WHETSTONE FOR SCHOOLS
COACHING TEACHERS IS HARD.
TAKE COACHING FROM VISION TO REALITY
Over the summer, you set a vision for instructional coaching in your school. You and your leadership team set goals, designed coaching forms, and communicated to teachers that coaching would be frequent and growth-oriented... then, the chaos hit.
In a school, there’s a new fire to put out every day (sometimes every hour). Days evaporate as everyone deals with last minute meetings, urgent messages from parents, and (literal) fire drills, and sometimes coaching is shifted to the backburner. Decisions to adjust and re-prioritize coaching plans are often made on the fly, but weeks and even months can pass without observations or feedback meetings. It’s easy for a school to get off track, and principals find themselves losing sleep over seemingly impossible-to-answer questions:
How do I stay on top of instructional coaching in my school when I’m pulled in a hundred different directions?
How can I energize and engage my leadership team around coaching, and easily keep everyone updated on how we are doing?
We just got our interim results back and we need to kick it into high gear. How do I ensure my team is coaching on our new priorities to maximize the time they spend with teachers?
OBSERVE. MEET. REPEAT.
How do i get my teachers better, faster?
To answer these questions, thousands of schools have shifted from stodgy, annual performance evaluations to high-frequency instructional coaching to increase the number of coaching touch-points a teacher receives throughout the year. Rather than giving teachers a list of strengths and weaknesses at the end of a school year, school leaders now spend 10-15 minutes in classrooms on weekly or monthly basis, observing for one high-leverage step a teacher can take to improve their practice. With instructional coaching, leaders and teachers meet to debrief the observation and collaboratively set an action step for growth. Instructional coaching makes teachers engaged and energized because they are constantly growing and supported, and leaders are tied into what’s happening in classrooms.
square peg, round hole
SPREADSHEETS DON’T WORK FOR COACHING
Schools that are just getting started often try to manage coaching using spreadsheets, but quickly run into problems:
Managing multiple spreadsheets for 30+ teachers is unwieldy and quickly becomes impractical
Tracking observation notes, feedback, and action steps for 40-weeks worth of observation is cumbersome at best
Spreadsheets provide no easy way to give ongoing feedback
There is no way to capture time-stamped notes
Heavyweight evaluation platforms don’t make it easy to track coaching
Some schools swing the other way and use outdated, clunky evaluation platforms that were made only for scoring rubrics and printing reports once a year. With these platforms, it’s nearly impossible to capture action steps, track observation frequency, or analyze trends in the frequent feedback your team is sharing with teachers.
a platform makes it possible
whetstone was built for schools.
Spreadsheets and heavyweight platforms don’t work for schools trying to move fast and improve outcomes with instructional coaching. Whetstone was built with school leaders in mind to make it super easy to manage instructional coaching.
Whetstone is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform that:
Gives schools one home for everything related to classroom observation, feedback, and coaching meetings (and evaluation)
Lets leaders see real-time data on observation frequency, action steps, and coaching trends, in addition to standard evaluation reports
Engages teachers and leaders by enabling them to see how their coaching work is moving the needle forward
Lets you quickly and seamlessly share vital feedback with teachers, and the right data with the right people at the right time.
Whetstone was born out of necessity from a school team that needed a better way to track instructional coaching. Designed by a principal, Whetstone is built with school leaders in mind:
Intuitive and ridiculously easy to use. One digital home for coaching lets you quit fighting with spreadsheets and chasing down feedback in email chains.
Built-in coaching best practices structure your team’s work around proven coaching strategies.
Flexible and customizable: Whetstone knows every school is different. That’s why we made it easy to customize Whetstone with your school’s unique coaching process.
Coaching analytics let you measure teacher growth with more than just numbers.
Seamless sharing lets you send feedback to teachers with the click of a button.