Lean and Supportive


Melanie Meehan, in her blog post today, included several quotes from Shana Frazin, a Teachers College Staff Developer. One of the quotes made me stop and think…

“Have coaching be lean and supportive. How do those two things co-exist?”

Wow! Great question!

Right now, I’m in a coaching cycle with a wonderful fifth grade teacher. We are working together to help her students, who are struggling with main idea. We defined our coaching cycle after Diane Sweeney’s model in Student-Centered Coaching.

Data was gathered. We planned our first week of instruction based on the data. The two of us employ a co-teaching model two days of the week. After reflecting on the lessons and formative data from that week, we plan for the next week. This process is repeated until the summative assessment is given.

I think the “lean” is that I am in the classroom only two days of the week, and I choose to take a minor role in the instruction. When we are planning, I give fewer suggestions and ask more questions.

The “supportive” is the weekly reflection and planning. Purposefully, I want us to work diligently to think about what we saw students doing rather than how the instruction made us feel.

Shoring means “to support with or as if with a prop.” So, I guess I see myself shoring those I work with. An example of a prop might be providing questions in some instances. At other times, it might be an idea. And for some, it might be resources to make an idea come to life.

I must admit, I’m still learning to be “lean and supportive” and to see the delicate balance between the two.


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