Friday, September 12, 2014

EMWP Coaches to Learn

Shari Hales

On August 18th and 19th, about thirty participants gathered in room 300 at EMU’s Student Center because we wanted to learn more about the coaching model. EMWP’s very own Julia Keider presented a two-day Literacy Coaching Institute that began with a much needed explanation of what coaching is...and is not.

We found out that coaching is good teaching, and it is never evaluative. We came to understand that the role of a coach should be that of a trusted advisor. Coaches help teachers work through their challenges; they provide resources and strategies for teachers to use at their own discretion. Julia and her special guest on day two, Jackie LaRose (EMU), modeled coaching practices throughout the presentation and afforded everyone present (new teachers, veteran teachers, and administrators), the opportunity to clarify their understanding. Participants practiced coaching techniques with one another during role-play activities and engaged in thought-provoking group discussions that challenged participants to think like coaches.

Everyone left with a greater understanding of the function of coaching in education, its benefits as sustainable professional development, and ideas about how to employ coaching techniques in our teaching practices or administrative roles. This workshop was such a success and teachers are so eager to learn more that the Coaching to Learn model will be an important focus in this year’s Saturday Seminars, sponsored by EMWP at Pray Harrold. Contact Bill Tucker or Julia Keider for more information.

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