PSD70 Learning Coach Program

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Mental Cheat Sheet

Knowing there are definite stumbling blocks in getting to the point of coaching heavy, I felt like I needed a couple of key questions that I could keep in mind to ask myself and the teachers in my school (of course supporting, not negating, the conversation maps and their key steps) that would keep me focused in the heavy coaching, rather than getting sidetracked to the lighter side. Thanks to our PSD Learning Coach team at division office and to Joellen Killion, because most of these I have stolen from them!

Questions for me:

  • Am I inviting reflection or imposing ideas?
  • Am I asking questions or giving answers?
  • Am I promoting change or maintaining comfort?

Questions for teachers (depending on the situation):

  • Are your teaching practices in direct alignment with your core beliefs about teaching and learning?
  • What is your philosophy of teaching? (Remember that question when you were putting your resume together?) Has it changed since you first started teaching? Have your practices changed along with it?
  • Describe an “inclusion success story” from your classroom, referring to one of PSD’s five commitments to inclusion. Where can this lead you?
  • Describe an “inclusion challenge” for you. Could one of PSD’s commitments to inclusion help? What would be the first step?
  • Given PSD’s five commitments to inclusion, which do you feel might help in this situation? What would you be doing? What would the students be doing?

Right now I’m still finding that I have to be consciously thinking about these questions or similar questions to ensure the “coaching heavy”. Hopefully, soon it’ll be second nature in my conversations with teachers!

Twyla Badry

  • awolodko says:

    What I really like about some of your questions is how you ask teachers to align some of their decisions about their practices to the PSD Vision for inclusion. It goes along really well with Leah’s comment and the article she mentioned in her reply. It is interesting that Joellen Killion mentions that the practice of teachers choosing what teaching practices they would like to look at is coaching light . She indicates that coaching heavy would include the Learning Coach encouraging the teacher to focus on student learning and the practices that that fall within the Division’s framework or vision of inclusion. I guess when having some of those conversations and asking the questions that Twyla mentions, we are helping teachers to focus on practices that research shows foster inclusion. Thanks Twyla and Leah.

    May 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  • mfisk says:

    Thanks Twyla! This helps to keep things focused and concise. Love that it frames the conversation.

    May 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm
  • pwierstra says:

    Thank you Twyla for this great insight! I appreciate the questions that you have put together. I too will copying these down and creating a visual reference for myself! You have such great insights ~ please continue to keep sharing.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:03 am
  • landrews says:

    Hi Twyla, I commend your effort on reaching for that “coaching heavy” approach to your daily work as a learning coach. It is not an easy thing to do and yet is so critical to our continual growth as educators. I think a lot of what we do as teachers is steeped in history and if we have time to reflect on whether or not those practices truly align with our beliefs about teaching and learning we might be surprised by what we find. Thank you for being a leader who is willing to ask some of those more difficult questions that ask us to think deeply about our professional practice!

    For those people who are interested in reading more about “Coaching Heavy”, follow this link to Read Joellen Killion’s article. Recently, I found this article also by Joellen Killion: Reprising coaching heavy and coaching light.

    April 26, 2013 at 8:18 am
  • kreid says:

    Wow, Twyla! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be using some of these!

    Have you got any good tips for using these naturally in conversations? I am still struggling with this…

    April 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

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