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 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 Andre’s Final Project
Read Andre’s Reflection
Develop an understanding of the role of Maker Design and Integration Coach from an individual and organizational view within the context of our school while building the relationships and relational skills and competencies required for research and development of integration practices along with the management of the MS Maker Space.
- Maker Space organized and a plan in place for procurement of supplies and bookings.
- The Coach Microcredential Completed
- Evidence of integration practices with classes at different grade levels
- Co-planning relationships with early adopter teachers
What steps do you think you need to take to reach those goals?
The organizational aspects of the maker space required time. I spent long hours in the space, cleaning out storage closets and rearranging materials and tools for better access. This remained an ongoing process once students began using the space as I had to tweak some of the set up arrangements based our experiences.
I focussed on getting the maker space up and running which in turn brought some interest from colleagues with whom I had taught previously. Those relationships came easy and we co-planned maker projects for their students. Relationships with the administration proved somewhat more challenging to develop but over time as trust was established led to more fruitful discussions which also impacted the learning that we were able to pursue in the space.
What challenges did you think you and/or your stakeholders might face and how did you plan to overcome those challenges?
- COVID Fatigue- Teachers, students are in some cases emotionally exhausted due to the ongoing pandemic. Some were not able to return to our location for months. Others pressed on and had to open school covering multiple roles while standing in for their colleagues. I chose to be mindful of this and did not press to bring about major changes to the programs. I rather listened, worked with and tried to understand where people were at before beginning the conversation about integration.
- Mindsets-breaking down walls between teacher/subjects is a challenge. Here I chose to engage early adopters and friends with whom I had taught in the past. Our successes led to more requests for help.
- Transitions: COVID is seriously impacting transitions of teachers in and out of this location in China. By the time of the writing, quite a few teachers with whom I have been working have decided to leave. Newly hired teachers may not be able to come anymore. For this level of uncertainty I have yet to find a solution.
What did you think the impact would be on your school environment as you worked towards and ideally, achieved your goals?
- I don’t think that there will be a huge impact during this first year. I am a new coach in a new role. As a result, I would hope for the role being defined with more clarity which then could help teachers understand what I have to offer them in support. I also hope to have established relationships with at least one teacher per grade level. Knowing and understanding how coaching works within our school context would also become a big win later in this process or working with teachers and teams.
What are you hoping to see in your school environment as you conduct and conclude the project?
- Ideally-well established relationships: With admin and with the teachers.
- Student learning slowly being impacted with the launch of new maker experiences at each grade level.
Final Project Reflections
This one was difficult to make-the story to complex to tell at times…capturing the essence within the confines of a 10 minute period. Yet this small segment is my journey…from the classroom, via the confusion caused by COVID induced restrictions and misinterpretations of a job description through my first year as an instructional coach. The journey led to clarity supported in a large part by the work we did and covered through this course.
I am still on the road…the beginning is not in sight any longer and the destination still beckons beyond the next meeting or interaction with teachers or students.
- The journey is ambiguous-Learn to be patient and navigate the uncertainty.
- The journey is communal- Relationships do matter.
- The journey is easy and difficult at the same time. Use the easy as a stepping stone to the difficult.
- The journey is yours- own it, say it, act it.
- Coaching Foundation: Structures for Success
- Coaching Essentials
- Coaching: From Theory to Practice
I have met it in part. The focus has mostly been on the maker component of my role. It was easier to connect with teachers around the makerspace and what it could offer their students. Next steps would be to begin working with teams in creating more of an integrated approach in each grade level. Using the work already accomplished and the relationships already established to support this ongoing coaching work.
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 Lead, The 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!