Conversation starters help teachers get unstuck

By Kristine James
February 2022
Coaches are expert listeners, and we’re well-positioned to hear about teachers’ concerns and needs. Lately, we’re hearing one particular message loud and clear: Teachers are tired and stressed. Teaching and learning conditions are changing by the week, pressure to close learning gaps is mounting, and political tensions are weighing on everyone. Given the high levels of stress and burnout, it’s understandable that teachers are expressing a lot of frustrations and sharing that they aren’t sure how to deal with them. My colleagues and I have been hearing a lot of overwhelmed statements like, “The kids don’t know how to be at school anymore” and “The students are so far behind that I don’t know where to begin.” Teachers who are usually optimistic and solution-oriented are

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K-6 Instructional Coach at Mission Crest Elementary School | + posts

Kristine James is a K-6 instructional coach at Mission Crest Elementary School in the Hesperia Unified School District. This is her third year as a coach at this school. Before moving into coaching, James worked as a primary grade teacher at Mission Crest and in a hybrid charter school that offered a short seat time program combined with independent study. This former experience really helped her navigate and support teachers during pandemic learning. She has been working and learning with Learning Forward for the past three years and looks forward to using this instruction to help teachers focus on accelerating learning as we continue with pandemic teaching and as we move forward to our next normal.

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