What do School Based or Instructional Coaches need to support teachers during this pandemic? Now is the time teachers need coaching more than ever, but not in content. Teachers need the support to navigate the changes and uncertainty they are facing each day. School based coaches are trained to coach instruction, curriculum, classroom management and the implementation of programs. Very few school districts provide high quality coach training for their school based coaches. Training is provided in best practices for the content areas, but little or none is provided on what coaching is and how to coach. My 18 years of experience as a school and district based coach, provided training in assessment, classroom observation, data analysis and effective ways to plan and facilitate professional development. It was only after I began to take professional coaching classes that I learned I was not really “coaching”. I was training, observing, modeling, planning with teachers, looking at the results and modifying again if needed to get specific outcomes. If you are a coach, does this sound familiar? While I took classes to earn my Board Certification in coaching, I realized that if the school administrators have not experienced coaching themselves, they do not understand how valuable it is. The leaders in supervising the district or school based coaches have never experienced coaching themselves. They do not understand what coaching is, so therefore are unable to provide quality coach training for their coaches. Many times, a school based coach is hired straight from the classroom because they are a good language arts teacher, math teacher, or they would make a good administrator. You cannot give what you do not have.
Coaching is about change. Organizations don’t really change, the people in the organization change. Remote coaching is an opportunity to provide high quality professional development for school based coaches. It is also an opportunity to provide training for teachers and students to learn coaching strategies that will increase engagement, motivation and learning in the classroom
Organizational change is about the people, relationships and trust within the organization. Coaching provides the missing piece in the change process to get the desired results. Remote coaching is available to leverage organizational change.
Remote professional development must be designed to meet the needs of beginning coaches and experienced coaches taking them from where they are in the coaching continuum to where they need to be as highly effective coaches. Professional development for coaches must include how adults learn, relationship and trust building. Today that it is essential for that professional development to include a strong foundation on the mental and emotional health needs of teachers, students and parents.
Remote learning is the best model right now to provide coaches with the training and expertise needed to support teachers and students during this challenging time. Schools and school districts can hire the very best professional coaches, remotely to train and support their administrators and school based coaches.
Schools that embrace coaching create a culture where administrators, teachers and students develop positive relationships with each other that change behavior, foster collaboration, creativity and learning.
Principals trained in coaching lead their schools in a positive, innovative way, supporting learning for everyone in the school. This learning culture supports and provides a safe place for administrators, teachers and students to be successful.
Are you ready to provide your school based coaches with the professional development they need right now to support your teachers, students and parents? Are your teachers and students worth the investment?
Click here for information on training opportunities for educational coaches.