Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wearing all the hats

As part of my professional goal to become a Cognitive Coaching trainer, I'm attending the Presenters' Forum in Denver this week.  Over the years I've been teaching, I've quite literally made hundreds of presentations:  within schools that I've been working, for example at faculty and parent meetings, at other schools, and at conferences.  However until today, I'd never really learned about the craft of presenting.  I'm really hoping that as well as helping me to move closer to my goal of becoming a Cognitive Coaching trainer, that this forum will also give me better skills when making other presentations, either in my new consulting role for Consilience, or for the face-to-face and online workshops I facilitate for the IBO.  First of all, however, it's important to work out which hat I'm wearing.

Presenting:  today we learned that to present is to teach:  to enrich knowledge, skills or attitudes. Presenters do this in many ways:  lecture, study groups and so on.

Coaching:  helping someone to take action towards his or her goals.  Through using various tools (pausing, paraphrasing and questioning), a coach will promote self-directed learning.

Facilitating:  quite literally this means making something easier.  Facilitators are usually found in meetings where the purpose may be to dialogue in order to understand everyone's viewpoints, or in discussion with a view to making decisions.  The facilitator is the director of the meeting, and is not usually the person in the group with the greatest knowledge.  The difference between a presenter and a facilitator is that a presenter is a teacher, whereas a facilitator is a servant of the group.

Consulting:  is sharing or delivering knowledge, content or processes - the idea of a consultant is to influence others.  Consultants and presenters are both experts in their fields and generally a person will be a consultant first and a presenter second.

What was important to take away from today's sessions were that all hats are needed to work together for the improvement in student learning.  In most schools these hats are worn by the leadership team and those responsible for professional development - all of them need to wear all of the hats.

Photo Credit: arbyreed via Compfight cc

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