Developing a coaching culture, is best accomplished if all members of the school community are involved. This includes the teachers, classroom support personnel, administrative staff, caretaker, lunchtime supervisors, students, governors, and parents. Very importantly as well, it must involve the headteacher and senior leaders, who are actively modelling their engagement in the coaching process in order that coaching is accepted and embedded in the school. Coaching must be perceived by very busy members of the school community to be something that the headteacher is fully committed to, and is viewed by them as an essential CPD (continuing professional development) component for everyone in the school.
This may seem like an onerous task, and it is, therefore, often advisable to take a stepped approach to implementing coaching. This is one reason why it is critically important to have a strategic plan concerning how coaching will be developed in the school.
What this means
It is crucial that everyone in the school should know what coaching is in order that there is no confusion or misunderstanding about what coaching is and the importance placed on it by the headteacher or principle.
Why it is important
Involving everyone in the discussions about, and development of, coaching, keeps the whole community informed and enables all individuals and teams to develop the skills and experience of coaching. And providing people with the big picture in terms of why coaching is being prioritised in the school will enable them to feel more committed to the coaching process.
A whole school strategic coaching plan
The following sets out the key considerations as you begin implementing coaching in your school.
|Step 1||Vision. Big picture. What are you trying to achieve in the school through coaching? Where do we want to go? What do you want to improve? This may be over the next 10 years.|
|Step 2||Goals. What specific and measurable goals have you got? These are the stepping stones that take you towards the vision.|
|Step 3||Establish the coaching steering group. Those responsible for ensuring that coaching is implemented and works in the school.|
|Step 4||Audit of the current reality in the school. Where are we now? Know what the situation is like at the moment so that you can determine later on how coaching has had an impact.|
|Step 5||Training plan. Decide on how you will train people. Who will you train first? Will you do this internally or with external support?|
|Step 6||Implementation in the school. How will this work? Will it be a combination of formal and informal coaching? How will people fit this in timewise?|
|Step 7||Monitoring. On an ongoing basis. Who will ensure that coaching is taking place effectively?|
|Step 8||Further training. Updating staff with new strategies. Training new staff to the school.|
|Step 9||Revise plan. How to improve things further.|
|Step 10||Implement new plan.|
The steps shown here tend to interweave rather than being a strict linear process. The important thing is to have a plan to work to which will then support a full commitment to coaching implementation.
|How to use this
In order for coaching to be successfully implemented in the school, and for it to become a natural part of the way people support each other, a coaching plan should be formulated. The above gives you some things to think about in terms of your own plan. Clearly this can be modified through experience as time goes along, though it is recommended that the vision within the plan should largely stay the same.