Last week I was invited to speak about instructional coaching for the always excellent Teachers Talk Radio.
Much of our discussion centered on the dogmas or conventional beliefs that are often sold as “just good coaching”, but that I find highly questionable.
Below are 10 of these “dogmas”. Importantly, these are are not “myths” or “lies”. They’re simply things that I find have a bit of wiggle room, or else confuse the heck out of me. As you go through this list and listen to the podcast, I hope you feel encouraged to leave a comment below about your experiences with these and other beliefs in instructional coaching.
- Teachers should always choose the topic of their coaching
- Teachers should always be able to choose whether they engage in coaching or not
- Coaches should mostly listen, and rarely show
- Coaching is mostly about leadership, and less about pedagogical expertise
- Coaches can be weaker teachers than their mentees
- Coaching can ignore specific subjects to focus on general teaching strategies
- Coaches should keep everything confidential from administrators
- Coaching inevitably involves non-coaching responsibilities, as required by administrators
- Coaching should focus on individual teachers’ needs and not the needs of the building
- A coach shouldn’t come out in favor of one form of pedagogy over another