As much as all schools, and all headteachers, would like to increase the budget that they have in order to provide even better educational opportunities for students, the KASH I am talking about here is an acronym for four qualities that are more important than monetary cash can buy.
KASH stands for knowledge, attitudes, skills, and habits. The more we can improve each of these within all members of the school community, the more we will develop a strong and positive school culture (see the section on building a constructive culture earlier in the book). As coaching is developed, the four elements of KASH will also grow in individuals, teams, and ultimately the whole school. But where should our main focus lie in supporting the development of each individual and therefore the school as a whole? It is interesting to note that in most organisations it is the K (knowledge) and S (skills) that absorbs the greatest amount of time and effort, but it is the A (attitudes) and H (habits) that cause most organisations, including schools, to fail.
What this means
Although they can have a bad name (‘you have an attitude, don’t you!’), an attitude is more about describing an outlook or a leaning towards or against something. You might be aware that aeroplanes have attitudes! This is to do with the orientation of the aircraft in relation to the Earth’s horizon, which then causes it to lean or move in a particular direction. In the KASH acronym, it is the A (attitude) which will influence and leverage a person (teacher or student) to want to develop and use their K and S (knowledge and skills). A (attitude) is therefore the most important ingredient for success in the KASH model.
Habits are those things we consistently do without any real effort, and they can influence considerably the work that we do. Some of our habits can be helpful and others not. Coaching can enable an individual to reflect on their habits and decide whether any need to be changed in order for them to achieve their goals.
Why it is important
The KASH acronym is related to the iceberg model that we looked at earlier on. It gives us an easy way to reflect on essential elements that determine our success and which things we might need to focus on most in terms of achieving our goals.
|How to use this
As coaches, it is useful to think about how we can develop each of the four elements of the KASH model. In terms of being a leader in the school you can use the KASH model as a simple way to make people aware of some of the dimensions that coaching can be used to influence. It is more likely that coaching will be affecting the three elements of attitudes (A), skills (S) and habits (H) with mentoring more applicable to addressing the fourth element of knowledge (K).