How Instructional Coaches Support Hardiness in Teachers

An instructional coach meeting with a teacher

Hey there, fellow educators! Have you ever felt like teaching is like trying to juggle a dozen balls at once? Well, you’re not alone. Teaching is tough, and we face challenges every single day. From managing our classrooms to keeping up with new technologies and curriculum changes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But here’s the thing: resilience isn’t just a nice-to-have trait – it’s an absolute must! That’s where hardiness comes in (Bartone, 2007). Let’s take a journey together into the world of hardiness in teaching, learning from experts like Paul Bartone, Jim Knight, Steve Barkley, and more. Together, we’ll explore how instructional coaches support hardiness in teachers, what hardiness means for us educators, and discover some practical strategies that instructional coaches like me can use to support you every step of the way.

Understanding Hardiness in Education

So, what exactly is hardiness? Well, according to psychologist Paul Bartone, it’s all about three things: commitment, control, and challenge. We use these things to overcome stress and adversity. Basically, it’s about being super committed to our profession, feeling like we’ve got some control over what’s happening, and seeing challenges as opportunities for growth. When we’ve got this hardy mindset, it’s like having a superpower – it helps us bounce back from tough times and keep going strong (Bartone, 2007).

Research Insights

But don’t just take my word for it – there’s plenty of research to back this up! Experts like Jim Knight and Steve Barkley have shown that teachers with high levels of hardiness are more likely to embrace feedback, keep learning and growing, and make a real difference in their students’ lives (Knight, 2011; Barkley, 2014). In other words, being hardy isn’t just good for us – it’s good for our kids too!

Now, you might wonder: what can instructional coaches like me do to help you thrive? How can we support you in building your hardiness and becoming the best teacher you can be? Well, let me share some ideas with you:

Practical Strategies for Implementation

  1. Cultivate Cognitive Reframing and Goal Setting: Let’s start by reframing those challenges as opportunities for growth! I’ll help you learn how to challenge negative thoughts and set clear, achievable goals. Together, we’ll break down those big objectives into smaller, manageable tasks—and celebrate every step of the way!
  2. Foster Supportive Communities: We’re stronger together, so let’s build a support community right here in our school. I’ll help you connect with other teachers, set up mentorship programs, peer observation, peer coaching, and create a safe space where we can all share our ideas and strategies for overcoming challenges. (Knight, 2011).
  3. Emphasize Self-Care: You can’t pour from an empty cup, so let’s make sure you’re taking care of yourself too. I’ll introduce you to some mindfulness techniques, help you find time for exercise, and show you how to set boundaries to protect your well-being. (Barkley, 2014). Check out this information on Compassion Fatigue.
  4. Celebrate Successes and Failures: Let’s change the narrative around success and failure. Every success – big or small – is a chance to celebrate, and every failure is a lesson to learn from. I’ll be here to cheer you on every step of the way, reminding you that you’re doing an amazing job!

Together, we can cultivate hardiness in teachers and create a school community where we all thrive. By fostering resilience-building techniques, supporting each other, and celebrating our successes and failures, we can empower ourselves to excel in our roles and positively impact our students’ outcomes. So, let’s dive in and start building that hardiness – because with a little resilience, there’s nothing we can’t achieve!

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Works Cited

Bartone, P. T. (2007). Test-retest reliability of the dispositional resilience scale-15, a brief hardiness scale. Psychological Reports, 101(3), 943–944.

Knight, J. (2011). Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction. Corwin Press.

Barkley, S. (2014). Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching. Corwin Press.

Lana Cecil
Lana Cecil

Instructional Coach

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