Google tools help support teachers and students in many different ways.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesAs the role of instructional coach and tech coach continues to grow, I thought it would be useful to take a look at some Google tips through the lens of a coach.

In this guest post by Pam Hubler, you will find many useful Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches.

As an Instructional or Technology Coach, we have a lot to do on a daily basis.  

It’s not more or less than a classroom teacher, it’s just different.

The trouble with a coaching schedule is flexibility. I know… that doesn’t sound like a problem, but it can be.  

This is where productivity and organization are key!

If you don’t plan out your days, weeks, even school year, it can get away from you and then you’re often disappointed with the number of goals you complete.

The purpose of this post is to give coaches some ideas and tools to manage your time and energy.  

*Note: I am fairly new to coaching, so I am not claiming to be an expert by any means!  This strategy has worked well for me so far.

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Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches

Let’s Get Organized!

I like to use Ms. Houser’s organization tip to simplify my work life!

“List It, Map It, Block It”

(created by Kristen Houser from mshouser.com, find her post here)

I’m tying her planning strategy with GSuite tools for the purpose of increasing our productivity.

List It:

Google Keep – One “Daily To-Do”, One “Weekly To-Do”

Create this with checkboxes so you can hide the ones you’ve done or added to your next steps (map it and block it).  

I would probably pin these so they stay at the top of the page.

If you can’t view this list on other devices because of school sharing policies, make sure to add your personal Gmail account so you can edit from either account.  

Remember, if you have items that don’t necessarily need to be done for the day or week, put it on another list.

I’ve mentioned it before, Using an Urgent and Soon list.

That’s four total lists that you can keep using in one place throughout the year.  

When I used real sticky notes, I used a lot more than four!

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches

Fun tip: Use images or GIF’s for your lists to make them stand out!  Here’s Kasey’s post for more details.

Before you move to mapping, look at your list to see if there is anything you can delegate or move to a different list to revisit later.

Map It:

You’ll want to categorize your lists before adding them to a calendar or tracker of some kind. We can still use Google Keep for this. You can actually move each item over if you’d like to put it in a category.

Block It:

Now you’ll look at the to-do’s you just mapped out and find time slots in your schedule for the week.

I created a Google Slides template for the purpose so I could plan ahead without having to move from one document, calendar or app to another.

You can see the tabs at the bottom for each month, so it’s easy to flip from month to month. If you scroll over to the right, you’d see the rest of the month in the same format.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches

Find the template here including resources share on Episode 65 of the Google Teacher Tribe.

If you look at this and the colors drive you nuts, pick lighter colors to fill the fields or use colored text instead.

I like using colored fields because it’s easy to set aside blocks of time for a specific purpose even if you don’t have them scheduled yet.

For example, I try to spend every Friday in classrooms all day regardless of if specific classrooms are scheduled ahead of time.

Once all that is done, all I have to do is pop up my Daily Tracker first thing in the morning and go to it!

Ease of access tip: “star” your tracker so it’s easy to find in Drive, as well as share it with your personal Gmail accounts for access from any device.

This is nice when you only have your phone with you and you want to check or update your schedule on the go.

Here are some additional ideas from the Shake Up Learning Facebook Group:

Join our group to see the original post and join in on the conversation!

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches

Google Calendar: Appointment Slots

For more information on how to use Calendar appointments with your GSuiteEDU account (not available in personal accounts), check out this Google support page.

I use Calendar Appointment for two main purposes.

  1. Computer Lab Sign-ups: I help set up a testing lab for teachers a few times a year by setting up a classroom with Chromebooks so it’s easier to log in since our K-2 teachers aren’t one to one yet.  I set up the time slots and share the calendar on my website and in an email. Then the teachers are able to pick their times without me having to spend hours trying to make up a schedule for them.
  2. Coaching /Classroom Support Sign-ups: On days where I have flexibility to go into classrooms, I’ll set up 30 minute blocks so teachers can sign up for times for me to visit their rooms. This could be for many different purposes, so the teacher will type in the description when he/she picks a time. If they need more than one block, they can just pick two back to back slots.

The good thing about appointment slots is that there won’t be any double booking since the time will disappear on the viewers end once it’s “claimed” by someone else.

Karen Hill Collins: I actually make notes in my Google calendar about my teaching/coaching conversations, and I link emails & resources in the notes.

For my evaluation as a coach by my boss, I use a Padlet that is tied to my goals & includes reflections & evidence.
Also, my calendar is shared with my boss.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Keep

Melissa Maverden: I use Google Keep for reminders and to-do lists. I also assign myself tasks using Google Doc comments – basically tagging myself in PLC notes so I can follow up and then check off when task is complete. It’s one of my favorite tricks!  https://gsuitetips.com/tips/drive/see-assigned-tasks-in-drive/?fbclid=IwAR0Z46Ng86KgDDA43DxqQRrtOvVHRCauqDmzvV696risOVv5sxm86SfRNdQ

Also, check out the 15 Ways Students Can Use Google Keep by Kasey Bell in this blog post.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Forms

Beth Heller: keep track and log my coaching interactions and reflect on the outcome. Calendar to keep track of appointments.  the reflection form has 5 questions. I right the goal of the interaction. I scale it 1-4 how well I met the goal. I list my strengths and my weaknesses for that interaction and actions to take to make the next interaction better.

The log form I log who I met with and the date. I log which role bI had and which state of mind we worked on. I mark which type of interaction it was and summarize what happened.

