Developing the Mentors/Coaches

This past month, we’ve talked about how we mentor and develop others. So what about support that we, as mentors/coaches, might need?

Coaches serve with eagerness and with a passion for developing others. And yet that’s not enough. Successful implementation of a coaching program is dependent on a systemic vision and a commitment to support coaches in fulfilling that vision (Wong and Nicotera, 2003).

To start, a full description of your job expectations needs be outlined and frequently revisited to review effectiveness of the coaching program. Your job expectations should be based on best coaching practices and research. Schedules should be refined and adjusted as needed. Clarity is imperative.

For you to develop as a skilled coach, schedule regular support meetings to plan, reflect, and problem resolve with other coaches. Seek help when needed!! Ask to be meta-coached with feedback (see previous Sustaining the Journey about feedback) and practice, practice, practice! Recognize that your continued growth is important and that training to build coaching skills isn’t a one-shot opportunity. Create a long-term plan for your program.

Monitor yourself. What percentage of your day are you coaching? Collaborating? Consulting? Evaluating? What other tasks are you performing that might not be part of your job description?

As you consider your current skill set (and mindset) as a coach, what are your hopes for yourself? In what ways might you actualize your hopes? What specificity might you need to achieve your vision?

Sanford, C. (1995). Myths of organizational effectiveness at work. Battle Ground, WA: Springhill.

Wong, K. & Nicotera, A. (2003). Enhancing teacher quality: Peer coaching as a professional development strategy. A preliminary synthesis of the literature. Publication Series No. 5. Philadelphia, PA: Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory.