The First 20 Days of Coaching, Ep. 114 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Hand holding a pen over a notebook and other objects on a desk with the wrds the first 20 days of coaching

It’s time to start thinking about back to school. This August on the Coaching Podcast we’re chatting about how to get ready for the beginning of the year. I have a series of episodes lined up that will help you create a foundation for coaching and give you the tools so you can build on it for the rest of the school year.

In this episode, we’re talking about those all-important first 20 days of coaching. I give you week-by-week tasks to accomplish to set the groundwork for the year ahead.

The First 20 Days of Coaching

The first 20 days of coaching are similar to the first few weeks of teaching students. That first month of school is all about setting expectations, rituals, and routines. It’s the same with coaching.

During the first 20 days in my classroom, I got to know my kids and helped them get to know me. I also explicitly stated, what we were there to do, and what our jobs were during each component of the day. As an instructional coach, you do the same with teachers. You get to know your team, define your role, and set expectations.

Below is a week-by-week breakdown of what you can do to set yourself up for success. Of course, it’s flexible based on your school’s needs. Listen to the entire episode to get all the details.

Week 1

The focus of your first week of coaching is to situate yourself in the school. This includes getting an understanding of the school and introducing yourself.

This week you’ll

  • Review data from last year
  • Set realistic goals for your coaching work and have a conversation with your principal to define your role clearly
  • Create a document with those goals and post it somewhere you’ll see it all the time.
  • Make a coaching menu with a list of the coaching services you offer
  • Meet with each teacher socially
  • Set up your coaching space

Week 2

The second week is all about building relationships and providing casual support.

Some things you’ll do this week include

  • Putting your coaching schedule together
  • Designing any documents or systems needed for scheduling
  • Getting copies of your teachers’ schedules
  • Visiting classrooms and leaving positive notes about the great things you see in their rooms
  • Building a virtual classroom or newsletter with an About Me section
  • Planning a “Coffee with the Coach” session
  • Collaboratively define group norms with your teams
  • Providing classroom setup support as needed

Week 3

Week 3 focuses on learning all about your school and the staff.

Tasks for this week are

  • Organizing your coaching and curricular tools
  • Looking at state standards
  • Reviewing state and local assessments
  • Familiarizing yourself with the curriculum
  • Planning for your beginning of the year (BOY) data/assessments
  • Creating a survey asking teachers about the support they need

Week 4

Week four is focused on the classroom and getting everything you need set up for a successful year.

Some things that you’ll do this week include

  • Initiating coaching cycles with teachers who want to try them out
  • Building a document binder or virtual log for your coaching cycles and other work
  • Adding tools teachers need to your virtual classroom
  • Identifying PD opportunities
  • Checking in with your principal

There you have it. The steps you can take during the first 20 days of school. As I was planning this episode, I realized it would be helpful for coaches to have all the resources mentioned in this episode in one place. So, I decided to create a new product, First 20 Days of Instructional Coaching Start-Up Kit and Forms. It includes all the tools that you'll need to do the work I talk about during the episode. You’ll get checklists, forms, invitations, binder covers, and so much more. Be sure to check it out!

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Learn more

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

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Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative
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