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COSA Mentor Blog: New resource for coaches and mentors Print E-mail

powerfulteaching.jpgby Heather Knight, M Ed.

Welcome to COSA's new resource blog for leadership coaches and mentors.  We hope this site will be particularly helpful to leadership coaches who are participating in the COSA New Leader Mentor Certification, but we encourage everyone to use, post, and share resources and helpful hints.  You can use this blog to interact with your colleagues and other cohort members to problem solve and share experiences.  I look forward to reading your contributions and questions, and encourage all of you to post topic ideas.  Each month a new resource topic will be shared.  We hope to post examples of helpful tools and have you add to them.  This is your site, so let the sharing begin!!

This month's topic:  What successes have you experience in using deep listening and powerful questioning?  What has been the greatest challenge?  Please post your thoughts in the comment form below.

Also, as you utilize this blog, please feel free to query me.  You can post any questions or problem cases in the comment form below and I will respond.

And, don't be shy.  If you've got a great question or particularly effective strategy you’ve used -- share it here!

Heather Knight is co-president of Powerful Teaching and Learning Into Practice LLC.  Access the PTL Blog here.  Heather and PTL partner with COSA in providing the COSA Mentor Certification Program and the Extraordinary Leaders 360 program.

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ESD Brown Bag Lunch discusses the merits
written by Richard Goldner, NWRESD Coordi, October 14, 2008
The Northwest Regional ESD sponsored a brown bag discussion for administrators on the merits of coaching. Participants agreed that a coaching model will be more effective when a coach is not expected to have all the answers, but focuses on active listening and asking questions of those being coached. Administrators, who also take the roles of supervisor amd evaluator, will have a challenging time assuming the role as coach. Because of this conflict, our group saw the distinct advantage of utilizing peers as coaches. It was concluded by those in attendance to continue with their coaching experiences with other administrators and to encourage and support peer coaching among NWRESD staff.
\"How People Learn\" - Impact on Those Y
written by Richard Goldner, November 17, 2008
In reading this article, I substituted the term "student" with the "coachee." With this understanding, I considered a couple of the key findings:

If we assume: "Those we coach come into the coaching relationship with preconceptions about how the world works."

So do we agree that a role of effective coaching is to elicit (draw out and work) from our "coachees" their pre-existing understandings while providing opportunities to build on and/or challenge these initial understandings.

How do we make our ongoing mentoring meaningful and to make our "coachees" thinking more visible to themselves and others?

What are these "metacognitive" strategies that could help those we coach to take greater control of their own learning and problem-solving?

Given this focus on process (and not product), can we agree that there is no best coaching practice and that seeking such goals may be fruitless and misdirected. What are your intentions and expectations with the coaching process?

Please feel free to respond to these questions or other related issues. One goal of gaining greater understanding in our interactions with others will be a more empowered and effective coaching experience for all.
Resistance teacher conversation a succes
written by Cherie Stroud, November 19, 2008

I just completed the conversation with the teacher we discussed at our last Mentor workshop. I am happy to report that it would very well and was quite productive. I have a deeper understanding of his perspective and he shared some valuable insights with me. We also developed a good plan for how he can participate in contributing to the professional development goals of his department. We had a good laugh about how differently we see the value of working with others. His best day is when he doesn't see another individual. We agreed to continue these conversations and he was very forthcoming with both his ideas and support of what I am trying to accomplish.

Thanks to all of you for your support, suggestions and creative ideas in how to best deal with this situation.

Working and listening with others . . .
written by Richard Goldner, December 01, 2008
I just read Cherie's update and it reminded me of the importance of just taking the time to listen to our staff. When we feel listened to, we usually come to better understand differing points of views and perspectives. There are no guarantees that we will resolve every issue, but progress will be made and the next time will be a little easier. Wishing a very happy Thanksgiving to all.
Seeking Mentoring Stories from Our Cohor
written by Richard Goldner, December 21, 2008
Happy Holidays to all.

I am sure that we have all had a crazy and unusual work week in dealing with the weather. For some of us, our staff and students received an early holiday vacation. I have found that snow days were much more fun when I was in the teaching ranks, but as an administrator, they seem much more perplexing and problematic (or I just getting old).

Now that we have officially entered the holiday season, it might be a good time to reflect on some of our successes and "need for improvement" areas in our mentoring and coaching experiences during the fall. I have found that I am better (but still working on) at not just answering staff questions, but getting into a dialogue and posing questions back to those I am coaching. It continues to be a challenge, but one that has its rewards.

How are things goes for everyone else? Any stories to share or experiences that we assist all of us in our ongoing practice? Please share if you would like, especially while we have a little down time.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holiday seasons and great expectations for 2009.


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This page was last updated on Monday, September 29, 2008 .