Four years ago a single tweet changed everything! As an instructional coach I was looking for others in similar positions to add to my Twitter PLN. I had witnessed first hand the power of Twitter and the various Twitter Chats that were populating the landscape. Yet, I had not found one specific for instructional coaches.
Let me begin by saying, I am from Iowa and I have a “Build it and they will come mindset.” (Field of Dreams) In May of 2011, I sent a tweet inquiring if anyone would like to help start a chat for instructional coaches. In a matter of minutes two wonderful members of my PLN, Jessica Johnson (aka PrincipalJ) and Shira Leibowitz, stepped up and #educoach was born. We held our first chat on July 27, 2011. You can read the transcripts of that chat and many others on our wiki. From that day forward, Jessica, Shira, and I have co-moderated our favorite hour of the week. We’ve supported each other in our own growth and development as instructional leaders and continually strive to stay focused on our own book vision!
Each Wednesday for the past 4 years we have been joined by others around the globe interested in instructional coaching. I am in awe of the wealth of talent, passion, and dedication of each who attend. This surge of commitment to the craft of instructional coaching and to the teachers/students served provides me the energy to finish out the week STRONG!
As I read back over the transcripts of our first chat (best read from bottom to top) on July 27, 2011 I can’t help but need to pinch myself. Did Jim Knight, Steve Barkley and Todd Whitaker actually join us on our maiden chat – YES THEY DID! And it was clear they were ready to grow with us and provide words of wisdom. Jim was looking for video recording devices other than the FLIP camera. Could that have been preparation for his recently published book Focus on Teaching: Using Video for High-Impact Instruction? Steve reminded us to coach the coachable and mentioned his book on instructional coaching was coming out soon (Instructional Coaching with the End in Mind) – ironically this summer’s #educoach book study focus. And Todd was quick to share words of advice and make everyone felt valued. #educoach is honored to receive support from so many that have contributed to the instructional coaching world! And I have to wonder, how many times have Jim Knight and Steve Barkley joined us from in-flight or from a visiting city/country!
#educoach is still going strong. We chat most every Wednesday at 9pm CST. (We do take a few Wednesday’s off near holidays). We are a topic driven chat. Most Sunday’s a topic poll is tweeted. Results are reviewed on Tuesday and a topic is chosen. From behind the scenes Jessica, Shira and I develop a variety of questions to engage the participants. Each chat is full of thoughts to reflect upon, ideas to implement, and resources to review. We often mention that Amazon must love Wednesday nights as much as we do!
One of my favorite chats actually came when none of the moderators could attend. The chat was cancelled at the last minute but participant took it upon themselves to chat anyway – another build it and they will come moment.
We turn 4 on Monday, July 27. We will be holding our celebratory chat on August 12. Join us for a night of fun. We are currently in the process of gathering DOOR PRIZES that will be given away during the chat. We’d love to hear your thoughts about #educoach. Feel free to respond to any of the question prompts on this form.
We also have a Voxer group that we’d like to become more active. Let us know if you’d like to join. AND we are excited to be starting to use REMIND to remind followers of upcoming #educoach chat topics and continually grow our support for one another. Our REMIND class code is @educoach4u.
Here is an infographic I made for an earlier post titled New Learning: Infographic … now what? that tells our #educoach history! We’ve had 4 great years of providing a community for instructional coaches to gain support. We’ve met many friends along the way and we are looking forward to the many years to come!
THANK YOU to all who participate in #educoach. YOU make it a GREAT CHAT – one that often TRENDS on Wednesday evenings!