I recently presented a mid-year review of my learning coach role to my staff. Some of the trends that I noticed, and reported, I found to be quite interesting.
In terms of teacher/student needs, issues such as student anxiety, ELL, attention challenges and high/low academics have been forefront. While some of these are of no surprise to me, the prevalence of some (such as anxiety) is quite shocking. The teachers, however, have been amazing at recognizing and identifying these issues and seeking assistance. Working together with these teachers (through several different grade levels), we were able to implement quite a variety of strategies. Soon, it became evident that the strategies that we hoped would help our highly anxious students were actually helping many more in the class. This was such a good example of teachers recognizing the need for improving environments, rather than ignoring the situation or becoming overwhelmed.
In my own self-reflection of this process, it was also exciting to note that not only these individual classes and teachers benefitted from this collaboration, but it also contributed to the recognition of this trend as being school-wide (which led to an anxiety-based school pd). In my own mind, this opened up a whole new facet of my learning coach role: to see the student and consider the bigger picture of the class, to see the class and consider the bigger picture of the school. Sometimes when we work as individuals, that “bigger picture” may be lost.