Some members asked for the coaching cycle components one more time… 🙂
A coaching cycle is simply a framework, that helps to provide assistance in a systematic way. Without this framework, I find that it is too easy to begin “bird-walking” down paths that (while fun), do not lead to the change I am working toward accomplishing. The other important point that I really want to emphasize is that….”IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU” [sorry, but don’t worry you will come in at the end]. Everything you provide for the teacher is simply based on their wants and needs….so let’s run back through the cycle looking at it from that perspective.
- THE GOAL: “Easy, student-focused, reachable”(Knight, 2015) If “you” (and your wants and needs) begin to creep into goal setting, things will eventually get muddy. Allow the teacher to guide the goal. If the teacher you are working with is not committed to the goal, then when the going gets rough ….the commitment with waver. Trust me, I have been down the road. They have to “want it”!!!! As a coach, you are asking the questions to get them there. Make SURE they are passionate about it.
For me, it’s all about the goal [ I do actually sing “it’s all about that goal, ‘bout that goal… ] if the goal is absolutely crystal clear, then I can continue to reference it and hold it when the going gets tough. “Remember, you really wanted the kids to start work within two minutes of arriving in your room”.
- Learn (research): My hip-pocket question: “So, how do you want to proceed from here?”
How they want to proceed tells me A LOT about the person. Do they want to do their own research? Go in and watch another teacher, do they want me to gather information for them? I learn a lot about how they want to operate, at this stage. Again, it’s NOT about me; I will service their needs any way I can!
Remember, we talked about generating a checklist at this point. A simple checklist can help both the instructor, and you, gather the necessary data (they decide what goes on it, you simply ask the questions).
- Improve: This is the point where the data is gathered (probably by the coach, but there are other options, even involving students can be an exciting venture. It demonstrates to students that we are also learners. It also can demonstrate to them how to accept feedback and work on improvement.). I usually just give the data to the teacher and allow them to draw their conclusions. Sometimes, my role might be to ask clarifying questions to help decide where they are at.
Just like a walking buddy that shows up at your door to pull you out of the house, even when you don’t feel like it; a coach helps to get teachers working and motivated on their goal. At this point, I become their encourager and biggest cheerleader.
Once the goal is reached, then the teacher (all about them) decides where they want to go now, and again I support them. This leads into….
- Reflection: What worked? What factors contributed to your success? What new learning have you gained and do you want to take with you? How did coaching help the process?
- Celebrate: Again, it’s all about them, and hopefully you have learned a little bit about the person. Would this person appreciate recognition in front of staff? Would they like their supervisor to know of their accomplishments? A note from you? Chocolate truffles?
You have helped this teacher improve, and who knows how many other students you have affected. Congratulations Coach!