We want to give you a peek inside our Coach Certificate & Mentorship Program. Coaches taking part in this academic-year-long journey have graciously given us permission to post some of their learning and reflections from the private coursework they are undertaking during this program. Where possible, we have shared the course and the action task to give context for the guest post.

The Coach Final Project

The Coach Final Project

The Final Project is a chance for you to reflect on everything you’ve learned and/or discovered throughout this Certificate Program.  You will create an 8-10 min video sharing on the goal that you set, documenting the process of working towards your goal, reflecting on your achievement and sharing the process/outcome with our learning community. The most important part of your personal project is that it’s relevant to you, and you can demonstrate, through documentation and video, the impact your work has had on your school. 

Watch Sandra’s Final Project

Sandra’s Final Course Reflection

In 2018-2019, I was working with our team to think about areas that we needed to grow in we summarized it into four main areas: Curriculum Scope & Sequence, Accessible & Robust Resources, Vibrant Community Engagement​ and Knowledgeable & Skilled Teachers​. Especially in the last area of focus I knew from research that “Coaching and mentoring in schools is now recognised as a key ingredient in school improvement and an important way to build teaching and learning capacity, develop leadership capability and, ultimately, to improve student learning outcomes and wellbeing.​” ~ Growth Coaching International​ and so the desire was for our school to move towards a coaching culture. However, our teachers and even my team members had limited or differing understanding about what coaching was. So my goal for this course was to have our team go through the course together, so that as a team we would have a better understanding of what being a coach means. Going through the course as a team also allowed all of us to have common language and experiences to reflect and grow together.

I would define success if all our coaches completed the course, and were able to articulate more clearly what the role of a coach was. In addition, that they would find value in not only the coaching model but being coaches themselves, but also by being coached. I was a bit worried that because the course was HIGHLY encouraged by me as the leader, that there would be resistance to the course, or a lack of motivation to complete it. (The course was a full year program and required that coaches take time to do assignments and also sacrifice other professional growth opportunities.)

But despite some of my concerns for the challenges in the course, I felt that the outcome of the course would be a more cohesive vision, and a stronger understanding of what coaching was. And with the skills gained from the course, the impact on teaching and learning already in the first year would be stronger because coaches would not only gain coaching skills from their reading and assignments, but also through discussions with each other and through personal coaching with Kim. My hope is that there would grow more and more each year, a stronger buy in to coaching and how it can improve teaching and learning in the school. That there would be a spirit of continued growth mindset that would be through a collaborative spirit of iron sharpening iron through coaching relationships.

This has been a wonderful experience together through the course. I think the biggest takeaway for me has been seeing the learning that everyone on the team has had. It has been a real privilege seeing the growth in thinking of the various members through the forums, and from our various conversations together. Since my personal project has been trying to capture this journey of Building a Coaching Culture, I think for me the growth has been quite apparent. Coaches can better define what the role of a coach is, I’ve seen team members feeling more confident about their roles, we have more teachers understanding the benefits of coaching, and there’s a better sense of where we need to go next as a team with regards to coaching. The ‘aha’ moment is that there is A LOT of value in doing this as a team. However, I do think that the coaches would have benefitted from more time to discuss this in clusters face to face and really dive into the content month by month together.

During the course the readings were really great. I dived into articles that I didn’t always have time/opportunities to read, and some of them were really thought provoking giving me new insight into coaching. I also spent time reading the reflections of all the team members as for me, I really needed to evaluate the impact that the course was having on our team’s thinking, and whether it was a worthwhile investment of our money and time. Each week I also met with Kim discussing leadership challenges, strategy for team building and ideas for coaching. This was such a wonderful time each week to be able to talk to somebody who was outside of our organization, who had no real connection to our school, and feel free to discuss challenges in a way that would help me to reflect and often come up with a next step or action. It was also nice that each week when I met with Kim again, I would feel accountable to the actions I had committed to, so in this way there was always forward movement.

I’m really excited to see the projects of everyone, hearing about their journey, and what they felt they have accomplished this year. This course is a collective effort and we can only be successful if we move forward as a team.

Level Up Your Impact with Our Certificate Programs

There are so many ways to make an impact in your school community. If you’re looking to level up your impact, either as a school leader, a coach or a teacher, explore our certificate programs: Women Who LeadThe Coach, and COETAIL. Or, if your goal is truly unique, register for a private mentoring package. If any of today’s post resonated with you, join us for the next cohort of WWL, The Coach or purchase a private mentoring package! Registration for our global cohorts opens once a year, make sure you’re on our mailing list to be notified as soon as they open! You can find all of these learning opportunities on the our website!

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