I’m a person who enjoys technology and communicating through the internet. When I saw the word “meme” in the text of the book, I was pretty confused about what was meant. Thankfully, Dr. Lang-Raad defines it for us from Beck and Cowan’s 1996 research. A meme “represent[s] a paradigm, belief, or value system.” It comes from the root “memetics,” which deals with cultural information transfer.
So, yeah, I think it fits with the way we share memes today, as we poke fun of our human experience.
What Lang-Raad references in the chapter talks with the way we approach our personal development. (You can see more with the PDF linked here: Spiral Dynamics Model.) We grow from doing what we must to stay alive, to finding purpose, and then finding peace within ourselves and showing flexibility as we embrace the chaos of the world. This is interesting to me, and I think I’ll add some of these sources to my reading pile for later.
Another concept that resonated with me in this chapter was the concept of procrastination versus what Lang-Raad calls strategic waiting. It means “intentionally not acting on a task or project…increasing the creativity and innovation of the final project.” (p. 73) As someone who sometimes needs the stress of a deadline for motivation, this gave me a new lens through which to look. If I plan to wait on something to mentally dwell on it for a while, that means that the final product may end up better.
Two quotes that stood out to me from the introduction to this chapter are listed below:
“In education, we face the daunting task of challenging some deep-rooted traditional practices that have been instilled into the teaching pedigree as far back as the Industrial Revolution. These deeply held practices are stitched into the fabric of teaching, and therefore, teachers feel personally connected to them.”
“Instructional coaches should play a vital role in managing change in their building. Unfortunately, this role often gets placed solely on the school administrators. In a healthy culture of collaborative leadership, the instructional coach can use his or her influence to help lead change, especially in focusing on the how of change.”
As coaches, we have a delicate balance to find. We are non-evaluative, but we work with teachers to make student learning more effective. Coaching is not just a fix to something that is broken, it’s a support system for teachers whose list of tasks and responsibilities gets longer and longer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk through Everyday Instructional Coaching with me. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I’m glad that it was one of the first books I read to help myself wrap my head around this coaching role!