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: Phase 0: Foundations Milestone

The Task: Share your artifact and a written reflection on your learning during this phase.

What were your key “aha” moments during Phase 0: Foundations?

I am my biggest (and worst) critic. That in itself is not a “aha” moment, however, through reflecting on the need to collect data from multiple perspectives and sources in order to evidence and evaluate the impact of my coaching on teaching and learning, I realised that I place too much value in my own judgements of my coaching rather than combining them with the varying data points at my disposal. Feedback is something which is so easily and readily available in a coaching role and it is important that I not only take advantage of this, but use it as a way to gain a far more well-rounded, balanced and objective perspective of my impact.

What artifact did you choose to create and share?

The artifact I chose to create for this phase of the program was an infographic of the targeted “risk” I had decided to take to grow my coaching skills in this program. That targeted risk was creating a social media presence and growing a PLN on twitter.

One Year Twitter Test Drive infographic

Why did you choose to create this artifact?

This targeted risk aligns with the core competency for Instructional Coaches, 1.a. Develops coaching capacity through professional learning. Coach engages in self-directed learning to build coaching capacity. Coach recognizes gaps in own learning and seeks out professional learning to address those gaps. After spending time deliberating over whether or not to start a professional social media account, I decided that ‘I won’t know, unless I try’. 

What did you learn in the creation of this artifact?

Creating this infographic was a valuable way for me to pull apart the action of starting a twitter account for professional growth, and to analyze and reflect upon what I wanted from that action and how I would look to manage and mitigate the risk factors which had been the core reasons for not having an interest in setting up a professional social media account. I made choices about what I wanted to give and gain from using twitter, as well as making some initial choices about the areas of interest I would focus on initially. Basically, this artifact became my justification for making the leap.

How has this artifact moved you closer to your goals for your coaching role or program?

My goal for this coaching program is actually embedded in refining and formalizing the structures & protocols I have in place in my own coaching practice and program. First and foremost, I have initially identified the need to: develop strategies to collect & share data and evidence about the impact of your coaching to demonstrate how the day-to-day of coaching work impacts student and teacher learning. In my opinion, establishing a PLN will support me in my goals through the course as I will be able to not only pull inspiration and tools from peers and like minded professionals in my field, but also provide a platform to seek advice and feedback (another way to collect data!) in order to assess my impact in my role through a wider variety of data points.

Where are you at in terms of your goals for your coaching role or program right now?

As above, I believe this is the first step in setting the foundation to working towards my goals.

What are the next steps you need to take to get closer to your goals for your coaching role or program?

This past week I sent out my ‘end of year coaching opportunities’ menu to staff. Now that I have done that, I am ready to start thinking about how I collect some data from individuals and teams I have worked with this year which will, 1. help me ascertain the impact on teaching and learning my role has had this year and, 2. think about how I might be able to gather this data “on the go” next year. Already in the toolbox from yesterday’s cohort meet with Amber and Maggie: using the question at the end of a coaching conversation, “how has this conversation helped you?” (positive presupposition). Loved this. Easy, on-the-spot data collection!

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

Kelly: Focus on Equity

Ashley: Working with Adults

Kate: The Importance of Relationships in Instructional Coaching

Karlie: The Coach as Change Agent

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!