My job is to coach. To stand to the side and facilitate great teaching. Just as the basketball coach stands to the side and facilitates the players on the court, or the piano teacher sits on the bench and encourages her student to play, my job is to build teacher capacity. My job is to set the conditions and get out of the way. In the one sentence job description I wrote recently, I said that my job was about building agency. I know this is my goal, so I work hard to “voice over” my teaching, create lab guides for teachers to record what they see and hear, point out my teaching moves, encourage teachers to look at the student work that results from lessons or units, and ask questions to promote reflection and agency. But every now and then, I slip through the wardrobe and into another land. I can’t help it. I get lost in the teaching.
Sometimes, when I am supposed to be modeling a lesson or a small group, I find myself swept away into the joyful work of teaching children. All of a sudden, a child will say something, or ask a question, and I’m gone. I get wrapped up in the incredible learning that is taking place right in front of my eyes, and I completely forget about the teachers who have come to watch the lesson. The kids are thinking, there is some interesting discourse happening, and kids are learning. Eventually I look up and see the teachers watching, jotting notes in their lab guides, and I think, “Ooops…I was supposed to be teaching the teachers, but I got lost in teaching the kids!”