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 Foundations: Structures for Success

The Task: Which of the coaching approaches is the most challenging for you? Why? What ideas do you have to improve in that area? What can you do to practice the skills needed to grow?

At this point in time shifting to the collaborative/coaching is a conscious learning curve. My level of experience is in the first two years of a school/district  implementing devices. I haven’t moved beyond the 101 in my own development as a coach. In the last 5 years I have worked at 3 different schools and all have been in the initial stages of tech implementation. I’m looking forward to staying in one place and growing with a school in terms of blending technology with workflow and instruction.

In my previous position I started to lay the groundwork for instructional coaching through a comprehensive evaluation matrix the district required. Due to my lack of coaching experience I didn’t understand all the parts and it was hard to visualize what expectations looked like. I reconnected with Eduro and Kim’s mentorship to complete the evaluation which eventually led me to this course.

Ideas for improving would be my own professional learning plan to help structure & focus my time spent with teachers. I’ve started to attend planning meetings. I’ve realized a need to discern between “working for” (consulting) and “working with” (collaborative/coaching).  Asking myself, “What am I doing for this teacher/team?” and “What am I doing with this teacher/team”. I’m beginning to see how my questions in meetings also shape a teachers/teams’ perception of me and my role.

I spend part of my time going through the class websites, instructional plans, and LMS (Seesaw). This is giving me a feel for what’s happening and how I can help teachers/teams. I recently reached out to the Art teacher discussing a way to improve picture posting which led to a conversation about future project collaborations. I’m happy because she collaborates with all of the teachers/teams and this can work to multiply efforts. I’m hoping to “work with” the Librarian as well yet, at the same time I am slowing things down for personal and professional sustainability. It’s okay to baby step this and learn the process of coaching.

Read more from The Coach participants as they share their learning from the microcredential program…

David’s post: What is Coaching? (Coaching as Leadership)

Cary’s post: Why Do Schools Need Coaches?

Andre’s post: What Challenges Do Coaches Face?

Sandra’s post: Coaching in Practice

Cary’s post: The Coaching Cycle