#educoachOC Chat 17: Coaching as a Gift


During previous chats, we have asked for suggestions for topics that people would like to discuss. This month we’ll be discussing one of those topics – how to coach resistant teachers. Some may consider the answer to this question to be a very simple one: you can’t and shouldn’t! As with most questions in education the answer more likely starts with “well, it depends…”. The topic, phrased in this way, raises lots of questions about how coaching is envisioned, presented and enacted in any given school. It may also raise questions about intent – of both those designated to coach and those initiating it – and perception – of those on the ‘receiving end’ of it. The notion of coaching ‘resistant’ teachers undoubtedly also raises issues of power and trust. What, or who, are they resisting and why?

Some of these questions and issues may…

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#educoachOC Chat 13: Thinking Critically about Coaching


We initiated the #educoachOC chat in September 2015 in an attempt to convene a professional learning community for anyone with an interest in coaching in education and with the aim of seeking shared understandings of the definitions, uses and impacts of coaching in education contexts.

In this month’s chat we’d like to explore some issues and questions that have emerged as coaching and coaching approaches have gained momentum in schools.

When each of us talks about coaching in our own context we don’t often talk about what sits behind our own implementation story. Coaching is not the only strategy employed to support the growth of teachers and leaders, and not all conversations are coaching conversations! Equally, when our stories and opinions are shared with others, how they ‘land’ and are interpreted by others in different contexts might depend, to some degree, on that person’s associations, perceptions, beliefs and past experiences.

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#educoachOC Chat 12: A Coaching Way of Being


Our next #educoachOC chat will explore the notion of ‘a coaching way of being’.

The phrase “way of being” in the context of one-to-one relationships originates in the work of psychologist Carl Rogers (1980) whose ‘person-centred’ theories remain at the root of coaching today.

Christian van Nieuwerburgh (2014) presents three elements of effective coaching as shown in the diagram below. (This version was adapted for a previous blog post to distinguish between the components that come into play in formal coaching conversations and a coaching ‘style’ of conversation).


A coaching way of being could be thought of as the difference between doing coaching and being a coach. We can all develop a set of helpful coaching skills such as effective questioning, active listening, paraphrasing, etc., and we may choose to utilise a particular coaching process, model or framework to help manage the conversation, but how does the coach need to…

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#CoachMeet: Implementing Coaching – 4 Key Insights

I’ll be Skyping a short talk to the #CoachMeet event organised by Andrea Stringer in Sydney this evening. This looks like being a great event that will bring together people involved in coaching in education to talk about their experiences at a #TeachMeet style event.

I’ve decided to talk about some key insights that have emerged from my work on implementing coaching at my school over the past 3-4 years. This is the first time I’ve distilled my thinking in this way and they are still (as always) a work in progress.

Here’s my first go at doing a video presentation in preparation for my Skype call to the assembled #CoachMeet audience.

Here are my slides. Comments are very welcome.






#educoachOC Chat 11: Differentiating Coaching

Next #educoachOC chat – Mon 5 Sep – Differentiating Coaching – pre-blog and chat questions.



This Monday, on 5 September, our monthly #educoachOC chat will be exploring the topic of differentiating coaching.

If coaching is viewed as a catalyst and support for professional growth, then the process should be able to be applied to any individual’s contexts and priorities. Often we see coaching as a model differentiated by its open processes and intent to focus on the individual being coached. But does any coaching process, framework or approach fit most individuals and their growth needs?

In education, coaches are involved in coaching people at a variety of places in their careers and personal lives. People come into a coaching conversation with different priorities, different starting points and different needs. Early career teachers. Mid-career teachers. Veteran teachers. Highly reflective practitioners. Less reflective practitioners. Those struggling with change processes, work contexts or personal events. Aspiring leaders. New leaders. Middle leaders. Executive leaders.

As coaching is about helping…

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#educoachOC Chat 10: Data in Coaching

Here’s the preview blog for the next #educoachOC chat on data in coaching on tonight!


