by Jenn Hayhurst
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 #G2Great welcomed three dynamic leaders Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and Kathy Perret co-authors of The Coach Approach for School Leadership. Their book examines how to find the balance between the roles of learner and leader while fulfilling all that comes with the charge of being an administrator. They believe that if administrators can integrate instructional coaching techniques into their roles, they will lead their faculties to embrace learning with a sense of team spirit. Our #G2Great PLN welcomed their “coach approach” with great enthusiasm, understanding that when we view ourselves as learners first we are also leaders on a mission to improve education.
If we are willing, we can live the life of a learner in whatever our roles as educators and that is a powerful proposition. Any one of us who is willing to step into a leadership role understands that education is very complex and none of us knows all the answers. We also understand how important it is to “walk the walk” our actions, or inactions, impact the culture of our schools. If we adopt a coaching stance, we also understand that no great work can happen unless there is trust. For all these reasons Johnson, Leibowitz, and Perret coined The Coach Approach Mindset using the acronym HAT:
It’s never about the administrator, coach, or teacher the real work is always contextualized by the learners themselves no matter who they may be. A leader’s first priority should be to help learners achieve their best possible selves. However, before we can proceed we need to know what do our learners need? This is how we begin to adopt a coaching mindset.
Q2 Coaching is part of so many roles in education. What are key characteristics of your coaching mindset?
In writing this post, there is a need for many voices to define the key characteristics of a coaching mindset. Effective leadership requires a plurality and diverse perspectives. In order to define what makes a great leader or coach, we need to understand that a coach’s’ role is not defined by the coach or leader. It is defined by those we are honored to serve. While reading this post, repeat this as if it were a mantra, “Any one of us can be a leader.” If we are leaders who view our role through a coaching lens, we understand that any actions taken must reflect the needs of those around us. As we continue to make trust our priority and safeguard it, we all can continue to be our best for the students under our charge.
If the #G2Great PLN were a dream faculty, this would be our collective Top Ten for how we would define the characteristics of a coaching mindset:
Coaching work begins to happen once you realize that the very nature of coaching is to lead others to self-discovery.It is the purview of each coach to believe in the power and potential that every teacher in the classroom possesses. As leaders, we do not distribute knowledge, but rather we thrive on the quest to learn more with and from teachers.
Our last words of wisdom come from the authors themselves, as they continue to strive to lead and learn by example:
- Don’t be afraid to try new things
- Set meaningful goals to work towards
- Always question your purpose and recalibrate your path if necessary
Thank you, Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and Kathy Perret for working to help us be our best possible selves as we continue our work as learners and leaders!
Links to continue the learning:
The Coach Approach from Amazon
Free Chapter and study guide for The Coaching Approach from ASCD http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/117025.aspx as well as a free study guide on same link.
The Coach Approach podcast with Justin Baeder. https://www.principalcenter.com/jessica-johnson-shira-leibowitz-kathy-perret-the-coach-approach-to-school-leadership-leading-teachers-to-higher-levels-of-effectiveness/
The Coach Approach edutalk radio show:
Kathy Perret offers Virtual Coaching for Instructional Coaches and School Leaders with testimonials on the home page. My first call with potential clients is always free. website http://kathyperret.net