17 Apr The Country’s Best Coaches: Abby Worland in Denver, CO
At CT3, we are fortunate to be able to meet and work closely with educators all over the country. We often find that the Real Time Teacher Coaches we train often hold different roles besides just “coach”. They’re not just No-Nonsense Nurturers, or skilled Real Time Teacher Coaches, but they’re also experts in a variety of subjects in their buildings to help better serve their students. Many are masters of lesson planning or teacher evaluations. Some are even Union representatives! Many are teacher leaders or school leaders that juggle both positions. We’re bringing recognition to many of the coaches we work with in schools across the country through our new blog series: “The Country’s Best Coaches”.
This week we are shouting out Abby Worland, Real Time Teacher Coach and Director of Fellow Development at Rocky Mountain Prep, a network of elementary charter schools in Denver, CO.
How did you get selected as a Real Time Teacher Coach?
I work with new teachers who are training and preparing to have their own classroom. I was selected as a Real Time Teacher Coach (RTTC) so that I could help them develop strong relationships with students and expand their wheelhouse of classroom management strategies – skills that are necessary to success in your first year of teaching.
How did that make you feel?
I was thrilled to be selected as an RTTC. When I was still teaching, I was coached by another RTTC and it was so helpful to dissect my practice, pinpoint areas for improvement, and see the immediate effect in student learning and engagement. I was excited at the chance to provide that same opportunity to other teachers.
What has your experience as a Real Time Teacher Coach taught you about yourself?
I’ve learned so much about myself and the art of teaching since becoming a RTTC. Baseline observations and coaching sessions plant you the middle of the most complex, messy, and exciting moments of teaching and learning and I’ve realized that there is no such thing as a “quick fix” in the classroom. Rather it is consistent, diligent, and compassionate effort on the part of the teacher that revolutionizes classrooms. The RTTC process has challenged me to confront my own bad habits as a teacher and biases about students. My growth through the process has led to greater growth on the part of the teachers I work with which has then led to greater learning and growth in their students.
What other duties do you have at your school?
I primarily coach new teachers and provide professional development for other instructional coaches. Before moving into this role, I taught science to grades PK-3 so I consider myself a master in classroom materials management (soil! rocks! live fish! vinegar and baking soda!) and dealing with unexpected surprises in the classroom (have you ever been bit by a gecko in front of 28 first graders?).
Can you tell us a story of student or teacher success you attribute to NNN or RTTC?
In one of the classrooms where I was coaching, a student was exhibiting very challenging behaviors that were derailing the other students and escalating the teacher. Using the No-Nonsense Nurturer process helped the teacher build a relationship with that student, remain fair and equitable during tense situations, and get the classroom back on track. I can still walk by that classroom and hear the teacher using the tools we worked on together!
Questions about bringing Real Time Teacher Coaching to your school or district? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.