Ed tech coaches wear many hats. But, no matter the size or the level of technological sophistication in your school, your most important role as a coach is supporting teachers. This can include one-on-one training sessions, guest or co-teaching, encouraging peer collaboration and more.
One of the biggest challenges many ed tech coaches face is setting the right expectations with both teachers and administrators, so that they understand your role. You must build trust early on and let teachers know that you ’re on their side. You must also make it clear that you’re more than an IT professional and you’re not a demo person or a liaison between teachers and the administration.
Here are three quick tips from veteran ed tech coaches andISTE 2015 presenters Lynne Horiuchi and Sara Frey:
1. Build relationships with teachers and establish trust early on.
Not all of your interactions with teachers need to be tech related. Engage with them on a personal level or find something you have in common to build rapport and trust. Be careful not to give the “I’m here to fix you” vibe, and show them that you really are on their side.
2. Showcase the ed tech successes that are happening just down the hall and encourage peer collaboration.
“The knowledge is next to you,” says Sara Frey. Teachers in your school may already be doing some innovative things with technology in their classrooms. Acknowledge these successes and encourage teachers to share them with one another.
3. Make it clear that you are a colleague, not an administrator.
Do your best to support teachers without becoming the liaison between them and administrators. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t advocate for teachers with administrators when necessary. If you have trouble matching up your schedule with a teacher’s, don’t be afraid to get the administration involved and ask them to have a class covered for a teacher so they can sit down with you and learn.