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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Rebooting Sustaining the Journey

Authored By:

Carolee Hayes


January 26, 2023

The New Year is a perfect time to renew your commitment to practicing the tools and skills of Adaptive Schools and Cognitive Coaching. Many participants have asked us about ideas for sustaining the work begun in their organizations after completing the Foundation Seminars. Your Training Associate or Agency Trainer is a good resource for ideas. In addition, we have offered a few ideas below to stimulate your planning. All good professional development is a process over time, not a one-time event. Consider ways to review theory, provide for models and practice as well as coaching and reflection.



Focus on a Norm

Groups have found that choosing one norm as a focus for a month or so provides manageable practice and changes in behavior. Be sure to take 5 minutes or so at the end of the meeting to reflect on how the group did with that norm. It can be helpful to have one person collect data on use of the norm during the meeting.

Use Inclusion Strategies

Ask a member of the group to be responsible for an inclusion strategy and rotate that responsibility. Assist the person who is leading the protocol in planning for appropriate time and aligning it with the intentions of the agenda. Keep a log of strategies to be shared.

Write Agendas to Reflect Outcomes and Dialogue and Discussion

Before the meeting, check agendas to be certain outcomes are clearly stated. Add notation for each item whether it is dialogue or discussion.

Align Strategies with Purpose in Meetings

As you plan meetings, use the Strategies List in the Appendix or Online to choose strategies which align with purpose. For example, if there is a lot of text to be read on a topic, use an “Each Teach” or if you want to stimulate an initial dialogue on a topic, use an “Assumptions Wall”. Be deliberate in your choices. This modeling will support group members in doing the same.

Reflect on Meeting Success Structures

At the end of the meeting, ask the group to reflect on how effective the group was in using the meeting success structures. Set a goal for improvement for the next meeting.

Adaptive Schools Refreshers

Ask your trainer about this resource.

The Refreshers are self-guided review and practice mini-lessons for groups to assist them in staying current on Adaptive Schools skills and processes. Each lesson includes review using an AS strategy, data collection and coaching for reflection. There are enough lessons for over a year of work.

Source Book Study Guide

Download resource HERE

This resource provides a guide to each chapter of the AS Sourcebook and supports a deeper dive into the content of the training.

Personal Assessment of Norms

Download resource HERE

Each individual can use this tool to reflect on current practice and set goals for future work.

Group Assessment of Norms

Download resource HERE

Groups can use this tool to reflect on current practice and set goals for future work.

Norms of Collaboration Toolkit

Download resource HERE

This tool provides a thorough review of the Norms of Collaboration.




Use time in your car or when you are alone to practice one of the three conversations.

Coaching Partners

Find a person who is also learning to coach and set a regular time to have conversations. Reflect together on your growth.


Form a trio and make videos of your own coaching of each other. Use the third person as a meta-coach to reflect on your video.

Watch Videos of Your Own Coaching

Select a focus for something you are working on, e.g., plural forms. After videoing a coaching conversation, watch and analyze your coaching for that focus.

Make Coaching Part of Your Meetings

Many groups meet monthly. Schedule 15-20 minutes of the agenda and have pairs coach one another. Reflect as a group on what you are discovering.

Source Book Study Guide

Download resource HERE

This study guide allows groups to collectively consider the meaning and content of each chapter of the Sourcebook.

A Self-Directed Resource for Cognitive Coaching Mastery

Download resource HERE

This is an extensive resource for review and practice of the content, tools, and skills from the Foundation Seminar®. Groups can choose from a varied set of lessons and strategies to deepen skill and understanding.

Cognitive Coaching Self-Assessment

Download resource HERE

This tool provides a framework for analyzing one’s coaching practice. It supports goal setting for continued growth. It can be utilized as part of a reflecting or calibrating conversation.

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