Our next #educoachOC chat will explore the role of data in coaching conversations. The word ‘data’ has many meanings and connotations for teachers and school leaders. This chat aims to tease out some of the factors to consider when selecting, gathering and using data in the context of a coaching conversation.

At an international level, there is much debate around the validity and use of data such as that generated by the OECD. At a national level we are all familiar with the statistical data generated by national testing and school leaving qualifications, and how schools grapple with this in an attempt to make it meaningful and useful to individual teachers. School leaders need to deal with all manner of data, from budgets and expenditure to attendance and compliance measures. All of this data may fit the conventional view of data as statistical information used to measure performance or efficiency in some aspect of the education system. A…

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Finding my voice

Finding my voice

I have had several key moments in my career when someone has nudged me towards a new opportunity or identified a strength or quality that I hadn’t necessarily seen in myself at that time. That someone has been a colleague, adviser, line-manager, boss, and sometimes a friend too. I am grateful to these people for giving me encouragement and the opportunity to contribute, lead and influence at a range of levels beyond the walls of my own classroom. I hope that I do the same for others. I now see that all of these experiences continue to help me form my views and develop some kind of wisdom that can be brought to bear on whatever the educational issue at hand may be. I still suffer occasional bouts of imposter syndrome (more here) but I think I’ve found my voice.

Too much to Tweet

Most of these experiences were before we had the technological tools to allow us to effectively connect very far beyond the geographic boundaries of our local area. Now, through the wonder of Twitter, these geographic and institutional constraints on dialogue have disappeared. Having lurked for months and consumed the generous contributions of others, I finally jumped into the Twitterverse in May 2013 with my first tweets during the 3rd National Coaching Conference for Educators. My journey as a connected educator started that day. From there I decided to start sharing what I found during the development of my school’s coaching model as well as my own learning in this area. I’ve now been through all of the phases of twitter evolution and my worldwide PLN continues to grow. Through participation in chats alongside a myriad of generous educators (big shout-out to the great people at #educoach and #satchatoc) I now feel more connected and supported, and at times energised and affirmed, than at any other stage in my career. As the connections and conversations have deepened I have started to feel that, although I still love Twitter for what it is, there’s sometimes just too much to Tweet!

Maybe I’m not just blethering and havering

The process of sharing my opinions and entering into dialogue with others (in 140 characters) has led to connections with many fantastic people, several of whom I’ve been privileged to meet in person and expand the conversations using our real voices! The power of voice has also come to the fore in an interesting way through a bit of dabbling in Voxer initiated by the fabulous @stringer_andrea with a group of trusted PLN friends. The extra dimension that this has brought to conversations has been fascinating. I can really ramble on there!

@mesterman, me & @cpaterso (@stringer_andrea on other end of camera!)

Meeting @mesterman (left) and @cpaterso (right) – @stringer_andrea on other end of camera!

I have been very humbled and honoured by the endorsement and encouragement that I’ve received from people whose views and talents I respect and admire. I’ll inevitably miss someone but the key people that you have to blame for this blog are:

  • Jon Andrews @jca_1975
  • Donelle Batty @dbatty1
  • Corinne Campbell @corisel
  • Aaron Davis @mrkrndvs
  • Cameron Paterson @cpaterso
  • Edna Sackson @whatedsaid
  • Andrea Stringer @stringer_andrea

The final indication that others think I have something worthwhile to share, and actually do make sense some of the time, was the invitation from Corinne Campbell (@corisel) to host the @edutweetoz account late last year. I had been connected to Corinne on Twitter and Voxer for a while and was very flattered when she suggested that I do a stint on the account. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, made lots of new connections, shared loads and learned loads.

Sharing my learning journey

So my plan is to continue sharing my learning journey here. I’ll be writing about coaching, professional learning, leadership, professionalism, and anything else that’s on my mind. I hope that what I share is of use to others in some way but if it’s not then I’ll be happy just to reflect and capture my thoughts for myself. I’ll put it out there and see what happens…. Thanks for reading!