Wednesday Jan 31, 2024

Intentional Coaching for Instructional Growth: Sherry St.Clair

Sherry St. Clair is the founder of Reflective Learning LLC, an educational consulting agency based in Kentucky. Her organization works with schools around the world, creating specialized training and coaching services for school administrators and educators. She holds a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership and a Rank 1 in Instructional Supervision.

Sherry has served as a Senior Consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. As an international consultant, Sherry draws from her rich experience at various levels of public education–teaching elementary school, being an administrator in a high school of 1,300 students, working as a state consultant, and creating and facilitating virtual courses. Sherry is a highly regarded national speaker and consultant, providing educational agencies with expertise in instructional leadership, effective classroom practices, classroom walkthroughs, effective use of data, and guidance on how to create structures for successful classroom coaching. Coaching schools to best meet the needs of all students is Sherry’s passion.

Sherry is a contributing author to Effective Instructional Strategies Volume 2 published by the International Center for Leadership in Education and 100 No-Nonsense Things that All Teachers Should Stop Doing. She has published numerous professional learning activity guides and facilitated webinar series focused on leadership and effective instructional practices. Additionally, Sherry developed virtual instructional workshops for the CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York. In partnership with the Successful Practices Network, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and The School Superintendent Association (AASA), Sherry has recently been a part of bringing innovative practices to scale. Her publication, Coaching Redefined: A Guide to Leading Meaningful Instructional Growth, was released in June of 2019.

Show Notes:

-Intentional coaching is to help both teachers and coaches think about the intentional steps needed to grow in a given area. 

-Take smaller steps towards those big goals and be intentional with those steps. What is one small change you can make? Go on a journey to grow from where we are and keep moving forward.

-Student discourse- If we don't have student discourse in a classroom then where do we start? If we have a little, how do we start? The book's purpose is to look at what is out there in research around proven ways for students to learn and think about how we can help teachers implement those effectively in their classrooms.

-Students need to feel safe and have time for those academic conversations. Coaches need to think of the small incremental steps a t teacher can do to meet the true student discourse and big gains in student learning.

-When we don't layer on so many things on our teachers' plates and instead have an intentional focus on those small steps, we see huge growth.

-Coaches have to be a filter for things happening within their school system and it is truly an honor. You have to keep in mind the broader goals of the school. How do I pull all of that together?

-We only keep trying to get better and better. Just keep swimming. Let it go. Shake it off. Just keep moving forward. Just keep improving a little bit more each day. There are some days you can run fast towards your goal. There are some days you can walk towards it. And there are some days you need to just rest. And it is all about moving forward. 

-Be mindful of the listening tour as a coaching superpower. Being female is powerful. We are compassionate as instructional leaders.

-Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

Connect with Sherry:

Website: Reflective Learning, LLC

Twitter: @Sherrystclair

Facebook: Sherry St Clair

Instagram: Sherryst.clair

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