Points from the conversation
(in no particular order)
1) Relationships are important in schools, all of them!
2) School heads and Principals want teachers to collaborate more (collegial learning), want fewer problems with students and parents, want higher grades
3) C4E offers an easy START where one / some teachers / head can experience professional coaching, and then the desire to find out more can spread internally within the school
4) C4E coaching is NOT mentoring, and probably not the same type of coaching that's been previously experienced at the school.
5) from the website, some reminders
Our mission is "to evolve the education systems around the world", by giving educators direct experience of the benefits of a coaching approach
C4E coaches are professionals, trained in the skills of:
• Active listening and powerful questioning
• Turning negative thinking to positive thinking
• Learning more from mistakes
• Smart goal-setting and effective strategising
• Raising awareness and creating action plans
• Working with accountability and responsibility
6) C4E offers 1-1 coaching as a STRATEGY for generating more collaboration with the educators, probably workshops, training; and also whatever is right for them, where they are (flexibility)
7) C4E does not yet have a "ready-made" solution to offer. Coaches work collaboratively to create what their local school needs
Whatever you choose do - tell the coaching world about C4E
The ICF kindly offers to put a pin on a map to show what we are doing with coaching and education, so whatever you choose to do, remember to tell the ICF here
It's about time we had some cards of our own, with the C4E logo, right. So here they come. First up is Daniel Brolén.
Get in touch
Over the past years, I have used these ways of getting in touch:
Sending e-mail. It took minutes a day, and the positive result were 1 in 1000 (or more)
Making phone calls. This took hours a week, and the results were 1 in 100
Making spontaneous visits. This took hours a week, and the results were 1 in 10
The script I used for phone calls / spontaneous Visits
I often spoke to the head teacher, or another person who was in charge of the school at the time.
Hi, I am Martin Richards, I am a leadership coach, working for Coaching for Educators.
(Did you know that during May 18-22 coaches around the world will be promoting coaching as a leadership strategy.)
We are offering to hold a free (pause) demonstration of how effective coaching is in the classroom. (pause and answer any questions that come up) Would you be interested in letting your teachers go to a free demonstration of coaching, it takes an hour?
If there was interest, we looked for a date and time that suited us. Then I sent a flyer to the head to use in promoting the event, for example "How to motivate your students to higher goals", plus date, time and venue.
If there was no interest, I simply explored what the reasons were, and worked to find solutions in a coaching way, remembering that one of the headteacher's goals is "teaching excellence".
Present, demonstrate and activate
I needed a whiteboard / flipchart or projector.
I arranged the room if possible, with the chairs in a semi circle.
Outline of presentation
I presented my credentials and experience of leadership development
I defined coaching as "Coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused, result-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and person growth of the coachee" Grant psychologist and coach.
I asked what their expectations of a coaching conversation would be (process and outcome). And then I told them that I see coaching leadership in the classroom having at least these two benefits
Students listen to you (and each other)
Students think more for themselves, and take more responsibility for their studies and lives
I offered to demonstrate individual coaching with a volunteer (watched for volunteers) here and now (soon)
I showed the ICF Eleven Core Coaching Skills and asked which skills they recognised and already use, and what the BENEFITS and CHALLENGES were associated with the skills. I said that I have chosen to focus on two skills and have two exercises that they can use with their students, and invited them to work in pairs.
Activate - two practical activities to engage the teachers
Teachers are used to giving feedback. I gave out feedback sheets with the headings "What was good?", "What was best?" and "What could be improved?" I also included "Contact me" and asked for the teacher's name and telephone number. This last question could be cut off the feedback sheet so the feedback could still be anonymous.
Here's an example fo the feedback from one school http://www.martinrichards.eu/katedralskolan.html
The next week I called the teachers who wanted to be contacted. I also e-mailed the head teacher a summary of the teachers' feedback and called to ask for a meeting to discuss the next step. This resulted in further and ongoing assignments training more teachers to use coaching skills, presenting to students and training them to used GROW (for example). I also work with school headteachers in designing and implementing changes at the school.
The Presentation and Demonstration Meetings - where you can bring educators for an online coaching demo - have yet to be fully exploited. These need to be re-energised, and there is now ONE date, on 18th June.
The Master Mind Meetings - where we share our experience of ongoing coaching - are a little ahead of their time. These would be better held in the autumn, when we have coaching up and running.
The Orientation Meetings - where you can ask whatever questions you may have about getting started with coaching educators - are working just fine. And we need some more dates in May and June.
So, here are the modified dates for C4E Orientation, 16:00 - 17:00 CET time
Thu 7 May
Thu 21 May
Thu 4 Jun
Thu 2 Jul
There's a certain balance between 'head' and 'heart' that each of us adopts as a source of inspiration in life. Sometimes the balance point moves a little this way, sometimes it moves a little that way, and it often returns to the point that feels right for us.
As an idealist and a dreamer, I find that my balance point is more towards my 'heart' than my 'head', I focus on 'what could be' more than 'what is'.
Most of the head teachers that I have spoken to have their balance point more towards their 'head' than their 'heart'. They include the rules and regulations that come with representing a large organisation.
You can see where this blogpost is heading can't you? In order to meet the headteachers I have to speak more from my head than usual. There's no point talking about what could be, without including a measure of what already is. Having noticed that, I design my first meetings with headteachers to include these questions.
We are involved with a change process...
What is the most desirable outcome?
What does that mean to you? (Why is it important?)0
What is in the current environment that is in the way of that outcome?
What is in the current environment that supports the outcome?
What already exists in the environment that could support the outcome even more?
What could we do to enhance that?
Cathedral School in Linköping was founded in 1627 and is thus Sweden's third-oldest secondary school after Rudbecks high school in Västerås and Thomas High School in Strängnäs. The school's motto is tradition and progress.
C4E Coach Alexandra Tittus and Martin Richards will be holding a whole-day in-service training in Observation and Reflection for the 60+ teachers at Cathedral School. In this venture we will be collaborating with key teachers at the school whose work includes teaching students and supporting their colleagues' ongoing professional development. We will teach the teachers to use the GROW tool for coaching sessions, as well as the AFORM structure for their long-term collaboration.