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Currently studying Curriculum & Instruction for Adults

I am a very small part of a

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I am a very small part of a large vision for training (internationally) pastors and church leaders. One of the key items we are implementing is a coaching aspect. Key pastors and a few others were chosen to be the first group to be trained as coaches. There is an ongoing training, and a lot of support happens online, via phone, or skype. It is very exciting! As some point I will be able to get training, as this first group are mentors specifically for those called to plant churches and pastor.

I loved this paragraph, which I have made some reflective comments in brackets:

Coaching is an essential component of an effective professional development program. Coaching can build will, skill, knowledge, and capacity because it can go where no other professional development has gone before: into the intellect, behaviors, practices, beliefs, values, and feelings of an educator. [It has taken me many years to see the deep truth here. I have had some coaching at seminary, but what I would hope to be a part of is a larger coaching vision for local churches. This is not just discipleship, but a call to teaching critical thinking skills and deeper reflection.]

Coaching creates a relationship in which a client feels cared for and is therefore able to access and implement new knowledge. A coach can foster conditions in which deep reflection and learning can take place, where a teacher can take risks to change her practice, where powerful conversations can take place and where growth is recognized and celebrated. [I think the point of "where a teacher can take risks to change her practice," was important for me to read. Not that I would never see the need to change, but the importance of coaching having a reciprocal aspect. If coaches move beyond their role, it would be easy for us to slowly get into a place where we are the one with all the answers. For Christians, I don't think it would be a purposeful move, but more subtly.]

Finally, a coach holds a space where healing can take place and where resilient, joyful communities can be built. [I think I like this the best. I am very aware of the need for people to feel safe in an environment, and coaching can help others learn to receive without being perceived as "stupid," for example. The coaching relationship can be a healing one, and so those who are coached may eventually become coaches, and thus, healers. I am looking forward to learning how to coach people, as I see it as an important part of discipleship. I am called to help others grow in their faith, and to learn how to better listen and ask reflective questions will be fantastic!]

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Part Art, Part Science

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Good school coaching is part art, part science. For us at ACSR, it's about matching the need of the school and the need of the teacher with the just-right intervention. (Typically it's not as linear nor as simple as administrators would like to believe.) Overwhelmingly, it's about building relationships between the coach and the teacher, keeping the learner in their zone of proximal development so they can risk, reflect, and learn. It also means modeling the kind of facilitative practice we want to see teachers use with kids- good questions, respectful stances, lots of encouragement, plus rigor and high expectations.

For us, any training (traditional, online or otherwise) without some form of coaching is akin to malpractice. Sustained, job-embedded professional learning is a powerful tool when we can get folks to really engage!

Parent of 5 year old in Toronto

Very well written article!

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Very well written article! Coaching is inevitable in the genre of education especially in the kindergarten stage.

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