barnes, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 09/19/2023 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)


The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

The Top 7 Professional Development Books for Teachers

In the ever-evolving education landscape, continuous professional development is crucial for teachers striving to enhance their skills and improve student outcomes. As educators, we are always seeking resources that can inspire and guide us through the challenges of modern teaching. Professional development books are an invaluable asset, offering insights, strategies, and perspectives that can transform our teaching practices and reinvigorate our passion for education.

In this blog post, we highlight seven must-read professional development books that every teacher should consider adding to their reading list. From understanding the power of vulnerability to implementing equitable grading practices, these books cover various topics designed to support and empower educators. Whether you are looking to foster a more inclusive classroom, engage students through culturally responsive teaching, or explore innovative educational practices, these books provide practical advice and inspiration.

Each book in this list has been carefully selected for its relevance, impact, and ability to address current educational challenges. We delve into the key takeaways and reasons why these books are essential reads for teachers committed to professional growth and student success. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable spot, and get ready to explore some transformative reads that will enrich your teaching journey.

Professional Development Books for Teachers
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1. “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown

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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Hardcover Book
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 09/11/2012 (Publication Date) – Avery (Publisher)
  • Overview: Brené Brown explores the concept of vulnerability, challenging the idea that it is a weakness. She argues that vulnerability is a path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connections.
  • Key Takeaways: Understanding and embracing vulnerability can transform teaching practices and classroom management, fostering a more engaging and empathetic learning environment.
  • Reasons to Read: This book helps teachers develop stronger relationships with their students and colleagues by promoting authenticity and courage in the classroom

2. “Street Data” by Shane Safir and Jamil Dugan

Sale
Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation
  • Safir, Shane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 282 Pages – 03/09/2021 (Publication Date) – Corwin (Publisher)
  • Overview: Shane Safir and Jamil Dugan propose a new approach to data usage in education, focusing on qualitative data that captures student experiences and voices.
  • Key Takeaways: The authors provide a framework for using “street data” to create more equitable and responsive educational practices.
  • Reasons to Read: This book is valuable for educators and administrators seeking to transform their schools by centering student voices and experiences in their data practices​

3. “The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation” by Elena Aguilar

Sale
The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation
  • Aguilar, Elena (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 03/04/2013 (Publication Date) – Jossey-Bass (Publisher)
  • Overview: Targeting instructional coaches and leaders, this professional development book offers insights into emotional intelligence and collaboration.
  • Why Buy: If you’re in a leadership role, this book will equip you with the tools for transformative education.

4. “The Power of Place: Authentic Learning Through Place-Based Education” by Tom Vander Ark, Emily Liebtag, and Nate McClennen

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The Power of Place: Authentic Learning Through Place-Based Education
  • Vander Ark, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 150 Pages – 03/09/2020 (Publication Date) – ASCD (Publisher)
  • Overview: This book explores place-based education, where learning is deeply connected to the local environment and community.
  • Key Takeaways: The authors provide examples and strategies for integrating place-based learning into the curriculum, making education more relevant and engaging.
  • Reasons to Read: Teachers interested in making learning more meaningful and connected to students’ lives will find this book a valuable resource for implementing place-based education​

5. “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too” by Christopher Emdin

Sale
For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education (Race, Education, and Democracy)
  • Emdin, Christopher (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages – 01/03/2017 (Publication Date) – Beacon Press (Publisher)
  • Overview: Christopher Emdin shares his experiences and insights on teaching in urban schools, offering practical advice for educators working in diverse settings.
  • Key Takeaways: The book emphasizes the importance of cultural competence and reality pedagogy in engaging and supporting all students.
  • Reasons to Read: Educators will benefit from Emdin’s strategies for creating more inclusive and effective learning environments in urban schools​

