I figure this is a good time of year to declare my hopes and wishes related to coaching--specifically to coaching that could transform schools--and so here's my short list that only needs the wave of a magic wand.
I am always coaching for equity. Even when it's not overt and obvious, I'm always coaching for equity. This is not optional to me--to be a coach for equity. It is embedded within every question I ask, every suggestion I make, every moment of listening.
Here's an email I received from a coach this week: I am hoping to give an anonymous survey to the teachers I coach before winter break to allow them to give me feedback on my coaching so far. Do you have a survey like this?
I'm in the midst of planning massive set of upcoming workshops, institutes and trainings. I love designing these things, thinking through the flow of activities, the structures to guide people deep into the work, and the opportunities to model new ways of learning and doing...and here's a tool to help you design PD!
Yes, I used "should," (which elsewhere I suggest we banish from our vocabularies). And here are some other numbers that relate to our work that you might appreciate. 4: The November day which has been designated as International Coach Appreciation Day.
I recently did a workshop on coaching in which a high school principal expressed her desire to partner with her coaches and asked if I had any suggestions for how she could best support them.
I'm often asked by coaches if I can recommend a book or resource on adult learning theory. Learning about adult learning is essential if we want to be effective coaches--it's a knowledge set we can't do without.
A guest blog by Jennifer Abrams: "I spent some time last week with a colleague who was looking to get 'unstuck.' She wasn't sure what was next on her career path. She was calling many of her former colleagues to meet, to talk, to 'get perspective.'"
I'm frequently asked, "What's your secret weapon for coaching. What's the number one tool or strategy you use?" I think people want a response such as, "It's active listening," or "I always plan for coaching conversations," something concrete and replicable. After some reflection, I've identified my secret coaching weapon. It's compassion.
One of the most frequent questions I get from coaches is about how to coach teachers in the Common Core (CCSS). While there's some content knowledge you'll need to have about the CCSS, there are many coaching skills that apply regardless of the content.