“Everyone needs a coach” is the opening line of Bill Gates’s TED Talk Teachers need real feedback (view here). We know from our work with executive leaders in school districts that when leaders embrace coaching and development it provides the greatest opportunity for success. In Results that Last, Studer says leadership training “is not a ‘nice-thing-to-do’”; it is a must” (p. 125). Below are some benefits of school leader and teacher development adapted from Studer (p. 126):
Shares responsibility and creates ownership
Improves results across the board
Builds relationships, trust, and support
Creates a team that adjusts to environmental changes and creates a “build-to-last” culture; and
Great leaders play a role in creating the conditions that foster and nourish a school full of great teachers. In essence, they “lead teachers to become great” (Pilcher and Largue, 2009). Coaching is one strategy used by school leaders and by teacher leaders to engage in focused conversations about teachers’ strategies for reinforcing student learning in their classrooms. Benefits of coaching conversations between leaders and teachers or among teachers include (Pilcher and Largue, pp. 133 – 136; 166):
Teachers learn about teaching strategies that they otherwise may not have considered.
Teachers… discuss what teaching strategies are helping students hit their learning targets and what else they could be doing to further coach their students.
Leaders may create teacher learning teams that help individual teachers and the terms learn, plan, analyze, and reflect together.
Teachers improve instructional skills in ways that reinforce parent satisfaction and student learning.
Teachers instructional strategies focus on student learning rather than on what they are teaching.
Our mission as educational leaders is to create great places for teachers to teach, students to learn, and parents to send their children. Coaching – whether leadership development via Evidence-Based Leadership or teacher development – helps leaders and teachers share in the responsibility of building learning environments with engaged teachers and engaged students thereby creating great places for teachers to teach and students to learn.
Gates, Bill. (May 2013). Teachers need real feedback. Posted as an Education TED Talk and available at http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_teachers_need_real_feedback.html.
Pilcher, Janet, and Largue, Robin. (2009). How to Lead Teachers to Become Great. Gulf Breeze, FL: Fire Starter Publishing. Read the Introduction and Chapter 1.
Studer, Quint. (2008). Results that Last: Hardwiring Behaviors that will take your Company to the Top. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the fifth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.