Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Notes & Reflections: The Art of Coaching (Chapter 14: Reflection and Assessment: What's Next?)

I've never blogged my notes and thoughts through a book, but I figure there's never a better time than NOW!

My goal is to create a reference & reflective place for me as I continue growing as a coach.

See my notes from all book chapters on my Coaching Page.

Direct quotes from the book are in blue.
  • Mid-year and end-of-year reflection are critically important, not just to provide feedback to the coach on how to adjust things, but it also helps to redefine goals and address questions that need to be addressed.
  • Basic steps for reflection meeting:
    • Review work plan and coaching notes - DONE BY COACH ALONE
      • review goals, review activities to meet those goals, review evidence / data collected thus far
    • Reflect  (many more questions on pages 253, some below are paraphrased, others are verbatim) - DONE BY COACH ALONE
      • What activities did we do together? What activities did the fellow do alone?
      • How did activities change the fellow's practice?
      • What evidence do we have of a change in practice? Is all evidence just self-reported or do we have something more?
      • When has coaching felt most successful?  What is the "bright spot"?
      • What's gotten in the way of coaching?  What might need to be addressed, confronted, or dealt with in order for coaching to be more effective?
      • What have I learned about how the fellow learns?  What strategies are most effective?  What approaches am I usually taking to coaching?
      • Do I need to scaffold activities better so the fellow can engage in them alone?  How am I doing with the Gradual Release of Responsibility?
    • Plan the conversation - the convo is planned by the coach, but driven by the fellow.  Prepare questions in advance, but let the client direct it.  Possible questions include (more on Pages 252-253)
      • What evidence would you cite that indicates a change in your practice?  How do you know you are making progress towards your goals?
      • What do you feel good about in terms of your growth this semester?  What learning has been most powerful?  When have you felt a big "aha"?
      • What changes in practice has positively affected your students?  What do you think has made a big difference to them?  How do you know that your learnings positively affected them?
      • What's gotten in the way of doing some of the activities we planned on doing? Are they activities you still want to try? Or do we need to let go of them?  Are there other things you think we should do that would be helpful?
      • What has been hard about engaging in coaching?
      • Is there any feedback you'd like to give me about how I'm working with you (or how I've worked with you this year)?
    • Determine when and where the conversation will happen
      • Give the fellow advance notice so they can begin reflecting early.
      • This is much easier for the end of year reflection because things are wrapping up.  It's a lot harder to take time in the middle of the year when they have so much on their minds.  But, if I am more intentional about it, I think it will happen.  Here is how Aguilar recommends bringing it up:
        • "Next week when we meet I'd like to discuss our work together so far this year.  I want to look back at the goals we set and consider where we are in meeting them.  This is a really important part of coaching and I think it will feel really satisfying to you - you'll recognize how much you've learned and grown this year.  We're going to need a couple hours of uninterrupted time." (page 253-254)
        • My only concern with this quote is a couple hours?!?!  I wish I had that much time!
    • Engage the client in the reflective conversation.
  • Midyear reflection - pivotal moment in the year.  What has gone well?  What needs adjusting?  Even if the work hasn't gone as planned, it will help us to be more clear on our next steps.  This is also the chance to add new goals and cross out ones that aren't a big focus anymore. 
  • Common Challenges
    • The fellow who really hasn't made much progress all year: Start by examining our own coaching. Focus on:
      • Goals - Are they realistic? Are coaching sessions planned around them? Am I engaging the fellow in reflecting on them?  Do we need to break the goals down further?
      • Relationship - How did the coaching relationship come to be? How willing are they to engage in coaching?  What did they understand it would be and hope to get from it?  How engaged is he/she with it?  Have I engaged them in a conversation about what he's learning and how he's going?  What does he hope to get from coaching?  What might be getting in the way of greater growth?
      • Are we trying to see growth on just our own timeline?  What growth have we seen, even if it's incremental?
      • "Our job is not to change people, it's to offer a safe learning space." (page 262)

...Until Chapter 15...

Order my new book (released May 2016) today!  Click here for more details and to place an order!

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