I’ve been practicing being more transparent lately. A while ago, I posted a greyscale photo of myself not smiling with a caption that began, “It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.” There are times I suffer from self-doubt, imposter syndrome, negative self-talk, and anxiety/depression. Not everything is sparkling and shining every day. (We’ll save that discussion for another post.)
I want the people I coach to understand that I don’t have a goal to change them. I don’t automatically assume that what they’re doing in their classrooms is wrong and I’m going to solve all their problems. Just ask me, I never think that I have all the answers. What I do have is the ability to think and research to find a possible solution. My goal is to help teachers and learn alongside them, and a way to build that trust is to be transparent.
One of the most important quotes that I came across in reading the chapter on transparency comes from Jim Knight, someone who has done a lot of work in the area of instructional coaching.
“When teachers stop learning, so do students.”Jim Knight, 2010
This leads into our next topic, inquiry.
One of the tools I use most often in my toolbox is a clarifying question. Asking questions helps me gain more background or information on what the teacher needs.
“If coaches continually ask questions, they have a better chance of arriving at solutions that will moveDr. Nathan Lang-Raad, 2018
teachingand learning forward.”
As coaches work with teachers, we can use the five-question framework that was established by Peter Drucker (2008). His list of five questions is mostly focused on businesses, but can also be applied to education.
- What is our mission?
- Who is our customer?
- What does
- What are our results?
- What is our plan?
We reach our goals of coaching when teachers focus their instruction and assessment to accomplish goals in increasing student achievement. Our students are preparing for a life ahead of them in a world that is unknown to us at the present moment. Let’s keep asking “Why?” “What if?” and “How?” in order to help them succeed.