First Year Tech Coach- Part 1

So in starting this school year as a brand new tech coach, I had BIG dreams. That’s really my personality – to think big, have big plans, and I want to drag everyone along with me, because who wouldn’t want to dream big as well- right? Well…. I am slowly learning (in multiple areas of my life) about how different the personality traits really are, and what that can look like in daily life. And how seriously I need to SLOW DOWN.  I feel like I should have learned this much earlier on in my career/ life but so goes it…. You think you know things, right?! So I’m learning about my own faults, and the pros and cons of each personality type. This really all came to a head at the beginning of fall when my husband and I took a “Spiritual gifts” survey as well as the DISC personality quiz at church. We have always joked about how exactly opposite we are, but here it was on paper- black and white. I started to look more in detail at our personality traits, and we both noticed the complaints we have for each other’s traits (which were verified right in front of us) could be used for good! It made me take a good, long, hard look at myself, and the parts of my personality that might get in the way of what I’m trying to do as a successful coach. It also opened my eyes to how we think of certain personalities as being “bad” or “good” when really each person has both sides of their traits. For example, that person who some see as overbearing or demanding- they get things done! And the person who some see as nit-picky or taking too long, will have a phenomenal finished product that is well thought out. More about DISC here– there’s tons of resources out there. Full disclosure- I’m mainly an “I”, and yes, I talk too much.


As I’ve gone through this first semester with these thoughts in mind, and learned even more about different personalities (such as the fact that I’m a toaster- I think out loud, and quick- whereas others may be crock-pots- need time to think alone and come back with answers later) I’ve really learned to appreciate each type. Every single teacher has amazing gifts, experiences, and ideas to bring to the table and it’s exciting getting to be a part of that and share in their successes in the classroom.

I was told going in to this year- take it slow, you will need all year to get to know people, let them get comfortable with you, etc. I am only just realizing how true this is. Because of my personality, I expected this part of the process to go much quicker, and that I would be seamlessly integrated in multiple classrooms by the spring. I mean, I love to talk to people so getting to know and trust me wouldn’t take long right? (Wrong!) I didn’t realize it’s about so much more than that. I also didn’t realize how much I would struggle with making myself available. I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks, and getting invaluable practice with my fellow coaches. I really look forward to using the things I’m learning about communication and leadership in the coming months. Funny how very little of what I’ve learned this semester has to do with technology! I have learned a LOT of that too- but honestly that part of the job is not changing me as a person. The leadership and communication tools I’m integrating in my daily life is the best part of the job yet!

Oh, and I do still have big dreams- but now I’m dreaming WITH the teachers.   🙂

Tell me:

– Have you analyzed your own weaknesses and strengths at some point?
– What have you learned this year that was not part of your “plan”?

Comment below or tweet @mrslacysmith  #firstyeareveryyear  #ETcoach #InstructionalCoach

Book Review- The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

So I am a few weeks deep into my first year as a tech coach, and I really wanted to be mindful of my weaknesses going into this year. I know I’m a talker (hello blog) and my personality is one of wanting to share and help! As a coach, I’m learning how to help people help themselves and empower THEM to organize their thoughts and such, without just giving them my own answers that may or may not work in every situation. Enter “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier. (available here)


Driving back to TX one afternoon from LA I needed an audiobook to pass the time and so I searched for leadership books. This one caught my eye and at almost 4 hours, fit my drive! Thanks GOODNESS I nabbed this sucker from audible- I’m actually going to buy the print copy also just for the absolute usefulness and journaling aspect I saw that it had as well. I need to do all.the.highlighting!

I had read a few coaching books to prepare for the interview for this job, but they seemed pretty common sense and a bit pedagogical. While those books have their place, I love a good PRACTICAL book to go along with the pedagogy. This book is that practical checklist that gives you ideas, seven simple questions to ask, and walks you through situations of when and how to ask these questions. It gives you a space to imagine, write, and rethink your interactions with your coworkers. It also gives a great wealth of resources from other great leadership books- another reason I want to buy the paper copy is just to cross reference and have more inspiring books to add to my growing list of “need to read”!

I highly recommend this book to anyone in any leadership capacity at all. You can download a preview on the website, or find the author on twitter @boxofcrayons

Tell me:

         -Have you read the book? What did you think? 

         -What is your favorite “coaching” or leadership book you’ve read?


Comment below or tweet @mrslacysmith #firstyeareveryyear #coachinghabit