Here are a few tips for your consideration. Most involve using technology. Be sure to check the Resources for more ideas and tips.

Tip #1: Scheduling Coaching Sessions

Want to enable your coachees to schedule meeting times with you on their own? Take advantage of one of these Google/Microsoft Calendar friendly tools to enable others to schedule themselves. Make sure that you schedule your time as well.

Don't forget to set aside time for travel, lunch, and office time. Once others know they can book you for just-in-time support, they will be eager to take advantage of you!

  • View video - YouCanBookMe

  • Confirmations and reminders: Customize confirmation emails. Reduce no shows with email and SMS reminders.

  • Customize your calendar events: Set up how new booking events appear in your calendar. Include information entered by customers at time of booking.

  • Automated follow-up emails: Send follow-up emails after your meeting to thank customers or outline next steps.

  • Time zones automatically detected: Time zones completely solved. We automatically detect time zones so everyone sees the right times.

Pricing: Free for one calendar and profile; Premium – $16 per month; Professional – $48 per month.

Main features include:

  • Flexible schedule and availability: Set up a regular weekly schedule or customize for every week. Complete control over when you want to schedule meetings.

  • Duration and appointment padding: Offer fixed appointment durations or give customers a choice. Add padding between appointments for preparation or travel time. is a Chrome extension that integrates with Google Calendar, letting you schedule meetings right from your compose window.

It cuts out the back and forth between meeting participants, making it a fast, easy way to book meetings.

Pricing: Free

Doodle offers a wide selection of online solutions that radically simplify the process of scheduling appointments, ranging from the group event “poll” that doesn’t require registration to the professional appearance with own branding.

Pricing: Free but Premium available

Tip #2: Virtual Coaching


Virtual coaching, or coaching at a distance, simply means that you and your coachee are in different locales. This could certainly be the case in large districts or when coaching needs mandate a quick session that can be facilitated via virtual means.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Choose what’s right for the situation

  • Text-based tools work for conveying information but not much else. Video may work well but be distracting in certain situations. Audio works well

  • Find a place that is private and minimizes distractions so you can both focus

  • As coach, manage the time of the virtual coaching session

If you are not familiar with Google Hangouts, it is a communications medium that works on your computer or mobile device, enabling you to video/audio chat with up to 150 people. There are many ways to use Google Hangouts. You can get started with it quite easily. The best way to get started is to jump in and connect with a friend, like me!

Learn more

Microsoft's Skype

Skype has the benefit of being well-known, familiar and easy to use on a variety of devices. The Microsoft Educator Community provides video tutorials, printable guides, you can rely on.

Wait, are you worried about CIPA?

  • Allow teachers to use tools that feature students

  • Most tools do NOT allow direct student use (e.g. Slack for Education is NOT available for direct use by students)

  • Review norms for appropriate behavior PRIOR to connecting

Slack is a free, real-time messaging, archiving/search tool in use by 5.8 million weekly active users. It uses channels to organize conversations, which are then threaded together. You can create any channels you might need, which means you could have one for each grade level or department, one for planning social events, one for the technology department, etc. You can add documents, video, audio, graphics, and URLs to any Slack message, which makes it perfect for sharing information quickly.

Blend a variety of video conferencing options. Stay in touch with video with one of these add-ins:

  • Provides for eight call participants, and you can use the /appear slash command to start a video conference in your channel, making it easy for others to join the call.

  • Google Hangouts: Start a Hangout with /hangout in any channel to get a link to share with others. A Slack control panel will appear and you can invite other Slack team members to the video conference.

  • VideoLink2.Me: This offers audio/video conferences with file and screen sharing directly in your web browser. It supports six or more people, depending on the users’ internet bandwidth and connection speed. Use the /videolink slash command to create a conference room and share its link to your channel.

Tip #3: Make Sharing Lesson Plans Easy

Using Google Docs, Google Slides and/or Google Sheets

"I like to use Google slides and make one slide deck for each unit to host daily lessons with links to videos, hyperdocs and other resources. You can link it in a Google Sheet spreadsheet to be set up like your plan book."

Here's another example of a lesson plan in Google Sheets:

Using OneNote with Staff Notebook

  1. Use any type of content – text, pictures, audio, video, ink, embedded files, printed digital paper

  2. Arrange any content type on the page any way you want, just like paper

  3. Use Tags to highlight important points, questions, or create your own custom tag

  4. Collaborate with other teachers in a shared notebook as you build your lesson plans

  5. Use OneNote to record and embed audio to guide the lesson

  6. Use OneNote drawing tools to add visual elements to your lesson plan

  7. Use digital ink to enhance, annotate and be creative with your lesson plans

  8. Change the digital paper type of OneNote to college-ruled, graph, or a custom page template background

  9. Organize and save your various digital resources easily from the Web as you create your lesson (Source)

Tip #4: Discover Your Observational Note-Taking Strategy

All instructional coaches script what teachers and students are saying. Later, those notes are discussed with teachers. What approach do you take to organizing and sharing notes? Let's explore some approaches (Source).

Planning Ahead

Before adopting an approach, or using all of them, consider inquiring as to the teacher's description of the lesson to be seen. The teacher might want to identify a particular goal or strategy that more feedback is sought for to focus post observation conversations.

Approach #1 - Wows, Wonders, and Tips

  1. The coach scripts out everything the teacher is doing and how the students are responding

  2. Leave the room and write feedback for the teacher observed

    • List "Wow" moments

    • Write "wonders" in question form (e.g. "I wonder how we can facilitate group collaboration with hyperdocs?")

    • List suggestions or tips to address questions

Approach #2 - Connect the Dots

  1. Make a T-Chart to record teacher and student comments to facilitate reflection on pacing and time management

  2. Note connections on the right side of her paper

  3. On the left side, she connects what she's seeing with what it means to her

Approach #3 - Looking for Evidence

  1. The coach scripts out everything the teacher is doing and how the students are responding

  2. Identify a particular goal

  3. Meet with the teacher to review notes with the particular goal in mind to highlight evidence of that goal