By Ellen Eisenberg

By Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching (PIIC)

Monday, July 21, 2014

So now your summer vacation has probably started and you are beginning to unwind and re-focus your attention to things that you have been delaying all year. Maybe it’s about cleaning closets, or repotting plants or even re-connecting with folks that have been absent from your regular conversations. Whatever the goal, I’m sure you still have flashbacks about the things you wanted to do in school, things you wanted to get back to but never had the time to finish. That’s the plight of the classroom teacher, coach, mentor or administrator… it’s difficult to leave everything behind when you’ve spent the entire year trying to accomplish some school wide goals and your own professional goals as well.

Put things into perspective… what did I accomplish; what is incomplete and why; and what did I learn about accomplishing those goals? Once I answer those questions, I can put to rest the nagging doubts about the successes with my colleagues and how I will move forward. I need to reflect and refine, repurpose and re-evaluate what I want to do. And, I need to prioritize my goals so that I have a short range goal, mid-range goal, and a long range goal with appropriate, realistic strategies to accomplish them.

While you are sipping your coffee at the park, in a playground, or in your backyard, celebrate the milestones and think about how much you’ve learned regarding your teaching colleagues, administrators, and school transformation. Build on those successes and maybe even not such successes and take one step at a time. Just keep a notebook by your side to jot down thoughts that you want to remember about effective instructional practice and your coaching role!

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