Coaching in Schools
The development of outstanding teaching and learning
Teaching in all sectors has many pressures: not only has accountability increased steadily over the years, the bureaucracy, and constantly being in the public eye adds several layers of challenge.
Head Teachers recognise that middle leaders and teachers, especially NQTs, feel they are struggling with their work load and work life balance. They need additional support to ensure staff can teach to their full potential and meet the expectations of the school, their peers, parents and pupils. With the demise of organisations like the TDA, and local authority cuts: levels of support and training are no longer as available as they once were.
Why is coaching useful within schools?
Performance coaching, or life coaching, within a school, is a confidential, impartial, and non – judgemental process, which supports teachers find suitable and realistic solutions to short and medium term teaching goals, issues or problems.
In real terms it will help teaching staff take the necessary action to move forward and be more productive by raising their confidence levels to overcome the challenges they face within the school environment.
So how is an external coach valuable to a school?
In a typical school environment, a performance coach, or life coach can support the leadership team by working with school staff on issues such as:
- managing overload in terms of planning, marking and report writing
- improving their planning and lesson organisation
- maintaining a work life balance
- managing teaching staff and assistants, or members of a department
- developing the performance of NQTs
- coping with lesson observations
- building relationships with parents
- coping with being under performance management
For those teachers who have not yet experienced structured life coaching, it can be hard to understand the advantages of what a session with a life coach can offer: why is it so different from the kind of support available from another teacher or close friend?
Working with a well-trained, professional life coach with experience of teaching, has many advantages:
- The coach will remain entirely impartial, they act like a ‘sounding board’
- A coach has no established perception of the issue being presented: there is no departmental ‘baggage’ attached to the conversation
- 100% of content of the conversation stays ‘in the room’, it is completely confidential
- They will not solve the problem for the member of staff, (unlike peers, colleagues and others who will advise what should be done) but will support them to recognise their own strengths, knowledge and skills, and how they can use them to produce realistic solutions
- It will help the member of staff take the necessary steps to make quick progress
Is coaching 100% successful? Occasionally a life coach will experience blocks to progress due to issues that are best addressed by another approach such as counselling. However, any good life coach will provide their teachers with tools, coaching models, techniques and exercises, which can be used repeatedly in the future, many of which are transferable to the classroom.
Life Coaching is not a panacea for solving all ills, but it can be a very effective process.
Although it is widely accepted within the business and commercial world – many staff within schools are now being trained in how to coach their colleagues: it has the potential to make a profound difference to the teaching and learning process.
If you are looking for support either for yourself, or for a member of staff, contact us for an initial, free discussion about how we can help you.
Tel: 01749 649241