I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter.

My favorite celebrations are the glimmers in the midst of everyday life. The small joys and triumphs that make a big difference. I love to celebrate small as a means to live big. Today, however, I’m sharing a celebration that is a little outside of my ordinary. Today I share a step toward a dream.
Last November at NCTE, Colby Sharp and I ended up sitting together in a session. We started talking and Colby asked, “So you’re a coach, right.”
I’m not sure how I answered, but I confirmed that, “Yes, I’m an instructional writing coach.” I left out the part about being a little disheartened and totally tattered by the whole coaching gig.
Colby said, “I miss my literacy coach.” Colby moved from a school with a literacy coach to a school without coaches. I asked a few questions and listened closely. As Colby talked, I remembered the potential of coaches to change lives.
Little did I know it was a conversation that would change me. A few days later, with fingers shaking, I sent Colby a message via Twitter and asked if he’d want to try out my latest crazy idea. I wondered if I could be Colby’s virtual writing coach.
His excitement and warm response gave me confidence and we began working together in December. We meet about three times a month via Skype. We keep a reflective journal in Google Drive. I send him attachments for drafting and planning and revising through email. He sends me photos and videos of his writers in action.
Colby has completely restored my faith in instructional coaching. He helped me take ownership in my role as an instructional coach and has made me more effective. He helped me realize that when I’m most effective as a coach, I’m living up to my calling as a Soul-Nourisher.
Franki Sibberson has also played alongside me in this virtual coaching role. With Franki, I helped facilitate a space for reflective practice on Google Drive. Katie DiCesare let me see inside her writing process and her work as a teacher-writer. Katie and Franki helped me remember how much I appreciate the privilege of walking alongside teachers as they work to become the best they can be. I am always humbled when teachers let me tag along for the adventure.

All of this led to a new dream. I really love offering professional development through speaking at conferences and schools, but the real fruits of the work come in an ongoing teacher-coach relationship with the focus on the actual students in the classroom. If we want to change the world by creating bold and confident writers, then our professional development needs to be as close to the classroom as possible.

There are many teachers who would love to have an instructional writing coach, but it isn’t a reality in their corner of the world. I’d like to help make it a possibility.

So this week, I celebrate the launch of a new professional development option: instructional {e}coaching. Bring the professional development to you! You don’t have to write sub plans and the conversation and work is anchored to your students in your corner of the world.

Find out more at my new instructional {e}coaching site: Discover Play Build
Now it’s your turn. Link-up your celebrations below!


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  1. Ruth, this is so impressive and exciting! We don't have this teacher/coach model where I am from and it seems amazing. I just spent time exploring the site you have created. Thank you for sharing all of this here.

  2. Congratulations, Ruth. Your new venture sounds wonderful, & I'm going over now to check out the site. I am already wondering how we can sometime work together in a small way perhaps via my own coaching work. Never thought it could happen via cyberspace! Anyway, so excited to hear what you and others have been up to!

  3. “…fingers shaking..” I love this! This is when you know you're on to a great, life-changing idea! Can't wait to hear more!! I'm heading over to your other site right now!!!

  4. Ruth!!! This is crazy exciting! Every. Single. Time. I read a piece of your writing I sigh and I *wish* I had someone like you to work with. This morning I feel like my wish has been granted!

  5. I live in a cave most of the time, except when our gifted teachers in the district get together. I feel somewhat alone in what I do with my students. How wonderful that you and Colby, Franki, and Katie are making e-coaching a reality. I feel this will be a successful endeavor that can fill the void. YOu are definitely a soul-nourisher.

  6. I feel like Margaret – gifted education is an isolating place to be – I depend a lot on these virtual relationships! I can't wait to visit your site and read more about this. How exciting for you – how amazing that it was born from one simple conversation. I love that it was with Colby. 🙂

  7. Ruth, what an exciting step! We don't have instructional coaches in our district. What wonderful way to extend your ministry as a soul nourisher. I feel nourished every Saturday here at Celebrate This Week.

  8. Colby,
    Can you hear my laughing across all of the states between us right now?

    BTW, I think it takes a bomb dizzle to know a bomb dizzle. 🙂

  9. This is amazing! Your post really resonated with me. In my celebrations post this week I wrote about a recent experience as a Literacy Coach. Thank you so much for writing this and starting your PD! I have already contacted you!!

  10. Hooray!!!! I'm so excited that you are doing this and think any teacher will be fortunate to work with you and have you on their side. You are so amazing, such an inspiration. Hugs and hugs to you. xo. 🙂

  11. This sounds so interesting! I hope you continue to blog about this! I'm getting my feet wet in the coaching area, and after looking back on what I've done so far this year, I'm not going about it right! We always learn from our mistakes, right???

  12. Ruth! Congratulations on leaping into this new endeavor — it's so awesome, it's such a super idea, it's what you're made to do. I'm smiling because I know you will impact countless writers. Yay you! 🙂

  13. THAT is an amazing idea. I love it. I too, get disheartened (especially at this time of year) with coaching work at times. I do coach teachers from other districts though, who I once worked with and just never stopped because I moved. This is a revolutionary idea, in that meeting for coffee just sometimes doesn't fit into the schedule. I wish you the best! =D

  14. Wow – what an amazing idea!! I love that you tested the waters and are now running with it! Best of luck and can't wait to hear about your journey as you virtually meet with so many lucky teachers!

    Once again I am amazed at your brilliant thinking. I love hearing about your reflections and thoughts about home, adoption, faith, and teaching. Leap fearlessly!