Dear Instructional Coaches: Teaching Staff Woes

Tip #1: Be mindful of your own window of tolerance. 

When you are within your window of tolerance, you feel like you are able to deal with whatever is coming your way. We have the ability to show up for ourselves during difficult moments, and show up for our students when they are struggling. However, when you experience stress, your window of tolerance shrinks and it is easier for you to become dysregulated. 

When we are outside our window of tolerance, our reactions to student behavior can negatively impact our students. If you feel like you have moments like this, consider who your go-to person is. Who in your building will build you up and can help be a positive, productive problem solver. Find solution-focused people to help see your situation from different angles.  

Lindsey B with De-Escalation in mind

Tip #2: Focus on documenting the four PLC questions to set goals and priorities as a team. 

The PLC questions provide a framework and process for teams to use to digest a large amount of information. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the PLC process gives you a starting point. For example, if your essential standards are done (Question 1), then move into designing assessments with your team. How will you check student progress, what worked in one class vs. another, etc. If you’ve assessed, you can move into reteaching and extension as needed.

The PLC framework is just that – a framework for taking large tasks around instruction and making them more approachable. Figure out what information you have to determine what you need to do next.

Looking to Googlfy your PLC process? Learn more here.

Brian Bennett with the best PLC practices

Tip #3: Utilize the Employee Assistance Program.

Elkhart Community Schools offers all employees and family members living in their households an Employee Assistance Program with New Avenues, Inc. New Avenues offers confidential counseling through a network of licensed clinicians located close to your home or workplace. These trained employees are ready to help you deal with family or work/life issues that may be causing your life to feel out of balance. 

There are 4 face-to-face EAP sessions per employee family member per contract year (August 1st through July 31st). How do I access my face-to-face EAP sessions? Just call New Avenues at 800-731-6501 or 574-232-2131. Select option #2. Services are strictly confidential and there is no out-of-pocket cost to you or your family members. 

-Learn more about this program on page 19 of our employee benefits handbook, found here.