Throughout my time in the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, I have been transitioning my perspective from a classroom teacher to a coach. When I think about the aspects of successful coaching, I also think about the parallelism to successful teaching. One of the foundational components of successful teaching is developing a supportive classroom culture and fostering caring relationships. This is also true for successful coaching. In my blog post, Centering Equity within the Four Roles of Peer Coaching, I explore the four roles of peer coaching and how coaches can successfully center equity when assuming these roles. Coaches can begin to cultivate a supportive coaching culture by assuming the role of collaborator. Coaches can be successful in this coaching role by being open and transparent with the teachers they coach, by sharing ideas, experiences, and suggestions. Through the collaborator role, coaches can walk through the learning process with teachers, in an effort to build trusting relationships and partnerships. By collaborating in the learning process, coaches can provide teachers the space to take risks and work together to evaluate the impact of learning activities.
“We support our clients along the arduous journey of change, encouraging them when they tire, cheering for them when they succeed. When we can invite teachers, principals, vice-principals, and others who work in schools into the vulnerable space of growth, when we elicit trust and maintain our integrity, our coachees will join us eagerly on the journey to transform schools. The success of this endeavor hinges on trust.”
– Elena Aguilar, The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools
Another blog post that demonstrates evidence of this indicator is my blog post, Peer Coaching – A Community Engagement Project. In this blog, I summarize my experience going through the peer coaching process and supporting my coaching partner in improving a lesson. As I began my first practice with coaching in this project I recognized that in order for this coaching partnership to be successful, I first needed to work to foster a trusting relationship with my coaching partner. Through this experience, I saw the importance of building this foundation of trust, grew in my understanding of the roles learning coaches assume in peer coaching, and learned how to effectively implement a coaching plan. Coaches can cultivate a supportive coaching culture by practicing paraphrasing, active listening, and asking probing questions to better understand their coaching partner’s goals during coaching conversations. The professional learning I gained from OSPI’s BEST Mentor Academy 101 helped me to grow in my practice with these skills. Knowing when and how to supportively push and stretch coaching partners is an important skill for coaches to develop. Coaches can use paraphrasing and effective questioning during coaching conversations to refine educators’ goals and support in the achievement of this shared vision.
Aguilar, E. (2016). The art of coaching teams: Building resilient communities that transform schools. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.spu.edu
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches