“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn” – Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada
Children have unique learning needs. For teachers to effectively educate children, they have to continuously improve and learn innovative teaching strategies. Teachers have to regularly attend training, seminars, and conferences to understand and employ new techniques, and to gain tools to aid them in more sophisticated forms of teaching. Another method or resource that is essential to a teacher’s professional development is to have a coach.
Bear in mind that teachers have a certain similarity to students. Their learning needs are also unique. Having a coach who can provide situations in which deep reflection and continuous learning can take place would be of utmost benefit to them. The educator can unreservedly take risks to improve his/her practice. Powerful conversations can take place between a coach and an educator that results in growth and learning which then enables the teacher to effectively impart knowledge to the students. It’s an advantageous situation for everybody.
“There is no failure. Only feedback.” – Robert Allen
Coaches can structure their questions based on different coaching models. Coaching models provide the framework in coaching sessions. By using a coaching model as a guide for the coaching session, both teacher and coach would have the assurance that the session would be as effective as possible. It prevents the coaching session from being just a ‘chat’ and gives the session a better purpose.
The GROW coaching model is probably the most widely known among coaches. GROW represents four stages in the coaching conversation: Goal, Reality, Options, Wrap up, or Way Forward.
Let’s take a look at the G.R.O.W. model.
At the beginning of the coaching session, it is essential to establish what goals the teacher wants to achieve. Setting goals is a must. This should be clear both for the teacher and the coach. Setting goals ensures that the session is going towards the set destination.
– What’s important to you as a teacher?
– What do you want to improve in your teaching?
– What would you like to achieve in this coaching session?
Once goals are established, the next step would be to determine where the teacher is in relation to his or her goals. Both the coach and the teacher now have a clear understanding of the current situation and in doing so, they would be able to move onto the next part of the coaching session.
-On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you?
-What skills and knowledge do you have to achieve your goal?
-What resources do you have that would help you?
This stage is about helping the teacher explore options that would point them towards their set goals. First options don’t necessarily mean that they are the best options available. The coach has to drive the teacher into realising that there is always a better option. Make the teacher think outside of the box.
-What improvements could you make in your next lesson?
-What could you do differently?
-If you were able to do anything, what would you do?
WRAP UP / WAY FORWARD
Now that the teacher has decided on what option to take, the coach could then ask questions that would clarify the commitment that the teacher has in achieving his or her goals.
-What actions will you take?
-When are you going to start?
-On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you?
There are various coaching models aside but this can give you an example of just one them.