A good coach is a good listener. Yael Bacharach identifies five essential skills for coaching (https://www.inc.com/yael-bacharach/five-essential-skills-for-successful-coaching.html
- Listen with curiosity – demonstrate a genuine interest in what people are saying;
- Take in what you hear – listen to the words, observe the gestures, identify the emotions shared by others;
- Reflect with accuracy – provide people an opportunity to verify what they are sharing by paraphrasing, summarizing, or repeating meaningful words during dialogue;
- Questioning for exploration – asking open ended questions extends the conversation and allows for positive exchange;
- Provide feedback for development - when providing feedback, coaches should strive for clarity, relevance, and non-evaluative comments that are helpful and positive.
Effective educators are effective coaches in the classroom with their students; the transition to colleague coaching also demands the use of intentional skills. Coaching begins through relationship building and trust then extends into improving instructional practice through effective feedback. Feedback that elicits the desire for a change in practice demonstrates professional growth for both the coach and the colleague.
Click on this link to watch Steve Barkley talk with you about three types of educational coaching; technical, collegial, and challenging; three different video clips are provided focusing on each type. Barkley encourages educators to create a coaching culture where teachers are coaching each other. Also consider Barkley’s book that underlies this video, Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching
- Technical coaching is directly connected to professional learning
- Peer Observations with technical feedback
- Collegial coaching focuses on relationships
- Strengthen collaboration focused on teaching and learning
- Challenge coaching focuses on problem-solving
- Team collaboration, strategy development, peer observation, outcome evaluation
Barkley invites you to create a culture of coaching in your school. Reflect on his approach to professional learning through technical coaching; consider his insight regarding collegial coaching to strengthen collaboration among your staff and eliminate instructional isolation; plan to engage your teachers in challenge coaching.
Consider working in a learning environment where you work with professionals who provide you with coaching support and look to you for coaching feedback; your regard for each other is professional with a focus on teaching and learning. Listen as Steve shares his perspective of a coaching culture and consider what steps you can take to create a coaching culture in your school.
Follow this link to an article written by Thomas Crane, recognized author of The Heart of Coaching: Using Transformational Coaching to Create a High-Performance Coaching Culture. In this article, Crane focuses his words on creating a high performance culture and describes his vision of a coaching culture. He outlines seven characteristics of a coaching culture:
- Leaders are positive role models
- Every member is focused on customer satisfaction
- Coaching flows in all directions – up, down, and laterally
- Teams become passionate and energized
- Learning occurs, more effective decisions are made, and change moves faster
- HR systems are aligned and fully integrated
- The organization has a common coaching practice and language
Consider Thomas Crane’s recommendation for today’s most potent organizational change process – creating a coaching culture! Reflect on each of the characteristics outlined in Crane’s article and consider your school culture:
- Are you perceived as a positive role model?
- Are the decisions you and your staff make effective in promoting high levels of student performance?
- Are your HR systems aligned and fully integrated?
Crane’s book, The Heart of Coaching: Using Transformational Coaching to Create a High-Performance Coaching Culture, provides you with additional insight into the Transformational Coaching Process, the Heart of the Transformational Coach, and Creating a High-Performance Coaching Culture.
As you engage with Crane’s words, consider your school setting:
- What feedback do you get from your students specific to their learning process?
- What do you and your colleagues do with this information?
- Do you and your colleagues have an established coaching relationship that supports ongoing dialogue, learning, problem solving, and enhanced instructional planning?
- As you begin your school year, week, and day – are you and your colleagues passionate and energized about teaching and learning with students?
Share this article with your colleagues and administrators. Work forward together and create a high-performance coaching culture!
Bloom, Castagna, Moir, and Warren recognize the role of the principal in setting the tone of their school. Principals have the ability to foster collegiality, support adult learning, and nurture teachers. This ability can be strengthened and enhanced for an administrator by developing coaching skills, implementing blended coaching strategies, and using coaching to drive school improvement. Through the authors’ lenses, you will explore:
- What is coaching?
- Meeting the challenges of principalship;
- Building relationships;
- Listening, observing, and questioning;
- Providing feedback;
- What is blended coaching?
- Facilitative coaching;
- Instructional coaching;
- Collaborative coaching;
- Consultative coaching;
- Transformational coaching;
- Coaching for systems change;
- Designing a leadership coaching program.
This book provides the school administrator with a comprehensive set of skills and strategies to promote a coaching culture.
This is an excellent resource that allows you to explore your role as a coach in collaborating with your teachers to promote high levels of performance for students. If you want to know more about your role as a coach implementing a performance based teacher evaluation process, the skills and strategies outlined in this resource will impact your perceptions and actions.