We had a wonderful Professional Development opportunity when two trainers from Ravenswood School (Jariram) in England, Richard Lockyer and Amanda Simpson, came to share their knowledge of Coaching with us. This will serve as a summary of what stood out to me from this practical, hands-on and informative session.
Coaching is…”focused on helping people improve their performance through a series of structured interventions”
Performance= Potential – Interference
4 essential qualities in school coaching practices
- a desire to make a difference to student learning
- a commitment to professional learning
- a belief in the abilities of colleagues
- a commitment to developing emotional intelligence
Coaching is grounded in 5 key skills:
- establishing rapport and trust
- listening for meaning
- questioning for understanding
- prompting action, reflection and learning
- developing confidence and celebrating success.
There were many things that I took from this day to apply to my own practice, but the quote “we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason” definitely hit home. It is not my job as a coach to talk; it is to listen. Start from where the coachee is and who they are. There are 3 levels of listening: Level 1- Internal Listening (listening to see when you can come into the conversation”; Level 2- Focused Listening- listening to speaker and focusing on them, promoting them; Level 3- Global Listening- Intuition- listening for meaning outside of the words, stretching yourself. We shouldn’t be getting involved in the ‘story’- it is about finding the nuggets that will help improve their practice. Feedback is not flattery; it is constructive and useful where the coachee know you are on their side and the side of student learning.
Principles of Coaching:
- the coach believes that individuals possess huge potential to resolve their own issues
- The coach brings no pre-conceived ideas or judgements, but acts as a catalyst for change
- The coachee remains responsible at all times for the situation and the solutions and it should be about what the coachee thinks and experiences- (not my opinions!)
- The coach believes that the coachees can generate great solutions that best fit their circumstances
- Coaching is about helping coachees to learn, rather than teaching them.
- Coaching focuses on future possibilities, and treats past failures as learning experiences
- The coach believes in the value and uniqueness of every coachee
The role of the coach is to bring their coachee into their comfort zone where they feel okay and move them to a stretch zone where the learning takes place, all the while not pushing them into the panic zone where emotions take over and ‘fight/flight’ kicks in. It is about the 3 A’s: Awareness, Action and Achieve. As well, it was helpful to think that coachees do not “Care what You Know, until they Know You Care”. We have to build the relationship of trust first. Effective communication is 38% Voice Control, 55% Body Language and 7% words. Therefore, it is not the words you are saying, but HOW you are saying it that gets conveyed to the listener. To build rapport with people, you should copy the general sense of what they are doing: imitate,mirror or match them (voice, pacing), use the words they use, mirror their body language. This is definitely something I want to try to see its affect.
A great model to conduct meetings that we were given was the GROW model:
- G- Goals (what we aim for- goal for the session)
- R-Reality (Exploring the present reality- what are you doing NOW?)
- O-Options (Stretching beyond what has tried or thought about before- what are the options?)
- W- Way Forward (Gaining commitment towards taking action- How are you going to get there?)
Lots of great information and an inspiring training to get us thinking about how we can grow as coaches and support the new teachers in their journey.Posted: October 1st, 2010 in Coaching and Mentoring Program, Professional Development Training | 1 Comment »