Reflections on the Eduro Coaching Course
My own professional learning plan this year has been geared towards educating myself on the various models of coaching so that I can better support the teachers I work with to utilize the benefits of technology. For this primary reason, I decided to take the Eduro, Coaching: From Theory to Practice course.
Coincidentally, shortly after I enrolled, my school officially included me as one of the Learning Coaches. I began receiving emails sent to the Learning Coaches and was invited to attend the weekly Learning Coaches meetings as well. It turns out that it wasn’t just me who thought my job could use some broadening of its scope to include coaching.
A lot of these changes stemmed from meetings between myself and the Elementary Principal where we agreed that the model of tech integration we had been employing was not empowering learners to integrate technology into their curriculum. We believed that students deserve access to technology throughout their curriculum as it compliments and even transforms the way students access, curate, create, share and collaborate information. In order to do this, we needed to completely revamp my job description and develop the iLearning Initiative in order to meet the needs of our teachers. We wanted them to feel empowered to integrate technology and saw this as a way to change the learning landscape for our students. After all, everything that my job and the iLearning Initiative stands for is an advocation for student learning. If we empowered our teachers to leverage technology then our students would in response gain access to some or all of the incredible opportunities that technology has to offer.
As all these factors began bubbling up simultaneously, I knew my goals and thoughts were on the right track. This was all corroborated while taking this course since I was able to make connections between what I have been learning in my CoETaIL courses, what I have been designing in my iLearning Initiative and the ways that I have adjusted my interactions with teachers. This course has been a centrifugal force that has formed an axiom of thoughts towards my job and the transition into becoming a coach.
I originally thought that my participation in this course would be contrived and perhaps inauthentic as I did not consider myself a coach when enrolling. As I began the course and now that I have completed this course, I realize the opposite. The weekly readings provided a background to the theory that I had not been privy to previously. The lessons were organized in such a way that provided the theory as well as outlined some of the reasons for coaching, potential problems that coaches face and also allowed me to experiment with coaching cycles in practice. One of the most invaluable features of this course has also been the forum that gave a glimpse into the jobs and scenarios that other people in similar positions around the world have been experiencing. Learning from and with these educators has been really incredible as it provided relief that the problems we face are not exclusively our own and they also provided guidance as we could follow along and learn with the others. Finally, this final project provided a context to think deeper about my iLearning Initiative and the ways that I hoped to empower teachers and transform student learning environments with technology-rich opportunities.
Thanks to Kim and Diana for their support throughout the course! And of course, thanks to the participants for your feedback and community!