Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Roles and Trust in Coaching

What roles will you take when coaching? 
    • Facilitator- Planning and leading meetings, activities, and staff development in one-on-one, small group, or large group situations.
    • Collaborator- Working together with colleagues to plan, implement, and evaluate activities.
    • Expert - Acting as a subject matter expert on a variety of topics.
    • Catalyst - Helping teachers reflect on and improve their practice by using questions strategies and skills that assist colleagues to become effective instructional decision makers. 

What other roles might you take on as a coach?
Innovator -
Very quickly I found myself helping to create a coaching plan and an idea for peer mentoring, as well as helping teachers integrate new tools into their lessons. Many of these happen on a school-wide scale that includes PD. The coach connects teachers in the building to new ideas.

Sounding Board -
Teachers often came to me with ideas they had. Many times it was just to talk and flesh out their plans -- not all of which came to fruition right away, and many needed more time. There were some good ideas that couldn't happen last year, but will form a starting point for this year.

Sometimes teachers would talk to me about personal issues when there was seemingly no one else around. I think that shows how important it is for coaches to be non-judgemental. That stance builds trust.

Caffeine -
I don't really know what to call this on, but I found the coaching role help teachers feel more comfortable to try to implement tech on their own -- even when I was not in the room with them. Teachers seemed more confident having someone in the school who they knew they could count on. This is only referring to technology, and I need to say that we have an awesome technology department. Knowing that someone would be available probably helped give teachers the confidence to try to push their own practice [possibly. this is speculation].

Why is trust-building important in coaching?

  • Why is trust critical to coaches?
Most teachers won't move out of their comfort zone and try new ideas if they feel they are being judged. Innovation / moving forward happens in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Coaches play an especially important role in that they work with teachers to create new lessons. Working with someone who is non-judgemental allows you to free your inhibitions and have the confidence to work with the unknown.

  • What can coaches do to engender trust? 
As I thought about this answer, I kept coming back to the safety of information. Coaches can engender trust by demonstrating to teachers that the information shared with them will not be shared with others. Once teachers know [negative] information will not be spread by a coach, it is easier to trust and work with them.

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