How can we make coaching work in schools?
This is a structural and cultural shift, explaining how we are approaching teaching and learning.
Built of concrete and sand, 8 years in the making, the Colosseum (or Flavian Amphitheatre) is an entirely free-standing structure. The amphitheatre was ringed by eighty entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators, offering easy access.
Over the past few weeks, I have continued to ask my readers the following question: how can we genuinely improve teaching and learning? In my video presentation to banish high-stakes formal observations – including the outdated x3 observations per academic year model – to help schools and teachers move towards a coaching model.
I am proposing to develop the teaching and learning structure and culture in our school, but hopefully shape and support others.
Below, you can read the headline details of the proposal – with finer details and cost calculations included in my presentation which can downloaded here.
In my ‘coaching flow’ diagram, I explain how a coaching model – introduced across the school – can help change structures and cultures of teaching and learning.
How can we put in place a coaching structure that is a free-standing model, allowing teachers to access self-improvement from all areas of the school?
These are the headlines from my post, No More Formal Observations and is how I view our coaching work developing over the next 6 months.
- to banish lesson gradings once and forever.
- to stop the ‘3-model formal (summative) observations’ once per term – even if they are not graded, forever.
- to allow every teacher to be coached.
- to include ZERO paperwork in the process.
- all coaches follow a specific script; a ‘common vernacular’.
A Coaching Flow:
In this diagram, the coaching flow has the professional (the coachee) at heart. It of course is hypothetical and a suggestion to illustrate how I see coaching working alongside appraisal – but importantly, in separation.
Surrounding the coachee, the allocated coach offers weekly support, that is non-threatening and in the words of Mary Myatt – high challenge, low threat. The weekly cycle would last two academic terms and intends to have a direct impact on the coachee and student outcomes. This model would lead to a greater impact on the overall quality of teaching and learning across the school if a significant body of teaching staff are involved – as coach or coachee – in the programme.
- coaching relationships would mainly be outside of the coachee’s department.
- appraisal would never be a factor; nor line-management relationships.
- every coached observation would last 15 minutes and focus on one action step (only).
- feedback – at a time agreed before the session – would take place within 48 hours and be no longer than 30 minutes.
- the cycle would repeat each week. Time would be given in return for trust/ to ensure it would happen.
- to develop the Department Diagnostic report to help gather a picture of teaching, learning and assessment throughout a cycle (one academic year).
- learning walks would still happen by departments to gather a flavour of work across the school – for every department – but this would be divorced from this proposal and on a 2-year cycle.
- there would be no more whole-school learning walks or work sampling. Instead, it would happen in departments on a cycle led by that team.
- at the end of the cycle, the programme would be tweaked and the coach and coachee bank of staffing would be reviewed for the year ahead.
I’ll share finer details in due course, as well as a FAQs sheet. Watch this space …
*this model is copyright of Quintin Kynaston.