Coaching in education has been shown to improve teacher performance over and over again. Having the support from an experienced teacher or administrator to help is great, but traditional coaching focuses on the teacher’s performance and not the all around well being of the teacher. The traditional coaching experience is about improving outcomes in the classroom, but ignores that stressed and unhealthy teachers are shown to be less effective overall. That’s where traditional coaching misses it’s mark in most schools, and why teachers still continue to leave.
Coaching should of course be about improving teacher performance, but without taking the whole teacher into consideration, coaching is missing a big component of what will actually improve teacher performance. Think about it, healthy teachers can bounce back from a not so great lesson, but stressed out teachers will struggle to. Healthy teachers will be more patient with their students; stressed teacher are a lot less likely to be. Teachers need support to maintain balance in their lives to stay healthy more than ever in order to be the best teacher they can be for their students and for themselves.
So what needs to change? The high pressure and stress of teaching most likely won’t change anytime soon, so our approach to coaching teachers needs to. Here are few things that coaches can do to encourage focus on the Whole Teacher and how I approach coaching:
- Work with teachers to find ways to better balance work and personal life and encourage this balance, not shame teachers who don’t work longer hours. Remember, long does not mean better always and teachers who take time for themselves will come to school better prepared to teach.
- Provide teachers with strategies and coping skills to deal with the high stress circumstances of teaching instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. These strategies should be re-enforced continuously and revised throughout the year when teachers need them most.
- Help teachers set reasonable, manageable goals and support them as they work towards these goals. These goals should include work related and personal goals, and be the most relevant to the individual teacher. Goals should have a set time for reaching them but be flexible and reworked as needed. Once a goal is reached, teachers should set new ones.
If you are interested in Whole Teacher coaching services, contact me at email@example.com or on my contact page! I’d love to work with you and support your journey to a healthier, happier you!