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  • Writer's pictureMillie Coleman

Coaching - the Educational Tool of Success

I first encountered Coaching being used in Education over 10 years ago when I chose it as a module, as part of an MA in Education. Initially I didn't buy into the whole idea of my team being able to choose what their goal would be and still improve teaching and learning. If I was to pass the module though, I needed to have carried out several coaching sessions and reflected on their impact. I decided that I would start by using Coaching to improve the teaching of Science. It was an area which was being taught in a haphazard fashion, in spite of being a core subject. This needed to change but I also understood how much pressure the other teachers were under to ‘get the results’, in addition I knew that having other people observe you teaching was a stressful experience and I was reluctant to increase the anxiety levels of my colleagues.

After much thought I created a way to carry out the Coaching sessions needed to ‘tick the MA box’ and carry out the much needed scrutiny of the Science lessons being taught, within the school. I created a coaching wheel which instead of having areas relating to personal goals, had areas entitled curriculum knowledge or behaviour - 8 areas in all. Instead of sitting at the back with a scary clipboard I interacted with the children throughout the lesson, working with a group and chatting to the learners. After the lesson I invited the teacher to assess the 8 areas and give him/ herself a score out of 10. Following that we looked at each area in turn and the Teacher was asked open questions which supported him/her to identify what they needed to do in order to improve the teaching and learning in Science. The majority of teachers are naturally self-reflective and were therefore able to indicate how to move their teaching and learning on. It was now I realised the value of Coaching. Teachers buzzed with enthusiasm over the many ways in which they had identified how to achieve professional growth and because their targets had been self- perpetuated, they felt more in control and more determined to meet them.

After a period of only three months, teaching and learning in Science had progressed from inadequate to good and as an added bonus all Teachers commented on how much they had enjoyed the process and how little stress it created.

As a result I began to use Coaching in other roles too: EYFS/ KS1 leader, NQT mentor and as a student mentor too. There was only once when Coaching was ineffective and that was with a more immature student who had not yet learnt to use self-reflection and so could not yet identify areas which she needed to improve.

Now to fast forward to the present day. Following my training to be a personal Coach I was chatting to a recently qualified Headteacher who began to quiz me about introducing Coaching into her school. I realised it was such a huge area but one that could have such a massive impact on both well-being as well as teaching and learning. I also knew that with budgets being so tight, there was little money to spend on paying a Coach to work with staff for any length of time. Following a sleepless night, where my brain could think only of how effective Coaching had been for me, when used as a tool to improve teaching and learning. How could I share this success with other schools? Finally I remembered my Coaching beginnings and the Coaching wheel I had created at the beginning of my Coaching Journey.

I spent the next two months reading everything I could on what OFSTED were looking for when inspecting schools and then used the information gained to create a ne Coaching wheel, one which was relevant to schools in 2019. I then investigated each area further and created a series of open questions for each area, which will support the Teacher to reflect on their teaching practice and identify ways to move forward and create successful professional growth. This tool can be used in conjunction with a coach but has been created to be used with a professional partner therefore negating the need to hire a professional Coach on a regular basis.

All this for the same cost as hiring a Coach to work with staff for a day. Price even includes a complimentary staff meeting to demonstrate how to use this Coaching tool effectively. Interested? Contact me for further details and to reserve your Staff meeting date. Discounts available until 20th December 2019

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