Coaching advanced teachers

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote recently addressing questions asked by instructional coaches about how to approach coaching ‘advanced’ teachers. Instructional coaches are experienced teachers in their own right who have changed focus to facilitate the professional development of other teachers, coaching them 1:1 or in groups as well as in the classroom. Being faced with coaching very experienced teachers can be daunting, especially when an instructional coach is new to the coaching role.

Many readers may not be active coaches in this particular context, but the issues raised concerning confidence in our coaching role and skills are relevant to any coach in any coaching situation. Therefore I hope what follows is useful for you too!

The guest post first appeared on 9 October 2018 on The LaunchPad – the official blog of TeachBoost (a US organisation providing a customisable instructional leadership platform).* You can see the original publication here.


TeachBoost Coach's Toolbox image

Image courtesy Schoolbinder, Inc

Do your confidence levels plummet when you’re faced with coaching a truly awe-inspiring “advanced” teacher? Does it make you begin to question what added value you as an instructional coach can bring? Uncomfortable as it may feel, working with senior, expert, veteran, or more knowledgeable teachers is a great starting point for assessing and reassessing why we’re doing what we’re doing. When we’ve thought it through, we might be equipped to approach coaching advanced teachers in a more constructive, creative way.

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Setting and Achieving Transformative Goals

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how we can help our coachees set transformative goals. Some ways of thinking about goals and goal setting are more conducive to client fulfilment and progress than others. Here I take a look at how skillful use of John Whitmore’s ‘Pyramid of Goals’ allows us to explore the links between a coachee’s dream goals, end goals, performance goals and process goals. Understanding the difference between these enables us to facilitate client thinking towards goal setting that helps rather than hinders them to achieve their dreams.

Hand holding card which says Set Goals

The guest post first appeared in Coaching World in April 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).


Setting and Achieving Transformative Goals

Setting goals is important in life. It’s also a key component of many approaches to coaching. Yet we have to admit that not all goal setting is effective. Some ways of thinking about goals and goal setting are more conducive to client fulfilment and progress than others.

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Building Supportive Coach Communities with Twitter

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how we can build supportive coach communities with Twitter, based on my experience of being involved in the #coachingHE Tweetchat – an initiative organised by a dynamic group of coaches working in Higher Education settings, backed by the Staff Development Forum (SDF) here in the UK. As a vehicle to bring together and preserve the ‘wisdom’ of a widely geographically-dispersed cohort of coaches it has been highly successful. I hope this post encourages you to look into this form of community building as well, in order to promote CPD opportunities for coaches in different settings and an additional sense of coach well-being.

Smartphone and twitter global networkThe guest post first appeared in Coaching World in April 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).


Building Supportive Coach Communities with Twitter

Coaches work in different contexts; some in relative isolation, which can lead to negative impacts on professional well-being and development. But, with the use of social media, we can create a supportive culture of “community” among coaches.

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Mindfulness as a Coaching Tool?

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how certain aspects of a mindfulness practice can become useful tools for coaches in dealing with distractions or emotional reactions that may arise during or after coaching sessions. head silhouette filled with cloudsThese ‘tools’ have been useful to me, and I hope they’ll be useful to you too!

The guest post was first published in Coaching World in January 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).


Mindfulness as a Coaching Tool?

What’s a coaching tool to you? Something you pull out of your “toolbox” and “apply” to a client? Like MBTI? The GROW Model? Or, a perspective on coaching that provides a whole variety of questions and approaches?

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Should we take notes in coaching sessions?

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote recently addressing questions asked by instructional coaches about whether to take notes in coaching sessions. Instructional coaches work with teachers in schools, coaching 1:1 or in groups as well as in the classroom. Whether to take notes or not therefore needs careful thought, with decisions varying according to circumstance.

Most coaches aren’t active in this particular context, but the issues raised need to be considered by any coach in any coaching situation. Therefore I hope what follows is useful for you too!

The guest post first appeared on 27 March 2018 under the title ‘Should Coaches Take Notes During Visits?’ on The LaunchPad – the official blog of TeachBoost (a US organisation providing a customisable instructional leadership platform).* You can see the original publication here.


TeachBoost Coach's Toolbox image

Image courtesy Schoolbinder, Inc

Coaching is an intriguing occupation. There’s usually not a straightforward answer to any question, however simple it may seem. For example, taking notes in coaching sessions—some people say you should; some people say you shouldn’t; while others say maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t, depending on the context.

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