I just completed the second stage, day three and four of Growth Coaching training, and left with a greater appreciation of how coaching might be an effective way to build teacher capacity and to support teachers in working towards their goals.
I was initially sceptical about a model that was built around the assumption that specific content knowledge in the chosen area was not necessary. That you could coach somebody in something without knowing how to do it yourself. But the growth coaching model we were working in isn’t about ‘coaching’ in that sense, not the football coach metaphor, but more a peer-to-peer approach that helps the coachee get clear about their goals, and how they might proceeds to action: what will you do next?
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. They spoke a lot about the need for emotional intelligence and empathy especially and that was obvious in the demonstrations we saw, and tried ourselves. But, for me the unspoken (and very differentiated) skillset is listening and speaking. You need a good repertoire of questions and approaches (which they can help you with) but you need to be able to put that all together.
So, I used to think you couldn’t coach somebody unless you had content knowledge. Now I think you can. But, it’s challenging and relies a lot on empathy, verbal and linguistic skills and believing in the GROWTH process, and sticking to it.
It was a really interesting few days and spent with some enthusiastic and talented educators. Do I want to be an executive coach? Not really. Do I think that this learning will have application in my daily work with teacher and teacher-leaders, and even students? Absolutely.