And just like that – the holidays are over and we are primed for a new academic year. Apart from the obvious freedom of an extended break without our alarms each morning, the one thing that I love about education is our ability to almost be born again each year. I know I’m not alone in this: as I walked around earlier this week, teachers buzzed as they put their final touches on classrooms, prepared welcome packs, and met their PLCs for the last time. It’s just like I used to feel before a match: a mix between raw nerves and anticipatory excitement. The field is set, we just need to meet our team and get started. But before we do, I know each of us has hopes and dreams for what this new year in school will be. This is the year….
I’ve been thinking about my hopes and dreams for the new academic year. I’d like to think of them as my New Years’ coaching resolutions 😊 I hope they will help me create the conditions for great coaching work and learning in the months to come.
This is the year to work more cohesively as a team.
And our team is ready.
In anticipation, we began the Student-Centred Coaching Certificate through the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the break. Between us, we pull from a variety of coaching models, responding to the needs of our teachers. Participating in the course has provided a focal point from which we can begin the process of redefining coaching, starting by developing a philosophy of coaching. Our hope is that by aligning our work to this philosophy, we will provide consistency for how we work with leadership, and how we work with teachers and students.
This is also the year to more consciously make students and their learning the focal point of each coaching interaction I have.
“What would you like students to understand?”
“What do you hope students will learn during this unit?”
“How will we know students have progressed?”
“How might we work together to support the students with this?”
“What are some approaches that have worked for your students in the past?”
“How are the students going? What should we do next?”
“What student work should we look at to help move ahead?”
I’m hoping consciously drawing the goals of coaching back to students, regardless of its start-point, will enhance my coaching relationships, and my impact. After all – it is the hope of every coach and the mission that unites us all in education: enhancing student learning.
What are your New Years’ coaching resolutions?
Let’s get this year started!