Teaching is one of the hardest professions in the world. So what’s the game plan to make it through a day in the classroom? In their book titled Coaching Classroom Instruction Tom Roy & Tammy Heflebower (2013) state that the most effective help commonly comes from coaching (p. 22). But what does coaching mean? First, it’s important to understand that coaching is a two way street between a coach and the individual being coached. Roy & Heflebower (2013) explain that multiple definitions and terms can be associated with coaching since it is a relatively new term. They go onto explain that terms particularly associated with coaching are coach and mentor (p. 23). Let’s take a look at a YouTube video to learn more about the difference between a coach and mentor.
One commonality between coaching and mentoring is that both are used to nurture the skills of those being coached. Coaching focuses on specific objectives while mentoring focuses on personalized growth. Individuals are assigned to a specific coach with coaching while mentee typically selects a mentor they feel comfortable with. The Coaching versus Mentoring infographic below goes into greater detail about the differences between the two.
When beginning a coaching relationship, trust should be the main focus. Elena Aguilar (2016) explained that in early stages of development the leaders primary role is to build trust so educators can have meaningful conversations about student learning (pp. 109-110). When I think of coaching relationships I’ve been apart of, the most meaningful ones were those where we both listened to and supported each other. We celebrated the positives and made a game plan to tackle the negatives!
Aguilar, E. (2016). The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.
LeanLab. (2017, May 31). Coaching vs Mentoring [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/3fFQiLOtDkc
Marzano, R.J. & Simms, J.A. (2012). Coaching classroom instruction. Marzano Research Laboratory: Bloomington, IN.