From our Power of Coaching research, teachers revealed a strongly held theme which is important to them–> Don’t Make Assumptions About an Individual’s Abilities.
Following are some excerpts from research notes:
-Survey and focus-group participants overwhelmingly agreed that in any coaching scenario, teachers need to be treated as professionals. Further, these participants went on to disclose that:
-The majority believe that they are in a “continuously-learning” mode;
-According to more than 36% of participants, assumptions are being made about their content and pedagogy knowledge that does not always reflect their own abilities or understanding;
-Focus group participants consistently concurred with this following statement: “Exposure to materials being introduced into a curriculum does not equate to professional development relating to those materials:”
-Substantial numbers concurred with a Chicago teacher’s statement that “telling me how to do it is not necessarily enough to ensure [that] I’ll immediately be doing it effectively.”
-Multiple focus groups stated that they strongly agreed” with the statement “teachers need to be allowed to make mistakes when they attempt new things … and not be judged solely on those attempts.
Instructional leaders–heed the advice. If we want to positively influence a teacher’s craft, we must play in-part to their needs when coaching.