|Found at http://irvinggfm.deviantart.com/art/Cosmos-Reflection-282045378|
As I approach the end of the Connected Coaching online course offered through Professional Learning Practice, we were asked to reflect and self assess.
What do I find most important and most powerful about this course and any other courses that I have taken through PLP?
"The ability to consistently struggle with both new learning the obvious best practice and leave with a feeling that you are the most important person in the room at all times with earth shattering ideas that should be shared."
It starts with the approach of the instructors or coaches. Lani and Amy are organized, well-prepared, effective communicators and contributing learners to community. But, most importantly they are supporters, coaches,and positive people who can find value in almost all situations. Connected coaching, is not like professional sports coaching. The power-hungry, my way or the highway coach yelling and screaming at his or her team until they just do it or else... is replaced with someone who directs, guides, supports and questions learners while making them feel important and reassuring them that the work they are doing is meaningful and of great importance.
What surprised you?
I was surprised by the way the community came together. Many people who did not know each other came together with very different goals and left with a similar experience. Through the use of coaching protocols, and team and trust building activities, our group became united around and supported each others learning. The face-to-face research-based strategies were turned into connected coaching online activities. These tools brought people together from across the globe (Australia) and right next store (York, PA). The environment that was created made it easy to take risks and safe to admit mistakes.
What, if anything, has most significantly influenced your thinking around coaching?
This course has influenced my daily conversations with parents and teacher by allowing inquiry and self reflection to drive conversations around what is best for kids. I think this course has forced me to become a better listener, problem-solver, communicator and leader.
In what ways do you envision moving forward?
I would love the opportunity to continue to practice the art and skill of connected coaching. I still struggle with how you can be both a coach and a supervisor in a school system. I am encouraged by what I am learning about the PA Teacher Effectiveness Rubric and the changes in the observation/supervision systems in Pennsylvania. I think that instructional coaching could play a larger role for principals. As school districts are asked to do more with less, I see the benefit of taking the coaching strategies and moving them to the online spaces as a time saver. The strategies and tool-kits discussed in this course could be extremely helpful to all administrators in the near future.
In closing, I chose to represent my reflections in a Blog post because I feel that reflection is important and that ideas are worth sharing. I was encouraged to share in the course space and I think it is important to share beyond the course space as well. I promote blogging to my teachers as a way to reflect and receive feedback about their practice and I need to model that expectation more often.