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.

Watch Melissa’s Video

Read Melissa’s Reflection

What goals did you set for yourself at the beginning of the program?

At the start of the program, I had everything to learn. I had no experience with instructional coaching, but I really wanted to learn more. I wanted to keep an open mind and learn as much as I could so that I would be able to help my school in implementing a coaching program.

How did each milestone support you in reaching your goal?

Each milestone was catered to my step in the process. In phase one, I was able to adopt a definition and create a vision for the coaching program at my school. In phase two, I created a needs assessment to learn more about what and how my colleagues want to learn. In phase three, I reflected on my coaching practice and coaching conversations. Each milestone was practical and really helpful for me in my journey.

What has been your biggest area of growth in the program?

I have grown so much! I have learned so much about coaching through this program. I think the biggest area of growth for me is being more reflective of my own practice in order to better understand what my next step should be. Sometimes understanding what you don’t know, helps you to see where you should go next!

Where do you still have room to grow?

I still need to work on my listening and questioning in coaching conversations. I want to practice turning off the voice in my head so I can be really responsive to my partner. I want to have some probing questions in my pocket so that I can help my partners dig deeper and come to their own conclusions.

What surprises and/or challenges have you had along the way?

I knew that instructional coaching would have an impact on student learning, but I really didn’t think about potential impacts beyond that. I loved reading Kim’s book chapter and her vision for coaching. I was able to see how coaching could influence a school’s culture and create a sense of belonging.

What would you do differently next time? What did you learn?

Next time, I would love to have more time to practice coaching conversations with more colleagues. This time, I did the best I could!

How did the Coach support you in your learning journey?

The structure of the course was really helpful for me! The Thrive Model of Clarity, Consistency, and Community is a framework that I would like to use at my school when establishing a coaching program, so I really enjoyed learning about each phase along the way. My school will definitely need to work on clarity first, so that was a big focus for me. I could take notes through the consistency and community phases, and then use those notes to put them into practice later.

How has your learning inside the Coach impacted your coaching practice & program in your school setting?

It has impacted all aspects. My learning in the Coach has helped me communicate with my leadership team so that we could start establishing a program at my school.

What next for your professional learning?

I want to continue learning more about coaching while reading professional texts. I want to apply what I learn in coaching cycles at my school. In a year or two, I’d love to participate in another course for more experienced coaches so that I can continue to refine my practice and build the program at my school.

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!