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Query: 

How can I help the administrator to be open to change and learn about how he/she can help the teacher?

Advice:

Change is not easy for most people.  It means our current behaviors, founded on deep beliefs from our own experiences, are not quite right or even wrong.  That’s a challenge.  There must be a motivation to change.  In this case, what is the administrator’s vision for her work and her program?  What does she want to see her teachers doing?  How does she want her program to run?  Please refer to 1.2-K6 in the TA Guide regarding communication and 1.2-K4, among others.  Change can be threatening so refer to your TA for recommendations on communication strategies.

 

The foundation of adult learning and change is to understand why change is valuable.  Begin with the reviewing the Compass Points Activity from Coaching 4 Change, Session 2.  Consider where you believe the administrator is on the Compass – perhaps ask him/her to reflect and self-assess.  Follow the activity with discerning how this impacts the relationship with the teacher.  Consider using the Managing Complex Change tool from Session 1 as a Guide.

 

As shared in Coaching for Change by Bennett and Bush[1], there are no easy answers or magic formulas for coaching for change.  The process of change includes; awareness, acceptance, adoption, integration and mastery.  In order for the organization to change, people within them must change.  Begin with why the change is valuable, including the impact on the children, as well as the teachers, and the organization.  Follow this will helping the administrator set goals (based upon what it’s important to change and why – the foundation) and help the teacher try out the changes or new/adjusted practice.  Encourage the administrator and teacher to observe and reflect upon what happens, yet stress that change takes consistent implementation, over time, to see results.  When ready,  move onto the stages of adoption, integration and mastery in your coaching practice.  This leads the administrator and the educator through the process of conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competent as these changes become embedded in their work as everyday actions.

 

Additional resources from the Coaching 4 Change sessions include:

  • Using Data from Session 2 – specifically, Starting Points which is a tool the coach and/or Administrator can use with staff,
  • Principles of Culturally Responsive Coaching from Session 3, and
  • Building a Foundation for Effective Coaching from Session 3

[1] Bennett, J.L., & Bush, M.W. (2014).  Coaching for change.  New York:  Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

 

Advice provided by:

Jody Figuerido, Ph.D.
President, The Institute for Education and Professional Development, Inc.

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