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Becoming a


Cognitive CoachingSM

Trainer Development Process

Becoming a Cognitive Coaching Trainer: A Developmental Continuum

The skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to be an effective Cognitive Coaching Seminars® trainer are complex and challenging to most. Given that, Thinking Collaborative is committed to supporting those interested in becoming trainers in a process that supports learner efficacy and craftsmanship, maintains the integrity of this work and builds strong capacity in systems. The following steps represent the recommended and expected process. Each prospective trainer will work with a Training Associate who will individualize the process as needed.

An Agency Trainer contracts with Thinking Collaborative to only do training within his/her own agency. Training Associates contract with Thinking Collaborative to provide training to organizations for a fee. Training Associates pay a royalty for each day of training they provide.


Steps in Becoming an Agency Trainer
  1. Complete Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminars® training.

  2. Attend Part 1 and Part 2 of Cognitive CoachingSM Advanced Seminar.

  3. Observe a Training Associate, who is authorized to mentor prospective trainers, conducting the Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar® and take notes for process and training design with formal debriefs.

  4. Co-train Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar® with a Training Associate who is authorized to mentor. It is highly recommended that developing trainers co-train at least twice. Co-training cannot commence until both Steps 2 and 3 are completed.

  5. Submit videos of coaching conversations (planning, reflecting, and problem-resolving) to your mentor.

    • Transcribe the video in the Cognitive CoachingSM Video Template.

    • Complete a written reflection using the Cognitive CoachingSM Self-Reflection Conversation.

    • Complete a self-assessment using the Cognitive CoachingSM Self-Assessment. Videos must be submitted to your mentor within one year of completion of the co-training process. If the videos are not submitted within this timeframe, the developing trainer will be required to complete an additional round of training.

  6. Complete Presenters’ Forum – strongly recommended, not required. Successful completion of Presenters’ Forum requires a 30-minute video showcasing new learning from Presenters’ Forum.

  7. Authorization by Training Associate to conduct Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar®

  8. Sign and return the contract sent to you from Thinking Collaborative. The contract stipulates that all agency trainers should (a) conduct at least one Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar and (b) attend and participate in Trainer’s Meetings, Advanced Training, or Presenter’s Forum at least once during the two-year term of the contract.



An agency is not a company or individual, external to the agency, that works with school systems (e.g., publishing companies, private or public consulting companies). Most prospective trainers will belong to an agency similar to a school system, serving just the people within that system. However, some prospective trainers might come from an agency that is more far-reaching than a single school system, such as a regional service center or a state-level organization. These organizations provide training for multiple districts/systems and becoming a trainer for such organizations will require obtaining TA status. If the prospective trainer falls in this latter category, they will be required to go through the process of becoming a TA after four rounds of presenting the Foundation Seminar on their own.

Examples of agencies that would require the agency trainer to become a training associate include (but are not limited to):

  • Universities

  • State- or county-wide educational consortium/cooperatives

  • International school consortium/cooperatives

  • State or Regional Teacher/Service Centers

  • Multi-district organizations

Please contact the co-directors through the button below if you need additional information about what constitutes an agency and if an agency falls into the category of needing a training associate.


Developing trainers can observe anywhere as long as they are observing a Thinking Collaborative Training Associate who is authorized to mentor.

Developing trainers will co-train within their own organization. This is so that trainers can develop within their own supportive environment. The home organization supports the developing trainer financially and especially philosophically. When there is an investment (again, especially philosophically) on the part of the organization, the organization commits more deeply to the work. The home organization is also mindful that this is a learning process and expects the new trainer to be a novice and growing their skills during the training. The home organization’s expectation for supporting a developing Agency Trainer is two-fold: to extend opportunities for the Agency Trainer to provide training for them over time and for the developing trainer to become a skilled trainer who will keep this work alive and healthy.

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