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 Cary’s Final Project

Read Cary’s Reflection

My goal was to learn how to do my new role of ES Tech Innovation Coach. This role was given to me in August somewhat unexpectedly. In my project I talk about how I grew in the role over the course of this year, but I don’t know that I addressed what worked well and what was a challenge. What has worked well this year was being given then time to prototype and test ideas. Ideas for both the role and the physical space that the role manages. As far as challenges the biggest one so far is trying to work out when to approach teams to have them begin the skills building process for using the physical space. This is something that I have prototyped a few ideas for but have not found the winning solution yet, though I may never find a solution.

My Greatest Learning:

I think that my greatest learning is that everything I am doing and experiencing is “typical” of what new coaches and sometimes experienced coaches go through when a new role is set up in a school. That the steps that I am taking are all leading me towards improvement of my skills so that I become a better coach. I think I have learned as well that there is no end goal in coaching, no point where I will go “Okay I am a fully developed coach”. I will always be growing and learning and tweaking depending on the school, teachers, and students. I think there will never be a point where I will go “okay I know 100% of what to do as a coach”. I will instead feel comfortable coaching and asking to be coached to continue to improve the coaching process in any school that I am in.

For this year I don’t think that I would do anything differently, though had this school year been a non pandemic school year I think I would have pushed a bit more to work with more teachers over the course of the year.

The Coach Support:

I think that the things that were the most helpful for me were the 1:1 mentor sessions with Kim and equally the group face to face meetings that we were able to have. Those two things were powerful tools in helping me understand that I am on the right “track” as far as my growth. They also helped me realize that my frustrations on the limits of the role were similar to every other participant’s frustrations.

What would you say to someone who is considering The Coach?

I am the ES Tech Innovation Coach, basically the design/maker coach. It means that I am working towards building design into our curriculum so that it fits naturally into multiple areas throughout the school.

The Coach has helped me by giving me the confidence that the path I was on was moving towards my growth as an effective coach. This is the biggest value of the program to me as it is an area that I have not been sure of. I have not had a coach mentor in house who has done what I do to learn from. Because of this it has been difficult to know if I am on the right track. This course has helped me realize that what I am doing is all leading towards my growth into becoming a more effective coach.

As I have said before and will continue to say, for me, it was super important that Kim came from a similar background to me. I have looked at coaching opportunities before and have always been turned off by the fact that I would have to do so much imagining to get their ‘practice’ to fit into my reality. I knew that Kim had lived my reality so she would be able to help me develop my practice.

The live mentoring was essential in this course. I think otherwise, personally, it would not have been effective. The live mentoring allowed me to answer “yes, but” questions that arose when I watched the videos or read the resources. Without that element I think I would have built less overall confidence in my practice.

Just do it, you will grow as a coach in ways you didn’t realize and you will add more connections to your PLN who will be willing to help you out whenever you ask.

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!