I don't even want to go outside. Yesterday we started at 6 degrees below zero. Today is better. We are up to zero. Last night, I layed out my clothes, knowing the weather forecast. I chose my clothes based on my growing background knowledge of the school that I am working in. This is my first year in my current school. I thought about the cold hallways and my bus duty. But I also know that the class I will be modeling a Sentence Smack Down lesson in will be warm. We will definitely be moving around. Plus, I will be on the floor conferring with students during both reading and writing workshop. The best solution is to dress in layers. On top, I will start with Cuddl Duds, then a cotton long sleeve T, then a fleece top I can whip off if I need to. On bottom, corduroys with plenty of stretch. I always wear sensible shoes, no heals. I need to be able to truck quickly down the long hallways. Heavy socks but not too heavy or my feet will sweat. Then of course, a warm coat and boots for bus duty. I truly hate bus duty, but that is a different post.
I think effective coaching is a lot like dressing in layers. Every time I start in a new building, it is exhausting. Getting to know all the unspoken rules and rule makers is necessary. It is February and I'm still trying to remember the names of the teachers and where their classrooms are located in a 2-building campus with 1200 students. An effective coach needs to be able to quickly respond and peel off or add a few layers in order to begin to meet the needs of a particular school and its students. Who I was last year, is not who I am this year. As a coach, I need to be okay with reinventing myself annually. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to buy new clothes.