A Teacher's Perspective: Peer Coaching
Peer coaching is great because you get a chance to sit down and talk about the school, talk about whatever strategies you have learned about in your professional development meeting that week. You have a chance to reflect on the experience of being a teacher, which is a huge relief.
It’s also really cool if you can do peer coaching with someone who’s close in proximity to you, either if it’s that they teach the same topic, or they teach the same grade level, or just that they’re in the same part of the school. Because, if you share something already, it’s easier to share more stuff.
I was the peer coach with the Science teacher just down the hall. And, she’d been teaching longer than I had been teaching; she did things very differently from how I did them. And, what I found when I was a peer coach was that the first thing I had to do was be appreciative. Don’t just go in and say, “here’s what we’re going to be learning about.” No. Go in, show curiosity, learn about that person. Find out how she likes to do things, learn about the way she organizes her folders, how she goes through the curriculum. Spending time finding out who she was as a teacher helped me ask better questions later when we shared instructional practices. It let me ask questions, and then make suggestions. It also helped me take suggestions from her. Our relationship-building right at the start allowed us to collaborate more meaningfully on instructional practices.