Karen Collins:

I actually make notes in my Google calendar about my teaching/coaching conversations, and I link emails & resources in the notes.

For my evaluation as a coach by my boss, I use a Padlet that is tied to my goals & includes reflections & evidence.

Also, my calendar is shared with my boss.

Perla Zamora:  I created an index with a list of the main topics such as Administrative Documents & Folders (forms, reports, procedures, yearbook folder, meetings w/parents minutes, etc.), Manuals (grade book and other platforms), Training Material (Google/Apple and other similar free training courses), Pre-selected Web tools, Influencers & PLN, etc.

Each topic has an area inside of the same file. In that area another list that point to the proper file or folder. Example, one item in the index is Training, it takes to that section/bookmark. In that section you will find a Category with the list of words/links to Google Ed level 1, another to Google Ed level 2, etc. Then Apple Educator following the same pattern…

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Sheets

Eileen Fernandez-Parker: I like using Sheets with dates across the top and names down the side of all those I coach. I put an x under the date I meet with, observe, or collaborate with them. I also keep one Google Doc per person to record all notes, observations, and resources. I’m working in Keep with things that repeat like questions or a Next Steps chart. The chart will copy into Docs, so I am layering and not adding another app to open.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Drive/Team Drive

In Google Drive, I created one folder called, “Instructional Coach 18-19,” so I have a starting place for everything.

I have LOTS of sub-folders inside this folder, but at least I have a starting point for when I don’t remember what I called a document.

I also share this folder with my personal Gmail accounts so I start there when creating something work related no matter which device I’m using.  

I start in Google Drive for creating any new resources so I don’t have to remember to move it after I create it.

To keep it at the top, I’ll add a symbol or icon (from CopyPasteCharacter) to the beginning of the title.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech Coaches

Get more ideas from Episode 10 of the Google Teacher Tribe and other Shake Up Learning posts for Google Drive.

Suzie Bowes Wilburn:  I use Calendar and Keep as an individual. As an edtech team (4 of us) we have a Team Drive that we have all GSuite files organized. We also have another team drive we share (view only) with the entire district which contains all our how-to docs and all our previous professional development files. Teacher refer to them often.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Docs/Hyperdocs

Perla Zamora:  I created Google Doc with an index with a list of the main topics such as Administrative Documents & Folders (forms, reports, procedures, yearbook folder, meetings w/parents minutes, etc.), Manuals (grade book and other platforms), Training Material (Google/Apple and other similar free training courses), Pre-selected Web tools, Influencers & PLN, etc.

Each topic has an area inside of the same file. In that area another list that points to the proper file or folder. Example, one item in the index is Training, it takes to that section/bookmark. In that section, you will find a Category with the list of words/links to Google Ed level 1, another to Google Ed level 2, etc. Then Apple Educator following the same pattern.

To create an index in Google Doc, check out this Google support post.

Google Tips for Instructional Coaches and Tech CoachesGoogle Tasks

Stephanie Orton:  I have also started using the task feature in Google Calendar and set dates so they show up on my calendar. Like a to-do list.

For more information on how to use Tasks, check out this Google support page.


I hope you’ve found some valuable resources and ideas to help you get organized as an Instructional or Technology Coach! Let’s connect today to share more ideas!


Resources for Instructional/Technology Coaches:

PLC Communication Using Google Apps by Pam Hubler

Life of a Tech Coach with Pam Hubler Google Teacher Tribe Podcast/Blog Episode 65

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/instructional-coach/

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/episode-26/ Interview pt.1

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/episode-27/ Interview pt.2

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/pod/episode-95/ Resilience

https://brightmorningteam.com/tools-publications/books-by-elena-aguilar/

https://brightmorningteam.com/tools-publications/coaching-tools/

https://brightmorningteam.com/tools-publications/coaching-team-tools/

https://www.mshouser.com/

https://www.mshouser.com/category/organization

https://www.mshouser.com/category/productivity

https://www.mshouser.com/?s=coach+list&submit.x=0&submit.y=0 Tips to start of a great year

Trainers and Coaches Unleash Your “Incredibles” Superpowers This Shake Up Learning guest post was written by Debbie Perkins and Brooke Higgins based on their ISTE 2018 session “Trainers and Coaches Suit Up: Unleash Your “Incredibles” Superpowers!”


Google Success Story: Pam Hubler, Google Certified TrainerAbout Pam Hubler

Pam is an Instructional Coach in Charleston, South Carolina with 22 years in education.  She is passionate about professional development, technology integration, and building a strong culture in schools.

As a Google Certified Trainer, Pam supports teachers by providing frequent professional development on how to integrate GSuite tools into their daily routines.  She also guides discussions during weekly PLC’s to help teachers find dynamic ways to provide instruction and develop engaging activities that incorporate the 4 C’s in authentic ways.

Pam also loves to create resources to share with educators through her website www.spedtechgeek.com, Twitter, as community manager of the Shake Up Learning Facebook Group and other social media platforms. She has presented at FETC, the EdTechTeam Low Country Summit, and EdCamps.

Pam is a lifelong learner who loves to read professional development books, especially books from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. and listens to Podcasts like the Google Teacher Tribe to keep up with educational technology and pedagogy.  She strives to be PIRATE leader to support educators so we can keep great teachers in the profession.

Follow Pam on Twitter: @specialtechie


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