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Chapters 1-2

Chapter 1 – The Good Apples


Read: Pages 3-15

Answer: Choose one, two, or three of the questions for this chapter and answer them fully. You can record answers in your notebook, email them to September or your master coach, discuss with a colleague or friend, or make a voice memo and listen back to it. 

We also highly encourage you to click here to share your responses and to comment on the responses of others.

Are you doing bad apple stuff? In what cases have you been a jerk, a slacker, or a downer? What is your effect on other people?

When have you encountered each of these archetypes (jerk, slacker, downer)?  What was your instinctive response in those interactions? Did you use any “Jonathan” strategies (respond with warmth, pivot, ask a question, listen intently)?

How might you use the strategies that Jonathan used with an individual rather than a group?

On page 7, the book includes quotes from several people about their experiences in positive group cultures. What do you want your coachees to say about their experiences of coaching? What do you want staff members to say about working in your building? What kind of group do you want to be a part of?

Page 8 includes interactions that lead to social connection. Which are common in your context? Which are you most comfortable/uncomfortable with? How can you use these if you are meeting virtually?

Page 10 describes the use of sociometers. In what way could your focused observations serve as sociometers to measure belonging cues? How could this idea deepen your coaching?

As you go about your day, look for the belonging cues outlined on pages 10 and 11. Where do you see them? Where are they lacking?

Page 13: “The first five minutes of sociometric data strongly predicted the outcomes of the negotiations. In other words, the belonging cues sent in the initial moments of the interaction mattered more than anything they said.” How could you use this idea to connect with “resistant” or “reluctant” coachees? How could you use it to influence the outcome of the next meeting that you are part of?

Chapter 2 – The Billion Dollar Day When Nothing Happened


Read: Pages 16-26

Answer: Page 20 connects the early Google culture with the kindergarteners in the spaghetti-marshmallow challenge. Do you experience this kind of energy, identity, and connection around solving teaching problems? If you like, you can click here to share your response

Connect: Read about the puzzle note, the “would you give a stranger your phone” experiment, and the hospital postcards on pages 21-24. The two points highlighted by the author – that a small signal can have a huge effect, and that you have to continually reinforce a sense of safety and belonging – are directly related to building collaborative partnerships, as well as to changing teacher behavior. What are some small signals that you could use over the course of the next year to create and reinforce a sense of belonging for your coachees? For the administrators you work with? For others? How will you plan for/schedule/track those signals?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. For one idea, click here and pay attention to the picture of the clipboard

Make a plan to schedule and track behaviors that will create a sense of safety and belonging. Create a system to remind yourself of this plan long after you’ve forgotten what’s in this chapter.