I’ve been coaching educators since 1996. The Differentiated Coaching Model, which flowed from my doctoral research on improving instructional coaching, at all times aligns teacher goals with the overall strategic plans of a building or district. At its heart, though, are these six key elements:
- A common framework for unbiased discussions of education. While other frameworks such as the Montessori philosophy will also work, the most robust and useful framework I have found is that of Jungian, or psychological, type.
- A deep understanding of teachers’ strengths and beliefs. These are often tightly tied to their Jungian type preferences. Asking a teacher to change practices often means changing beliefs–changing who they are.
- Concrete evidence that influences beliefs and shows that change will be worth the effort. Teachers have seen reforms come and go and are justifiably wary of the “reform du jour.” Believable evidence provides motivation for the hard work of change–and people are convinced by very different forms of evidence.
- Communication and assistance (coaching), delivered in ways that meet each teacher’s learning style and needs.
- A focus on problems that concern the teachers. Many school initiatives are never fully implemented because teachers are dealing with more immediate problems.
- Deep, Level III collaboration, defined in this blog post
Why use this method?
In the 1990’s, when I began coaching teachers, many felt that having a coach meant they were doing something wrong. And yet in the world of business, up-and-coming leaders know that being included in coaching programs means they’re seen as valuable–their company is investing in their development. A coach is simply a vehicle for taking valuable people from where they are to where they wish to be.
I believe that teachers are our most valuable assets as communities seek to help each child reach his or her full potential. Learn more about how I can help you and your teaching team through instructional coaching.