As educators, our primary goal is to inspire and support the next generation of leaders. In order to achieve this, we need to constantly learn and improve our coaching practices. Fortunately, there is a wealth of literature available that can guide us towards more effective coaching techniques.
One particularly insightful review was conducted by van Nieuwerburgh and Barr (2016), who examined a range of coaching-related interventions and published five recommendations to enhance coaching practices:
Further academic study: Engaging in academic study can lead to the development of in-house experts who can better inform coaching practices on the ground. This is particularly important in the field of coaching, where the knowledge base is constantly evolving.
Celebrate successes: Celebrating successful coaching stories, conversations, and courses both internally and externally can help raise the profile and awareness of coaching in schools, spreading best practices and inspiring further improvement.
Harness support: Long-term coaching success requires support from both top-down (coaching at local, regional, and national levels) and bottom-up (individual schools and practitioners in specific fields). We need to actively seek out and engage with the support around us to ensure the success of our coaching efforts.
Make time for coaching: Teachers and practitioners may feel burdened by time availability, but purposeful coaching conversations can have a range of benefits when given dedicated time and attention. By delegating time to coaching, we can better invest in the growth and development of our educators.
Foster a coaching culture: A coaching culture is not a destination, but a manifestation of internal conversations that influence individuals and the performance of the organisation. Rather than imposing a "correct order" on coaching practices, we should focus on enhancing existing processes and supporting educators to improve their practice.
As coaches and leaders in education, it is crucial that we constantly seek to improve our practices and embrace new ideas and techniques. At The Educational Coach support education leaders and staff enhance their coaching practices in order to better support the next generation.