The practitioner engages in self-initiated and collaborative coaching with a coach who may be a peer, supervisor, or other colleague/administrator to reflect on evidence of practice and develop a plan for improved practice and performance.
Coaching, as referred to in this micro-credential, is not the role of instructional coach, but is collegial, partnership coaching in which the coaching is voluntary and is focused on the improvement of professional practice that impacts teaching and learning.
There are four key practices critical to this type of voluntary, collaborative, and self-initiated coaching:
Carl Rogers and Richard Farson (2015) posed that effective communication can only take place in a nonthreatening environment: "The climate must foster equality and freedom, trust and understanding, acceptance and warmth. In this climate and in this climate only does the individual feel safe enough to incorporate new experiences and new values into his concept of himself" (p.281). The carrot and stick may, on occasion, prod people to meet minimum standards and expectations, but only high-trust connections can inspire greatness (Tschannen-Moran, 2010). Working relationships between adults work best in adult-to-adult interactions (Knight, 2011). In this key component, the practitioner demonstrates the ability to create a safe and supportive self-initiated collaborative coaching relationship that produces ongoing mutual respect, openness, and trust. The practitioner exhibits behaviors and dispositions that support collegial conversations such as confidentiality, kindness, and respect. Coaches see their colleagues as equals, listen much more than they talk, carefully consider everything the colleague says, and position the colleague as judge and decision maker.
To arrive at decisions and actions that will impact professional practice, the partners in coaching engage in dialogue. Joyce and Showers (2002) stressed the importance of non-evaluative feedback by encouraging coaches to focus their feedback on inquiry rather than evaluation. In this relationship, one party does not impose, dominate, or control. Both parties engage in conversation about evidence and artifacts and think and learn together. Observation and examination of "artifacts" focus on specific aspects of educator growth and student achievement that provide high leverage for improving professional practice and student learning.
Active listening is an important component of dialogue.
Tips for Active Listening:
It is important to engage in preplanning dialogue prior to observation to establish the focus of the coaching. Some sample questions might include:
Evidence comes from two critical sources: direct observation and the examination of artifacts (Danielson, 2007). It is important to establish through dialogue what the coaching focus is prior to gathering evidence or providing feedback. Questions to ask during this focus-setting dialogue might be: "How can I be of help to you?" "What specifically do you wish me to look for?" and "Is there a particular behavior or standard you wish me to look for?"
Feedback in this type of coaching relationship does not include statements such as "you should have " or "I would never " Instead, feedback is centered on the pre-identified area of focus and the coach is another set of eyes to capture evidence and data related to current practice.
Areas to Consider:
Focus energy and actions on collaboratively identifying specific, research-based professional learning and practices that will facilitate growth and effectiveness in professional practice and improve teaching and learning. In this coaching model, there is not one practitioner acting as expert and the other as a novice or apprentice practitioner. Both practitioners are equals who are collaboratively working to improve their professional practice. Collegial coaches help each other reflect on their own practices without passing judgment or making evaluations about their observations.
Use reflection-driven questions, such as:
The following sources support the research on effective collaborative and collegial coaching:
To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a "Yes" score for Part 2.
With a colleague, engage in the four steps of self-initiated partnership coaching in which each practitioner gives and receives coaching, and provide context for the following questions (250-word minimum for each question):
Submit either a 10-minute video or audio file, OR a written transcript (1,000-word minimum) of a self-initiated collegial coaching conversation that reflects the four conditions of self-initiated, collaborative coaching described above.
Provide an annotation to the video or transcript in which you highlight each of the four conditions (500-word minimum).
Reflect on your experience engaging in collaborative coaching using the following questions as a guide (500-word minimum):
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)