Thanks so much to Ms. J.J. Tyler, a Multi-Classroom Leader at Ranson IB MS. She is new to Project L.I.F.T. this year, but has fallen in love with the L.I.F.T. culture of coaching within Opportunity Culture.
How L.I.F.T. gets Opportunity Culture right
By Jennifer Tyler, MAT, NBCT
6th Grade Math MCL, Ranson IB Middle School
Being an MCL in Project L.I.F.T. is so different.
As a coach, the training and support I have gotten in Project L.I.F.T. is unmatched! In the span of only 3 months in Project L.I.F.T., my growth as a leader and instructional coach has been phenomenal!
I think that the systems I have been trained to use and the support after the training is what has made a HUGE difference. We have all been to a training or PD (Professional Development), where a whole program is presented to you and then you are supposed to take it back to your building and magically implement it perfectly, without any further support, check-ins, or follow-up in what you are doing with the information you learned. In Project L.I.F.T., you are taught the system and then your coach actually “holds your hand” through your learning.
For example, the coaching model we use is called RTTC (Real Time Teacher Coaching). It is a four-step model by CT3 that we use to help coach our teachers through learning and implementing strategies for management and teaching. When I started training, I was completely overwhelmed. I thought that this would be like all other PD and that I would leave the training trying to remember everything and piece together what I would be expected to do perfectly after just one training or long periods between trainings. This was not the case in Project L.I.F.T. Here, I received the training and then I was assigned two coaches that are in my building. One coaches me on the RTTC strategies and how to implement the cycles and one that coaches me on my coaching techniques.
My amazing RTTC coach, Samantha Reichard, coached me intensely for my first week of coaching. She shadowed me, stepping in when guidance is needed, and then gave me feedback immediately after about how to improve for the next cycle in the form of an action step. Then, in the next cycle she would give me feedback on how I implemented the action step to continue the cycle of improvement. After the first week, Samantha continuously checked in on the quality of my coaching and shadowed me every few weeks to support my growth and the growth of my teachers. This is the culture, the norm. The teachers don’t think twice about me being in their room, about receiving feedback and action steps to help them improve, or about my coach being there while they are getting that feedback because they understand that Samantha is there to coach ME and to help ME be a better coach FOR THEM. The culture here in Project L.I.F.T. is quite amazing and extremely unique in that just about everyone has bought into the culture of everyone in the building being coached… not just underperforming teachers. Even the best teachers appreciate the feedback because it ultimately helps them get better.
I am also fortunate enough to be coached by my phenomenal leader, Bobby Miles. He meets with me each week to review the action steps I have given my teachers, critique videos of my pre/post conferences with teachers, and walk through classrooms to check on the progress of the action steps I have given to ensure that my coaching is on-point and that I am leading my teachers in the right direction. He then gives me feedback on ways I can improve my coaching of my teachers and how to help my teachers grow faster. During this coaching, many times, Bobby’s coach (our fearless principal Erica Jordan-Thomas) is also there to coach Bobby as he coaches me! Again, this is the culture of coaching in Project L.I.F.T.!
As a result of the coaching cycles, our scholars achieve more and grow faster. It’s the “trickle down” effect at its finest! The training and support that I have gotten in Project L.I.F.T. is not the type of “one and done” training that this profession is used to. It is an actual continuous cycle of learning. This cycle of learning is exactly what we do for our scholars in classrooms each day. This is how humans learn and retain information.
As educators, we know that this is how scholars learn best, and I have the distinct honor of being in a place that this is also lived out with the adults! I can go on and on about the wonderful things happening in Project L.I.F.T., but the culture itself is the soil from which all of these amazing things grow. It is all possible because of the unprecedented culture of pride, motivation, learning, coaching, and dedication to excellence that Project L.I.F.T. has established. I.Am.Thankful. #NothingCouldBeGreater #ThanToBeARansonRaider #ItsAMovement #RansonIB #ProjectL.I.F.T.