Developing a Culture of Coaching by Defining My Role

Whitney Little

Guest Author
The Coach Microcredential Graduate 2020

My goal for the microcredential program was to develop a culture of coaching at school by defining my role as a coach and developing tools to help teachers.

Whitney’s Final Project Video

My plan to meet these goals began with developing clear guidelines for the incoming administrators as to what the role of a coach is and what they expect from me. For the staff, I planned on communicating the job description, scheduling meetings with teachers to look at personal goals and ways I can help. I would also target key, influential teachers to collaborate with, in hopes they spread the word. Finally, I would offer short PD’s and training to share knowledge and information.

What would success look like if you met your goals? What steps do you think you need to take to reach those goals?

Success would look like a busy calendar full of push-in lessons and reflective conversations. Staff actively seeking out my coaching, not me manipulating the situation to force this interaction. Lastly, administrators who support and provide time for these activities.

What challenges did you think you and/or your stakeholders might face and how did you plan to overcome those challenges?

I am defining my role as a coach to administrators. This position has a history of not having a clear purpose or function. In the past, it has been a catch-all position. I will have to change that culture of thinking. I will begin by developing a new job description to present to the Senior Leadership Team.

This school does not have a culture or environment that understands or values coaching. Gaining teacher buy-in will be difficult. It will take positive interactions and an organic spread of the benefits of working with a coach.

Identifying the best times in the day/week to get participation in short training and PD sessions would be the last challenge. I can overcome this through trial and error.

What did you think the impact would be on your school environment as you worked towards and ideally, achieved your goals?

I was hoping that developing a culture of coaching would open up the walls of the school to create more of a community environment. An environment where people make time to work together, share ideas and resources. Where teachers and administrators trust and support each other, knowing that we are all in it for one reason – to help our students become the best possible human beings.

What are you hoping to see in your school environment as you conduct and conclude the project?

Right now, it is going to be difficult to see anyone in person as I conclude the project. I have collected a lot of evidence along the way, thankfully! It is more using chats, emails and resource documents.

What is going well?

I feel like the whole video-making process is going well. I was prepared with evidence I have been gathering throughout the duration of this course. This has helped a lot. It is remembering where all the evidence is and what it is actually about. With all the resources available in the course, it was pretty easy to come up with a plan for the big ideas as to what should be included in the video. It is just a matter of putting it all together.

I have loved reflecting on everything that has happened over the course of this year. It is amazing how much I have done, how many teachers I have worked with, how many coaching sessions have happened. I have no idea when I had time to do all of that!

What surprises or challenges have you had?

Motivation – right now has been such a hard time mentally with virtual learning. I am in front of the computer screen all day teaching and finding the time and energy to continue working on a video is hard. I have been putting it off until the weekends but then I just want to get outside and enjoy nature, so the video gets pushed off even more. Making videos also takes so much more time than I remember (I think I say this every time I make a video)! What I think will take an hour takes 3 and I don’t want to start working on something unless I have that unlimited time to really focus.

It will happen, I know it will.

Read: Whitney’s Reflection Part 2: Key Takeaways from Each Course

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