Coaching for Teaching Effectiveness

Coaching is a relationship and a process which facilitates the learning of another.

Knowledge bank

Coaching enables people to get unstuck when they reach blocks to their peak performance. It has variously been described as 'The purest form of personalized learning', 'Emotional Intelligence in Action' and 'Facilitating the learning and development of another'.

Coaching is focused on self-developed solutions and characterized by individuals learning through logic and trial and error so that they understand the process by which solutions are arrived at.

Coaches operate on 10 key principles:

  • be non-judgemental
  • be non-critical
  • believe that people have the answers to their challenges within them
  • respect a person's confidentiality (as defined by the law)
  • be positive and believe there are always solutions to issues
  • pay attention to recognizing and pointing out strengths and build self-esteem
  • challenge individuals to move beyond their comfort zone
  • break down big goals into manageable steps
  • believe that self-knowledge improves performance
  • maintain a genuine willingness to learn from those you coach.

Coaching involves the use of specific questioning techniques, effective listening skills and a simple problem-solving structure. One such example of a problem-solving structure is the STRIDE model. This invites you to focus on your Strengths to build resourceful thinking, to formulate a Target to bring direction to the discussion, to explore the Reality, so that you uncover what is stopping you from achieving your target. An Ideas step involves creatively looking at how you could meet your target and the Decision phase is the process of committing to a course of action. Finally, we evaluate the action taken in a subsequent coaching conversation.

It is an invaluable tool for managing people of all ages because it empowers them to generate appropriate solutions, allows them to generate repeatable performances and frees leaders from the high dependency relationships that can sometimes develop with others.

Coaching can be used with learners and staff in schools in equal measure - it is gaining in popularity as a means of helping learners to reach their potential.

Ask yourself

  1. To what extent are you currently using coaching in your lessons, and in other aspects of your work?
  2. What might coaching have to offer you and your learners?
  3. Consider any reasons why you have not yet engaged with coaching. What are these and are they really good reasons not to engage?

To do list

  • Read a good coaching text to find out more.
  • Pay attention to the kinds of questions you ask of people at work. What proportion of them are open questions and what proportion are closed? Coaches ask a high proportion of open questions to promote deeper thinking.