Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Coaching eTeachers

We had another excellent leadership session with our eMentor Sue. Today’s session was focussed on ‘Coaching eTeachers’. Though what we discussed would be relevant to any professional coaching situation. Sue has done a lot of work in this area and believes that coaching is the most powerful professional learning tool we can utilise. Here are some of my notes from this session:

Two Coaching Tools – Shadowing & Reflective Questioning

Shadowing write a record of what the person you are shadowing is doing, suspend judgement.
Follow up as soon as possible with reflective questioning

Reflective Questioning
is holding up the mirror & getting someone to see themselves from someone else’s perspective, and to make their own judgements & decisions about what they might do differently. Sue modelled this to us as Carolyn interviewed her following this process. This is really a process of active listening & facilitating someone to reflect on their actions. Three levels of questioning:

  1. clarify the details
  2. clarify the purposes or reasons for their actions
  3. reflect on the consequences of the action

Assumptions of eTeachers

  • all have a unique style
  • professional growth is ongoing & never complete
  • development is due to professional learning
  • student learning is enhanced


  • Professional learning should be based in the ‘classroom’ (not just in a VC lesson but in all of the online teaching space & communications)
  • Encourage eTeachers to observe other eTeachers (peer coaching is highly effective but needs facilitating)
  • Encourage eTeachers to seek feedback from learners, teachers & parents
  • Encourage eTeachers to enlist peer support
  • Use both reflection in action, and reflection on action (Schon)
  • Each eTeacher will develop their own philosophy

imageCoaching Leadership: Building Educational Leadership Capacity Through Coaching Partnerships” Jan Robertson (recommended reading)

Sue facilitates these sessions so well – to help us frame where to next we were asked to think in light of our discussions what we would do next week, next month next year? I decided that for next week i would focus on revisiting Learning Design, next month i would ensure that VC staff meetings encompassed professional learning discussion and not just nuts & bolts and that for next year i would redesign our eteachers PD to enable more of what we talked about today.
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