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 Topic: Coaching Challenges

The Task: After reviewing some of the surprising challenges that all coaches face, reflect on your own experience.

What surprised you most when you became a coach?

When I became a coach I was really surprised by how critical relationships are to the success of the position. This is very different from being a classroom teacher or a specialist teacher. In these roles, you can do your job without investing and forming positive relationships with your colleagues, although it’s nice when you can.

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was finding a way into every team.

How did you overcome that specific challenge?

I overcame this challenge by being patient and continuing to show up with an open mind for those teams. Eventually, I was able to make a personal connection and work with one member of the team. This created the ripple effect and opened doors for me to work with the more reluctant teachers on the team. I also realized that it was better to focus on working with the willing, rather than continue to push on closed doors with another teacher. In a sense, I accepted that some teachers aren’t ready (yet).

What piece of advice would you share with newer coaches to be prepared for that challenge?

I would tell new coaches to water the green shoots or start with the teachers who are willing first, and accept that some teachers will not be ready to work with you at this time.

What is a challenge you’re facing now?

I’m currently challenged by my reflection on my past year. It was one of the toughest years I’ve ever had. I feel that my professional performance was less than satisfactory.

How are you currently managing that challenge?

I’m managing this challenge by taking the time to deeply reflect and make a plan for the new year to make the changes I need to be a better coach next school year. I’m also trying to be kind to myself and show myself the same level of empathy that I would show a friend.

Read more from The Coach participants as they share their learning from the certificate & mentorship program…

Karlie: The Coach as Change Agent

Becca: Seeing Yourself as a Leader

Tina: What Challenges Do Coaches Face?

Becca: Dealing with Challenges

Level Up Your Coaching with The Coach!

If you are ready to dive deep into your coaching practice, to help you #coachbetter and build a thriving coaching culture in your school, please join us for our next cohort of The Coach!

Wherever you are in building a coaching culture in your school, The Coach will give you the strategies, skills and tools you need to make coaching a success and will empower you to confidently apply instructional coaching strategies in any situation – from building a coaching program, to having coaching conversations, to being a leader in your school community. We facilitate only one cohort each academic year so we can offer individualized support for each participant.

Coaches of all levels are welcome: you’ll start the program with a self-assessment to determine exactly what the next steps are for you!