Yesterday, the administrators at my school, the math specialist, and I spent the day with a coach from our regional educational consortium. Our goal was to improve our coaching practice. At the beginning of the day, Carly gave us a lengthy list of values that applied “to work and personal life.” She asked us to choose ten values that are central to our work with teachers and students. This was quite a challenge, as many of the words were closely related. For example, what is the difference between team-work and collaboration? Kindness & compassion? After we each had our list of ten values, we had to narrow our choices to five. Again, how to choose? Finally, we had to pick three core values that we felt best described our coaching practice. This is what I came up with:
Obviously there is no right or wrong answer to this process, but I found it valuable because it did make me really reflect on what I believe about my work with teachers and students. On a different day, I might have chosen different words. But I do think that if we bring a positive attitude to our collaboration, and thoughtfully and honestly reflect on our work, then growth will be a natural outcome, for both teachers and students.
My thoughts about this process are evolving. Carly shared a number of coaching strategies that had to do with inquiry and purposeful questioning. Inquiry is a word that has been buzzing around in my brain for a few months. Inquiry has many implications for my work with teachers, but also for our work with students in the classroom. I’m excited to learn more about the inquiry process and to put some of these ideas into practice. I’ll be sharing more about this journey in the weeks to come.
Thank you, Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.