6. “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain” by Zaretta Hammond

Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
  • Hammond, Zaretta L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages – 12/01/2014 (Publication Date) – Corwin (Publisher)
  • Overview: Zaretta Hammond combines neuroscience and culturally responsive teaching to offer strategies that enhance student engagement and achievement.
  • Key Takeaways: The book includes ten key moves for teachers to make in diverse classrooms, helping students connect and thrive.
  • Reasons to Read: This book is essential for educators who want to understand and implement culturally responsive teaching practices, improving educational outcomes for all students​

7.“Grading for Equity” by Joe Feldman

Sale
Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms
  • Feldman, Joe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 344 Pages – 09/20/2023 (Publication Date) – Corwin (Publisher)
  • Overview: Joe Feldman addresses the inconsistencies and biases in traditional grading systems and offers strategies for more equitable assessment practices.
  • Key Takeaways: The book provides practical ideas for creating grading systems that promote fairness and support student learning and growth.
  • Reasons to Read: Educators looking to reform their grading practices will find valuable insights on how to implement equitable assessments that benefit all students

Conclusion

The world of education is ever-changing, and professional development books for teachers are essential tools to navigate this dynamic landscape. These top 7 professional development books for teachers offer diverse insights and strategies to cater to different needs and teaching styles. Whether you’re looking to inspire, innovate, or introspect, there’s a book on this list for you. Invest in your professional growth today with these exceptional reads. Happy teaching!



The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

How Small Are We…

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.

Carl Sagan

The new school year rapidly approaches. We all have big plans. So do our students. Ultimately, our big plans just aren’t that big on the grand scale of the universe.

Remember, all we have is each other. We are on this journey together, all of us. And all we have to carry us through the day is the love of family and friends.

Enjoy this new school year, and keep in mind what really matters.



The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

Accessing Education: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Online Learning

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A recently published paper explores the challenges and opportunities for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in online and hybrid learning. The study found that online and hybrid learning both supports and presents challenges to EDI, and that pedagogy and course design must be considered as a first step in addressing some of the challenges to EDI.

The study also found that further student support is needed to facilitate equity, diversity, and inclusion in online learning.

Overall, the paper highlights the importance of addressing EDI in online and hybrid learning and offers several recommendations for doing so.

These recommendations include:

  • Prioritizing the implementation of policies that support equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Considering the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to ensure that course materials are accessible to all learners.
  • Providing training for instructors to use UDL principles to design and deliver courses that are inclusive and accessible to all learners.
  • Providing support for learners who face challenges related to access, such as those with learning differences and/or disabilities, or those who live in underserved, remote/rural communities.
  • Engaging with reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenization as part of the pursuit of EDI goals.
Sale
UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes
  • Novak, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages – 05/29/2021 (Publication Date) – Impress (Publisher)

The paper also highlights the need for further student support to facilitate equity, diversity, and inclusion in online learning, and encourages readers to engage with reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenization as part of the pursuit of EDI goals.



The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

3 Pillars of High-quality Blended Learning

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Catlin Tucker continues to lead the way in blended learning. Her most recent post outlines the three pillars of high-quality blended learning.

Tucker describes the three pillars of successful blended learning are student agency, differentiation, and control over the learning pace. Student agency involves giving students meaningful choices in their learning process, such as content-based choices on subjects or topics and process-based decisions on learning approaches or resources, fostering a sense of responsibility and engagement.

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The Complete Guide to Blended Learning: Activating Agency, Differentiation, Community, and Inquiry for Students (Essential guide to strategies and … student learning in blended environments)
  • Catlin R. Tucker (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages – 07/05/2022 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

Differentiation, the second pillar, requires adjusting teaching methods to address each student’s unique needs and abilities. This could involve varying assignments based on proficiency levels or providing structured guides for students who need additional support. The final pillar is student control over the pace of learning. Misalignment between the pace of learning and the learner’s needs can lead to disengagement or distraction; therefore, granting students autonomy over the speed at which they learn enhances engagement and success. By integrating these pillars, educators can create robust blended learning environments, enhancing student engagement and improving educational outcomes.