Last week’s post talked about finding the raw materials to help teachers go from good to great. But the journey from good to great is not just for teachers – it is for coaches, too!
This week, I participated in a group process for creating a school vision. After several rounds of writing and combining ideas individually, in pairs, and in small groups, we were ready to take it to the next level and look at the ideas from everyone in the room using a process similar to affinity mapping. Our facilitator said, “Find the person in your group who really likes to group things and look for patterns. If that’s you, tell your group so.” As soon as she said those words, I knew I should step forward. She was describing something I LOVE to do. This may sound crazy, but I got excited about the possibility, so I volunteer myself to be our small group’s delegate for the assignment. Looking for commonalities was my nerdy kind of fun. Here’s how it ended up:
(Of course, this isn’t the end of the vision-creation process, but it was an important step along the way.)
In this scenario, I recognized my own strength. Now, how do I use it in my coaching role? One thing I do, when working with a group of teachers, is look at observation data and find patterns there. What can we celebrate as a strength of the team? What is an area where we are all good and could be GREAT? Finding ways to put my pattern-seeking strength to work can also help me improve as a coach. Our talents are our greatest asset.
A cool thing about finding the good things and building on them is that we usually love doing what we are good at. It’s what you volunteer for and circle back to whenever you can. Ask yourself: When do I feel spikes of enthusiasm? When does my energy flow? What do others tell me I are good at? What seems easy for me, but others complain about doing it? Once you are aware of your genius, you are able to use it more intentionally, and this can take you from good to great. Pause…just for a moment….and think of something you are good at. When you top off a strength, you are wisely investing your energy.
This week, you might want to take a look at:
Results and resources of coaching:
Involving or empowering teachers? Listen in:
Using reading notebook covers for reflection and goal-setting:
The case for active learning:
The benefits of having to cope with a little mess:
That’s it for this week. Happy Coaching!
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