We hear much about coaching from a personal and business perspective, but it also can play a key role within our education system.
Coaching by its very nature is about assisting somebody to achieve a desired result; it’s about objective support from a trusted adviser to maximize potential and it’s about helping overcome challenges and creating solutions. So bearing this in mind how might effective coaching skills and methodologies help to enhance the educational process?
Let’s perhaps consider the role of the teacher to best illustrate. First of all let’s not underestimate the task; imparting knowledge to a group of kids that inevitably vary in ability, learning styles, knowledge retention, habits, etc cannot be easy. While working off the assumption that the teacher fully understands the curriculum, the bigger challenge may well be making the “transition” to effectively imparting this knowledge. This is where coaching skills can be tremendously helpful in supporting this transfer and here’s how:
- Internal Skills such as effective listening, empowered questioning, acknowledging, validating and empathizing all contribute to connecting and engaging the students. These create the conducive learning environment and also very much speak to the positive personality and behavior of the teacher.
- External Skills which include goal setting, prioritizing, brainstorming, visioning and ensuring accountability revolve around execution and results. These are extremely necessary because they provide the structure and understanding around expectations.
The external skills are very often the focus of non curriculum teacher development but in isolation (from the internal skills) can lead to a very ineffective classroom situation. In conclusion, both these sets of “coaching” skills operate in true unison to help to create a learning environment of engaged/active students and motivated teachers.