Students have learnt to coach each other in many classrooms
where teachers have been using a common language for
learning and been overt about the use of coaching techniques
with their students.
What coaches do
Many teachers use coaching skills in their classrooms but the
proportion of time spent coaching individuals, groups and
classes as a whole is currently less than is needed if we are to
personalise learning through the use of learning conversations.
A large number of schools are developing the coaching skills of
school leaders and teachers to support learning throughout the
Seven principles of coaching
- Coaches do not tell other people what to do – they enable
others to understand what they need to do
- Coaches help others to recognise their true goals – they
start with future goals not current reality
- Coaches hold an impartial mirror up to help others see
- Coaches ask questions to open up possibilities and explore
- Coaches listen to understand what others are saying and
- Coaches provide constructive feedback – when invited to
- Coaches are genuine stakeholders in other people’s learning
In other words, coaches limit dependency and build
independent – and interdependent -learners.
Most teachers recognise that they need to realign their habits
when leading the learning of others.
They remind themselves to:
• Stop telling students what to do
• Help students see where they are going
• Limit their use of judgments
• Stop using questions that close down the learning
• Stop listening out for what they want to hear
• Stop using positive and negative feedback techniques
• Talk about ‘we’ not ‘you’ and ‘I’