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.