What Is Teacher Coaching and Why Is It So Important?
We’re all humans, and that means we have the potential to learn and grow. Growth takes shape in many forms, whether it’s as simple as remembering a traffic shortcut or as amazing as curing a deadly disease. Sometimes we’re able to learn experientially, but other times we need to reach out to others for help.
That’s where teacher coaching comes into play. You can certainly learn a lot through your own experiences and research, but you can learn even more with a professional coach by your side to guide and mentor you.
engage2learn is in the business of growing people – that includes students, teachers, and leaders. We’ve seen firsthand the power of effective, research-based coaching. But what exactly is coaching and why is it so important?
Coaching: A Structured Way to Learn
In its simplest form, coaching is a form of professional development that helps teachers and leaders learn. Coaching is solution-focused and addresses many of the issues teachers and leaders encounter both in the classroom and in central office.
But coaching isn’t a one-and-done deal. Rather, you’re provided with a steady coach to work and develop a relationship with over time, ensuring that you have someone that you trust monitoring your long-term growth and success with consistency.
Consider the contrary: If you’re coached just for a week on a new initiative, for example, how could you be expected to be perfectly well-equipped to implement that initiative? What happens when you have questions or want feedback? What happens when you start second-guessing yourself and need the encouragement to keep going?
This is why it’s crucial for you to have an ongoing relationship with your coach. He or she will not only give you the information you need, but also provide kind and constructive feedback to help you improve your craft, support your students at every level, and create the inclusive, uplifting classroom environment of your dreams.
Why do I need coaching?
You might think, “What could coaching do for me that I can’t do for myself?”
Professional teacher coaching is like having a personal trainer at the gym. Sure, you can work out without a trainer and see some results. But how do you know your push-up technique is correct? How do you know you’re getting the correct results? What if there is a more efficient way to achieve your desired results? If you partner with a personal trainer, they’re able to guide you through a customized workout, based on your skills and experience. They measure your before-and-after and provide critical feedback throughout the process in order to drive you to achieve your goals.
It’s the same for teacher coaching. Coaching gives you a differentiated, individualized experience. You’re not given the cookie-cutter treatment. Rather, everything is tailored to your strengths and weaknesses so you can actually grow.
Growth can be painful. Change is hard. A coach is there to push you through those moments when you may feel like you want to give up, when you aren’t sure it’s worth it. They offer support in that pivotal moment that determines your success or failure in pursuit of your goals.
Coaching is also a crucial tool in helping you figure out your “why.” A coach helps you find your deep, innermost motivation for why you do the work that you do. It’s not always obvious what our “why” is, but it’s crucial to find it and let it guide you during your journey of growth.
When you have a coach, you learn from someone who’s been there. It gives you the chance to connect with a professional who cares about your results and wants you to do well. All of our coaches at engage2learn have been where you are. They understand your frustrations, they celebrate with you during your success, and they make sure you never feel alone in the process.