Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Coaching Models

As I read further in the ISTE publication Technology, Coaching and Community, I'm reading now about different coaching models.

Cognitive Coaching
This type of coaching is targeting ways of working that lead to shaping and reshaping thinking and problem solving.  This model was originally developed by Art Costa and Bob Garmston.  The section  that I read on this was interesting but I don't think I'm really going to be involved much in this type of coaching.

Instructional Coaching
This type of coaching targets teaching practices that impact on how students learn.  Specifically this type of coaching focuses of classroom management, content planning, instruction and assessment for learning. I found this section more useful as using technology in the classroom certainly requires a different way of managing the classroom, and I feel that during our collaborative planning meetings I do have an input into the content, instruction and assessment.  However it is the third sort of coaching that I find most relevant to what I'm attempting to achieve this year.

Peer Coaching
This involves training teachers to help their colleagues integrate technology.  I think I like this model the best as the focus here is on collaboration and on the needs of the teachers within their teams.  We don't much time for professional development, and this way the coaching is embedded into the job that teachers are already doing and the people who are already in their teams.

In my first year at my school I ran "Techie Breakie" sessions for one teacher per grade level.  These teachers were ones who had already shown an interest in using technology more effectively and who were prepared to be a mentor to others in his or her grade level.  On reflection I feel this was a bit of a slow and indirect way of transforming the use of technology at school and perhaps some of these teachers were not really ready to fully jump into the social media tools that I was showing them - now though, two years later, I find they are using many of the tools that I introduced to them during these sessions and advocating their use to others in their teams.  Over the past 2 years the culture of the school has changed so that Web 2.0 is just seen as a normal tool of learning.

Further on in the ISTE publication are the words that made the biggest impact on me:
Learning with technology is more important than learning about technology
Teachers who are starting to use social media as a form of professional development are already learning with the technology as they collaborate with others around the world.  This is much more effective than me running "How to" sessions about the use of different software, hardware or Web 2.0 tools - and they do get professional development in these with their students during the time I am supporting their classes.

Another tip is to share your progress.  It would be great to have time during staff meetings for teachers to do this, but unfortunately our schedule is already very heavy.  Sharing is more likely to happen within teams, but I feel it would be even more powerful if it could be across teams - with teachers seeing what is happening in many different parts of the school.

Photo Credit:  Arrow found the target by Melilab AttributionNoncommercial 

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