7 Jun 2015

Professional Coaching Reflection

I have been a coach this year for another staff member and am learning a lot about the concept.  Here are my thoughts after a professional development day with Jan Robertson.

Purpose of Coaching
Primarily coaching is designed to improve learning achievement and outcomes for students.  It does this through inquiry into our own teaching practice and pedagogy’s.  The coaches role is to provide a time and space for the partner to verbalise what is happening for them in their practice and then ask reflective questions to deepen the reflection.  Goal setting is a good tool to use as well..

Principles of coaching
Transparency - Talking through your thought structures as a coach of how you are coaching and what you are thinking of doing in the moment.
Listening - Giving the partner time to talk without interruption, suggestions, question, comment.
Questioning - clarify, exploring, deepening understanding of principles, values.
Partner led - It is up the partner to decide where the coaching direction goes not the coach, they are merely a companion

What it is not
Developing technical competency - NZOIA awards, IT skills.
Solution/advice giving - A coach should aim to guide a partner towards the answers that already lie within them.

My Big Question
Where does it start?  

If a coaching session must come from the partner then it must need to start with something from them… What then?  What to do if they have nothing burning the wish to inquire into?  It is implied that everyone wants to develop themselves and their practice so that students can learn better.  What if you come up against some not interested in this?  A fixed mind set would get in the way of coaching, this is definitely a tool that is under pinned by the concept of a growth mindset.

I recently had a coaching session as the coach where the we floundered around trying to explain and define coaching for the first half.  I was about to wrap it all up when I asked the question that totally changed the direction.

What is most important learning objective for students when they are with you in the outdoors?

This started us off talking about practice and inquiring into the 'how you do it' of outdoor instructing rather than the 'what you do'.

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