Those who know me know that I have a love for mentoring and coaching. This is based on all of my experiences where these styles of conversations actually improve learning. I also follow a blog called whatedsaid and was really pleased to see some of the comments made by others including;
If there’s no action, there is no point in coaching. What happens as a result of the reflective conversations? What do teachers do? How does practice change? How is learning affected?
This is so true, the whole point of these conversations is to move learning on. Also commented on was;
Coaching is grounded in evidence. From the first conversation, it’s about noticing and naming what the coachee is feeling, followed by gathering of agreed data through planned observation, to seeking evidence that change has taken place. How will the teacher know she has been successful? How is student learning impacted?
For those of us trying to support teachers whether experienced or new to the profession all conversations should be productive for the coachee rather than a time waster, that stops them from reflecting and moving forward. And finally;
Listening is a key element
Coaching is about LISTENING, not about TELLING. It’s like inquiry teaching… Listen to where the learner (teacher) is at and ask questions that help them figure out where to go next. The coach needs to get rid of their ‘internal dialogue’ – It’s not about you!
So many senior leaders think that they have to be the one in charge, really bad coaching can leave the coachee feeling very uninspired and demotivated. I know I have been there,and heard others. In the staff room I hear after appraisal ‘ they are giving me one last chance’, or ‘I tried to explain that over the course of the year x, y or z happened which was outside my remit, but they just wouldn’t listen and help me work out what to do if it happens next time’. and finally ‘it just feels like they are using appraisal to stop me getting paid any extra’. Just remember if you were the coach who wasn’t being an effective coach – None of these teachers deserved this as they were good solid teachers, none of the departments or their leaders needed the demotivated staff as it impacts not only on the coachee but all of the people around them. Finally if they get that demotivated they drag everyone down with their negative tones and/or eventually leave which is counter productive. Retention is clearly the best option as you know the person in front of you, anyone else will take more time and money to fit in…just worth thinking about.
If you want to see more on this blog visit http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/coaching-for-learning/#like-19189