This week we learned why coaches should listen carefully and learn from those they work with, how one coach builds trust with her peers by rolling up her sleeves and getting in the trenches, a few critical issues that can get in the way of professional learning, and more. Enjoy!
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"Observing the transformation of my coachee, I came to understand the importance of accepting each other as we really are, and of allowing each other to develop in ways that are best for ourselves individually as well as severally. . . . Emerging from our coaching sessions with a grounded sense that she belonged in her profession, fully deserved the position she had achieved, and would produce the best work of which she was capable by doing it in her own way, my coachee taught me that just by being listened to an individual can coach his or her 'self'. Treat people as experts in their own milieu, and experts they will come to acknowledge themselves to be."
"Coaches are often hired because they have extensive knowledge and experience. But the truly wise coach will recognize that keeping her ego in check is necessary for developing and sustaining coaching relationships. It’s wonderful to be confident about what we bring to the table, but we must always acknowledge that others bring valid and valuable knowledge and experience, and coaching is a learning journey we undertake together. Attributes like humility can make or break a coach’s work, even if she has all the right procedures in place."
"Caring leaders don’t care because they think they should or because they see caring as part of their role. They care because it is a part of who they are. . . . As school leaders recognize the need for increasing trust in their school's culture, they can begin by considering the conscious and unconscious actions that they personally take that communicate caring and vulnerability. A starting point is to consider the degree to which one 'knows' the people you serve as leader."
"Teachers do not always feel the need to work with a coach because they see it as a slight on their own expertise, and coaches may have the understanding of instructional strategies and learning but may not understand how to best approach teachers. . . . If we truly want to have impact in our leadership positions, which includes instructional coaches, we have to focus on implementation, relationships, and the obstacles that may prevent us from our true impact, and those critical issues that create obstacles need to be addressed."
Using Social Media for Teacher Professional Development
"Social media can be a great tool for you, as a teacher, both outside and inside the classroom. When it comes to professional development, using different social media channels can be a great way to build and expand a professional network as well as discover and share classroom resources with other educators. . . . Social media can enable you to showcase your work and classroom (think photos on Instagram and Pinterest!) as well as discover new K–12 trends (think Twitter hashtags) and follow thought leaders and education experts."
Bonus Article 🎉
Looking to get involved on Twitter but don't know where to start? Look no further! Learn from your friends at TeachBoost on how professional learning communities made up of peers—networks both in-person and online—can be fantastic resources to move professional learning forward.
"Learning is best when it's collaborative, and social media has made it easy for coaches to learn with one another on their own time. Twitter has positioned itself as a source for coaches to learn from each other, meet for topic-specific chats, share one's voice and opinions, and create opportunities for mentorship. Coaches are able to lend a supportive hand to their peers while providing a judgement-free space to show vulnerability."