Increasing My Coaching Skills

Tianna Loeffler

Guest Author
The Coach Microcredential Graduate 2020

My goals for this microcredential were to introduce and develop the coaching concept within the school while increasing my coaching skills and techniques.

I planned to meet them by helping my colleagues understand what coaching was, providing the opportunities for them to be coached, if they wanted, and learn how to be a better coach.

Tianna’s Final Project Video

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

I know I will be successful in reaching these goals if I feel more confident as a coach – both with more tools in my toolbag and knowing how to coach someone. I also will know I have been successful if fellow teachers who have felt that being coached by me was beneficial and helped them along their own learning journeys. I want to practice coaching with willing participants and, in doing so, want to become more comfortable with different styles and techniques for coaching.

I need to learn new strategies, refine my current strategies and practice coaching in order to reach my goals. By introducing something fairly new to my faculty and staff, I will need the support of administration and the teachers themselves as they need to be open to being coached.

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

I think there will be a number of challenges. These may include:

  • Administration being willing to allow me the opportunity to try new avenues for improving teacher, and in turn, student performance;

  • Willingness on the part of the teachers and/or faculty to be open to coaching;

  • Enough time in my schedule to accommodate the needs or wishes of my faculty and staff.

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

I think it will help teachers be more comfortable with technology integration and with coaching in general. Teachers will have a better understanding of what coaching looks like and how it is beneficial to their teaching practice.

I also believe that it might help more people to share best practices more regularly. Currently, I find that overall people are quite hesitant to share out what is happening in their own classrooms. And as a whole, teachers are doing really great things and shouldn’t be afraid to share.

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

I hope to see large numbers of teachers asking for coaching, teachers helping other teachers, and big strides toward getting more teachers comfortable using technology.

What has gone well so far?

I have felt like overall the personal project has been going pretty well. I laid out my plan for the coaching journey that I have been following over the course of this year and added details along the way to help clarify different aspects of it. By doing this, I also had a plan of what clips, images, examples, etc that I needed to gather so that I wasn’t scrambling for them at the end. And as I do well with checklists, I was able to include this feature into the document so that I could visually see what was needed and what I already had.

What surprises and/or challenges have you had?

In putting the final project together, I realized that I didn’t have enough images to cover the voice recordings that I was adding. It was challenging to know the length of the “script” that I would be speaking before I had thought it all the way through. As a result, I had to look for and gather more documentation.

I also found that recording speech was more challenging than I expected as I was getting different sounds depending on how I recorded. I re-recorded sound bites many times until finding the best solution – using my headphones with a connected microphone.

I was also a little disappointed with the creativity portion of my video as I had wanted it to be something more interesting to watch. I did try around a variety of different ways to share the info, but in the end went back to something I was more comfortable with for ease of use and creating a finished product that showed my journey. It just means that I’ve got more learning and experimenting to do!

Another challenge/surprise for me was the addition of my school moving to Distance Learning as a result of the coronavirus. At a time when I was really trying to buckle down on my final project and wrap up loose ends, I now had a huge additional workload to add to my plate and my mental capacity. However, the silver lining in this was that teachers have been really upskilling in technology in a very short amount of time and have been asking to join the coaching rotations with me as a result.

Tianna’s Learning Journey Reflection
(click to see full version)

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