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Coaching Tip: Staying True To Your Word

29 Jul 2015 by Emily Doyle

Build trust with your teachers by following through with your promises.

As a product developer, I’m always on the lookout for effective tips and strategies to infuse into our professional development resources. To that end, my team interviewed Amy Stephens Cubbage, who at one point served as Teachstone's MTP Coaching Program Manager. 

Amy brought a ton of coaching tips to the table, but one thing she said really stuck with me. When I asked her about how she might mentor a teacher on a particularly complex or overwhelming dimension, she offered the following advice:

“Tackle one indicator [at a time], and as a coach, stay true to your word.”

I found this advice to be really useful, not only because breaking down a dimension to the indicator or behavioral marker level makes the dimension far less intimidating, but also because she emphasized the importance of staying true to your word. It reminded me that trust is at the heart of all relationships—coaching or otherwise.

For example, if you tell a teacher that you will only be looking for evidence of one indicator during your next informal observation, then stick to it. It can be tempting to point out missed opportunities across other indicators or dimensions, but trust is all about keeping promises. When coaching teachers, establishing trust is integral to developing strong relationships, and ultimately, affecting change in their classroom interactions.

You can find the full interview with Amy, as well as interviews with other CLASS experts, in the  Instructional Support Strategies online course.

Share your coaching tips in the comments below!


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