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Pathways Into Coaching

One of the questions I receive most often is: "How did you get into coaching? How did you become a coach?"

This was the first question posed to me by the Alabama Best Practices Center when they interviewed me last month. They asked a number of thoughtful questions that made me reflect on my coaching practice. Here are some of those questions:

  • In your introduction to your new book The Art of Coaching (Jossey Bass, 2013), you recall the familiar advice to would-be authors to "write the book you want to read" -- and go on to say that "this is the book I wanted to read as a new, struggling coach." How does your book support the new-coach audience? Are there other audiences?

  • In The Art of Coaching, you describe your model and approach to working with teachers and schools as "transformational." What are the core elements of your model and how does it differ from other approaches to school-based coaching we might be familiar with?

  • Might individual school conditions influence or determine the best coaching model? And if you think so, how might coaching look different in schools with high or low SES populations, in urban, suburban and rural schools, schools with a lot of ethnic diversity, etc.?

  • You've worked in a coaching role with principals as well as teachers. How is this work different? Are principals receptive to a coach who has not herself been a principal? How do you earn their trust?

You can read the full interview here, and while you're there, check out their site and connect with some Alabama coaches.

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