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Teaching Schools tip #3

Posted by Charlotte Curl - Last updated on December 13, 2019

In the first two blogs in this Teaching Schools series we’ve established that CPD is only effective if it’s continuous and made more so if it’s collaborative. Developing strong and productive coaching relationships within this framework allows for a supportive environment where trust and dialogue drives improvements.

A challenge for Teaching Schools is developing these coaching relationships across a whole alliance of schools. The most important thing to remember is that being an effective coach isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, but a skill that can be taught, learnt, developed and shared.

The King Edward High School for Girls is a great example of a Teaching School supporting their alliance in this way. They run twilight sessions to support coaching skills for all of the schools in their alliance so that they are able to support one another more effectively. In doing this they are not only strengthening the relationship between the senior leaders of the alliance and between all of the teachers in the community.

Peer coaching is immediate, collaborative and uses everyday practice as a bench mark. The boundary between having conversations with colleagues about practice and being involved in a coaching relationship is not always clearly marked. Simply having a conversation, talking to colleagues about teaching is often unfocused, subjective and can lead to uncomfortable or frayed relationships. These conversations can tend to be static and not move either party forward. Coaching puts these conversations into a context where objective discussions, practice, theory and ideas can be challenged and analysed with a level of depth and structure that is otherwise unlikely. Coaching is part of an iterative process in which both the coach and the coached move forward and improve.

So, ensure that sharing and dialogue takes place within a coaching framework and that staff are given access to coaching skills.

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