Successful #coaching #reflection

I have coached science teachers for approximately two years, mostly with technology integration and inquiry-based approaches in the classroom setting. One of my teachers in particular is whom I reflect upon when asked, “What really works for teacher coaching?

This teacher and I started with a good relationship, having worked together closely for two years prior. I moved to the coaching position and she trusted me to help her if needed because we already had great rapport. This reminds me that the first thing to build is a mutually supportive and positive relationship with the teachers that I serve. I have coached other teachers with varying degrees of success, so I know that rapport building is both situational and personal. How we achieved great rapport between us is not readily transferrable to another pair of people and their specific relationship. A coach needs to start fresh with each new teacher and work with the teacher to build their relationship based on that teacher’s needs.

This teacher wanted to learn how to use an educational technology tool and use it well. She was eager to have my help, and she sought me out to get it. So much of what stops anyone from asking for help is a fear of appearing foolish or incapable; an idea which only comes to life when the opinion of another is considered. She knew that I would support her and she was unconcerned with her own ego. She is a person who is comfortable with who she is and what her unique talents are. How do we get teachers to be in this same comfortable headspace, whatever it is for them personally? A coach needs to consider mindset as a part of their coaching practice.

If you have a great working relationship and your teacher has a desire to learn something new all that remains is for you to share your gift with them. We worked through the process twice, my own active modeling more prevalent at the beginning, with her totally taking over the computer at the end. I had only to remind her of a few tricky steps. A week or so later she saw me in the hall and she beamed, telling me, “I did it all on my own and it worked!” A coach needs to know what they are talking about, which means a coach needs to be a learner too!

These are just some of my ideas surrounding one of my successful experiences as an instructional coach! Thanks for reading!

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