The first cohort of teachers has completed the Outstanding Teacher programme at the Brooke Weston Teaching School. It is aimed at teachers who are already graded as good and is designed to equip them with further skills, knowledge and creative ideas to enhance their professional practice. Beyond developing their own practice, the programme also aims to up-skill participants in the wider context of promoting and developing highly effective practice across their schools.
The course has been facilitated by teachers Dan Hawksley and Jennifer Ainscow. The final two sessions were devoted to coaching and were delivered by external facilitator, Mary Murdoch. She said: ‘There is clearly an established rapport within this group. They had already gelled very well and had high levels of trust in each other and their two Brooke Weston facilitators. They were fully engaged in all activities and were creative in their responses to challenges. During our full day module they tried their first formalised coaching session and accomplished it very professionally.
‘We have been thinking about coaching in the context of the Outstanding Teacher programme and leading and promoting highly effective teaching in school. While you do need highly developed emotional intelligence and excellent questioning skills to be a good coach; perhaps the most important coaching skill is to be a global listener. A global listener is someone who listens for congruence between what is being said, the tone of voice and the body language as well as what is not being said!’
‘OTP is influential in that it requires participant teachers to reflect on their own practice and their personal skills and qualities and identify how they can be supportive and productive in promoting effective practice across teams and faculties. We are encouraging people to look for opportunities to adopt a coaching approach in school with their colleagues and, indeed, with students.
'Coaching essentially is forward looking. It focuses individuals to look at an aspect of teaching that they are already good at and get even better for the benefit of students in lessons. The Anita Roddick adage "If you are doing something well, do it better!" is one that I think all teachers would subscribe to.'