Getting Organized for Literacy Coaching

Course Details

Literacy coaching is full of contradictions.

You need to be flexible, but you also need clear goals and a vision.

You want to be open to invitations from any teacher for visits and advice, but you also need a plan for touchpoints with all the teachers you’ll be supporting.

Your schedule at the start of the year is a blank canvas. And then it’s not. In the blink of an eye, it becomes cluttered and overstuffed.

One of the best ways to wrestle with the contradictions of literacy coaching is to get organized.

This course will guide you through how to plan, schedule, and launch the year. Whether you are a new literacy coach or someone with many years of experience, we are confident we have some new ideas and strategies you’ll want to try.

Planning a schedule for classroom visits, study groups, and coaching cycles does more than fill a calendar. It helps you reflect on what matters most in your work, and how that is expressed in how you spend your time.

Deciding what supplies you need and resources to purchase sets a marker for your values. Clear plans and a full bag of books and tools enable you to start the year with calm resolve and confidence.

Creating protocols and norms for first meetings with teachers and study groups ensures everyone shares the same expectations for communication, community, and growth over time.

In this course, experienced literacy coaches unzip their bags and totes to share what they carry into classrooms. We open up our coaching notebooks to show you the pages and lessons we can’t live without. We share what hasn’t worked in the past, and how our schedules and plans have evolved over time. You’ll finish the course with sample calendars, templates, checklists, and insider tips for launching your coaching year with confidence and enthusiasm.

The advice we share with you is hard-won. We rearrange and tweak our schedules every year, struggling to find time for everything we want to do. We get overwhelmed just like you do with the ever-growing mountain of instructional resources and possibilities for using them. We deal with resistant teachers, miscommunication, and sore backs from hauling everything around. And yet, our default outlook is always cheerful optimism. Teachers are amazing, and helping them do their best work is the most wonderful job in the world.

The course is led by Ruth Ayres, nationally known author of books that include Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers and Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop. Ruth has worked for many years as a literacy coach in the Wawasee (Indiana) Public Schools, and currently is head of the Lead Learners Consortium, a professional development network of over two dozen school districts and colleges in the midwest.

Contributors of print features and/or video for the course include

Stephanie Affinito (author of Literacy Coaching),

Jennifer Allen (author of Becoming a Literacy Leader),

Jan Burkins (co-author of Who’s Doing the Work?),

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan (authors of Assessment in Perspective and It’s All About the Books),

Cathy Mere (author of More Than Guided Reading),

Dana Murphy (long-time contributor to Two Writing Teachers),

Brenda Power (co-author of The Art of Classroom Inquiry),

Heather Rader (author of Side By Side: Short Takes on Best Practices),

Jennifer Schwanke (author of You’re the Principal! Now What?)

Ruth Shagoury (co-author of Living the Questions),

Karen Szymusiak (co-author of Still Learning to Read),

Terry Thompson (author of The Construction Zone),

and many others.

The course is organized into four sections:

Part 1: A Schedule Is a Net for Catching Days: Developing a Coaching Calendar

Part 2: Those with Supplies Thrive: What Coaches Carry

Part 3: Firsts: First Classroom Visits, First Planning Sessions, First Meetings

Part 4: The Beginning Is Always Community: Connecting and Explaining the Work to Others

Each section of the course begins with a brief (8-10 minute) screencast from Ruth with advice, tools, and stories from her experience as a coach. Follow-up articles and videos feature tips, stories of success, and tales of woe from contributing coaches and school leaders.

Prompts for reflection and planning are included, as well as a forum for comments and written conversations with classmates. Ruth will also be available to respond to any questions or comments throughout the 12-day class period. At the official end of the 12-day course, each participant will receive a certificate of completion listing 15 contact hours.

Because the course content is so extensive, participants will have access to the course and all materials for an additional two months beyond the course end date. A three-month trial Literacy Leadership membership is included in the course fee, enabling participants to receive new and updated resources delivered weekly to their inboxes through the Big Fresh newsletter.

You’ll learn there is not one right way to get organized for coaching. But there are many good ways. And from the mosaic of possibilities in this course, we are confident you’ll find the best way for you.

So what are you waiting for? We’d love to have you join us. Sign up, grab a notebook, and start exploring today.

Course Curriculum

A Schedule is a Net for Catching Days
Those with Supplies Thrive
The Beginning Is Always Community: Making Connections and Explaining the Work to Others

Meet Your Instructor

Ruth Ayres

I spent years as a full-time writing coach for Wawasee School District in northern Indiana, helping students find meaning in their stories, and encouraging teachers to reflect and refine the art of teaching. I love documenting ordinary stories from everyday life. I am currently head of the Lead Learners Consortium in northern Indiana. I earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University.

I like helping students see the power of their everyday stories and to learn how their words can make the world a better place. I consider myself among the most fortunate because I spend my days with children and adolescents, teaching them how to make sense of the world through reading and to impact the world with their voice through writing.

In my free time I like to read, write, take photos, walk, cook, and scrapbook. My husband, Andy, and I have four children.

Enrollment Options

Denotes discounted member pricing

Course Only

This purchase includes all course materials with access for two months, as well as a three-month trial Literacy Leadership subscription.

$179.00 Add to Cart
Getting Organized for Coaching + Annual Membership

Access to course for two months plus a one-year Literacy Leadership membership, a savings of $50 over individual purchases.

$279.00 Add to Cart