Courses aimed at developing better coaches are taking place at Brooke Weston’s Teaching School. The sessions, developed by AQA, focus on two strands; coaching for teaching and learning and another focusing on leadership and management.
Teaching and Learning, aimed at classroom teachers, is being delivered by Tim Pank, while senior managers are being tutored by Karen Hamblett. Both courses focus on how coaching can be used to enhance confidence and performance.
Karen said: ‘We pinpoint the differences between coaching, mentoring, instructing and teaching and help participants decide when to use each process. Mentoring often uses someone with a very good skill set who may have been employed much longer than the person they are mentoring. With mentoring we show and tell someone how to do something. With coaching you firmly believe that all the skills and knowledge are in that person’s head and your job, as a coach, is to bring that out. As a coach, we ask questions to help the coachee develop their own answers and solutions. Coaches need to have good listening and questioning skills, they need to be quite humble not to jump in with the answer!
'Teaching and Learning focuses on using coaching to improve someone’s teaching and learning in the classroom, in line with new Ofsted regulations. The Leadership and Management version looks at advanced coaching skills including those derived from neuro-linguistic programming.'
Karen has run her own training company for 12 years and the emphasis in her sessions was on practical exercises with practitioners. She said: ‘ We do practical exercises and my intention is to have fun and productive workshops. The coaches will realise that in the process of coaching, because they have been listening (not telling) and actually encouraging other people to do the thinking, they can come away from the session having learned a great deal as well. This workshop can apply to other areas of their lives, improving and impacting other aspects, such as family life, as well, however the priority is to use it alongside colleagues in the classroom.’