We want to give you a peek inside our Coach Microcredential Online Mentorship Program. Coaches taking part in this academic-year-long journey have graciously given us permission to post some of their learning and reflections from the private coursework they are undertaking during this microcredential. Where possible, we have shared the course and the action task to give context for the guest post.

Guest Author: Whitney Little

Coaching for me has been a huge work in progress, and I have already learned a ton through making mistakes, but one of the first teachers that was willing to work with me when I transitioned into the coaching role taught me the most.

Coming into this role, I used a LOT of technology in my classroom. I was always trying the new thing, not afraid to make mistakes or not know everything in front of my students. I was willing to say “This didn’t work. Sorry.” That was how I have always taught. It seemed natural and I don’t think I had a clean understanding that not every teacher did the same thing. Not every teacher felt comfortable taking risks, especially with technology. And for some teachers, responding to an email with an attachment can seem like a risk. 

The first teacher to ask me for help as a coach fit into the I am just not comfortable taking risks category and I did not read the situation correctly at all. Being the eager beaver, wanting to be the best coach ever I just started throwing a lot of ideas at her all at once. I was much more of the consultant than anything else. Offering suggestions for ways she can use site, google classroom, adobe spark. This unfortunately went on for a few meetings. I was just not understanding what the hold up was. I was not LISTENING to her needs. Eventually I caught on enough to slow down my passion and focus on 1 summative (creating a video). Easy peasy, I have been doing this with my classes forever. 

Oh boy, this was a true stretch for this teacher and I was not prepared. We did a lot of preplanning. Assignment sheets, rubrics, checklists were all made. Things were where I would have had them to push out to MY class. What I did not take into account was the actual instruction, how to actually introduce the assignment to the students, how to answer their questions, how to handle letting students leave the room to film in different locations around the school. The teacher came to me after the first day with her head spinning.

I felt awful. I should have been teaching first and letting her observe, then been there when she tried it. I should have been a true support throughout the whole process, not just in the beginning. I should have recognized that she is not the same person I am. After apologizing, reflecting even more on the process and coming in to teach her next class, we moved forward and she was so proud of the final outcomes. We have worked together on 3 more units this year, I have not made the same mistake again.

She taught me two really valuable lessons:

1.  I can not place my teaching philosophies or background onto other people, we are all different.

2.  Always clarify the goal and my role when working with others.

Cross-posted on coachbetter.tv

The Coach Microcredential Program

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