I was very honoured to be invited by one of my school clients to observe their co-coaching sessions last week. What an interesting experience! I was totally impressed by their commitment and the willingness from teachers to engage in the process.
What I noticed was that having the group opportunity to be heard and reflect on this, sometimes as it’s happening, is extremely valuable. There’s something about sharing that creates an opportunity for the teachers’ own learning but also opens up the space for other teachers to learn through listening and contributing. The session I observed had 2 teachers sharing about classroom behaviour and how they could use different techniques to both engage and put boundaries in place to improve attention in class.
For the sessions I observed I would like to have seen less emphasis on having everybody squeezed in to have their coaching time and rather more emphasis on the quality of the coaching process. Sometimes I think there is an assumption that less will be achieved if only 1 person has time to be coached. However I think this is a BIG assumption and can put an air of demand on the session – significantly detracting from the purpose. Sometimes more can be learnt from 1 full experience where the coachee is given the time and space to come to their own conclusions.
I think having co-coaching in school is vital to promote a culture of sharing, supporting, social learning and collaboration. If teachers are active in this for themselves, my guess is this will be role-modelled (consciously or unconsciously) in the classroom. Fabulous! I have developed my own model to set up co-coaching for schools and I’d like to see many more schools adopt this practice. Not only is this great for peer learning and collaboration but it is also a fantastic school communication tool.
Here’s to many more schools getting on board!
Thoughts or feedback? Do comment and let me know…#educationalleadership
Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01920 485552 to chat about setting up co-coaching in your school.