Creating a Coaching Culture
The principles of coaching are at the very heart of what makes an outstanding school or college. Coaching can significantly improve performance, build reflective and proactive teams and be the catalyst for effective change and renewal. The skills a coach needs are the same as those a teacher needs to create independent, active and participative learners who are reflective, motivated and resilient. Coaching is made for educators who want to create a culture where challenge is an integral part of every lesson and where learners understand how they are learning as well as what they are learning.
Creating a coaching culture will support teachers to know their strengths, to focus on how they can continually improve their practice and create opportunities for professional dialogue through peer to peer interaction and the sharing and cascading of teaching strategies that work.
Coaching is about being positive, asking deep and rich questions that will not evoke a yes or no answer, but require the coachee to seek an answer or a solution to their own problem or issue and be drawn skilfully towards being empowered to move out of their paradigm or comfort zone.
It is also about active and deep listening. A coach hears what is being said and can use it to influence change or modify behaviour. He or she can read the signals that lie behind what is not being said and persuade individuals to think differently about their own vision, goals and objectives.
There has never been a better time to create a coaching culture and embed it into the vision for school or college. OFSTED and ESTYN are both focusing on the well-being and professional status of leaders, managers, teachers and support staff across the profession. The recently published Standards for Teachers’ Professional Development clearly state that ‘Professional Development should include collaboration and expert challenge’. and ‘Professional Development should be sustained over time’.
Coaching is about trust and requires commitment from senior leaders and managers to create the right environment where all staff focus on their own learning and how to build learning classrooms or other learning spaces that foster deep learning and mastery and build confidence and self – belief.
Our courses have been designed to incorporate all the facets of school or college life. They stand alone or can be delivered as part of a planned structure to develop a coaching culture over time. We would recommend that senior leaders have access to the content of our Leading a Coaching School training day, either where one person attends the training and takes back their learning to share with the rest of the senior leadership team (SLT) or where we train the SLT together for a day.
We believe that middle leaders are pivotal to successful implementation of a coaching culture, Heads of Departments, Phase Leaders and Assistant Heads can all benefit from the opportunity to learn some coaching skills at our Coaching from the Middle – aspiring to leadership course and understand how they can use coaching to empower others to change, build highly effective teams and create a more consistent approach to the cascading and sharing of good and outstanding practice. The pastoral role is a vital one and our Coaching for Pastoral Leaders course supports year heads, form tutors, SENCOs and others involved in the pastoral process to develop coaching skills that will enhance pupil well-being, behaviour and self-esteem.
All teachers will benefit from attending our Coaching Towards Outstanding Teaching and Learning training event, the opportunity to use coaching skills to talk pedagogy and look in depth at what we mean by learning ensure that this course remains one of our most popular, some teachers have been on the course twice!!
We offer a similar course for those who mentor NQTs, it is highly beneficial for ensuring that mentors create the right feedback for NQTs to learn their craft and become good teachers by the end of their probationary period. If you mentor NQTs join us for our course, Coaching the NQT – going beyond mentoring. We have not forgotten the absolutely vital teaching assistant and those who support learning in the classroom.
Our Coaching for Teaching Assistants and Support Staff focuses on their role and how developing a range of coaching skills can help them to build learner confidence, enhance self-esteem and create opportunities for stretch and challenge for those who struggle with their learning. We also offer a training course for those who are entrusted with developing a coaching school or college.
Coaching principles are the embodiment of positive leadership and management, they embrace the skills needed to develop highly effective formative assessment strategies and provide opportunities for much more constructive feedback following appraisal, lesson observation or in one to one and team discussions. All our training has an element of coaching within it. The materials, presentations and activities we use are all designed for delegates to take their learning back to their colleagues.
Once you make the decision to embrace coaching as an integral part of your vision for continuing professional learning you won’t look back.