In Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching, I describe the need for everyone to be coached and suggest that the stronger a person’s skill set becomes, the more coaching they should receive. Debbie Watts a new instructional coach in Sumner County TN produced the following visual to introduce the coaching concept to her school. Read below…
Two beliefs can build a successful coaching culture:
Belief No. 1: Everyone working in a school should be observed once a week and receive feedback.
Belief No. 2: The most skilled and professional educators should receive the most coaching.
Why would we have a belief like number two? Simple. It generates more options for teachers that are already good or great.
The farther up the ladder of success one goes, the more coaching is needed. It’s what I call the Tiger Woods syndrome. Tiger had only his dad as a coach when he first started playing golf. Now he needs multiple coaches. As he gets better, he needs to improve even more until he becomes the best. As he achieves success, he needs to achieve more. He needs coaches to improve his swing, and he probably also needs coaches to help him deal with fame and success. He most assuredly needs a financial coach!
The most skilled and professional educator in a school can serve as a role model for others. This person models for others the ideas that
• constant improvement is part of the profession;
• it’s okay to be coached as a successful professional;
• coaching is an opportunity to learn new strategies, to come up with creative lesson plans, to increase one’s bag of tricks, so to speak, in order to avoid falling into the rut of doing the same things year after year;
• coaching doesn’t mean you need fixing. You’re not broken. You just want to improve and get better at what you do;
• you gain a solid return on the investment of teacher education by learning every day better ways to teach.
Providing coaching to even the most skilled professionals not only allows those professionals to improve but gives them recognition— someone cares. Skilled professionals—great teachers—need acknowledgment and recognition. In many vocations, the more you do, the more you’re ignored. You are taken for granted. Good people—great people—need recognition too.
Now see Debbie’s visual: