Mentoring and Coaching: Feedback for Better Teaching PRESENTED BY SCHAUNA FINDLAY, PH.D. Mentoring and Coaching: Session Overview In this session we will address ways of providing feedback to teachers through conferences, reflection journals, and walkthrough debriefs all with the goal of helping teachers improve their practice in one or more domains. Samples of practice will be examined and discussed. Let’s begin with a definition What is coaching? 3 Coaching is: Individualized Job-embedded Timely Supportive Stimulating Challenging 4 What is the Impact of Coaching? Research has identified many benefits of for teachers. Some of them are a reduced sense of isolation, an ability to implement new teaching strategies effectively, a positive school climate, and a revitalized faculty Characteristics of Effective Coaching Supportive of others Listens and responds with honesty while being empathetic Provides feedback with specific rationale Maintains self-esteem Withholds judgment by presenting facts Requires strong communication skills 6 Communication Skills for Coaching Questioning (5 deep) Silence (curious listening and wait time) Paraphrasing Summarizing Non judgmental/factual Positive non-verbal communication What is Effective Questioning? Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication. By using the right questions, you can improve a range of communications skills: for example, you can collect more specific information, build stronger relationships, support people more effectively and lead others to become more self-reflective. Examples of Effective Questions Tell me how you think the lesson went. Why do you think a (particular element) was effective? Explain to me what you were looking for in student work. Describe for me how you chose (a particular element) for this lesson? 9 Questioning 5 Deep Choose a topic to coach It typically takes at least 5 questions on that same topic to get to the REAL issues with that topic. You should prepare at least 5 questions, but you have to LISTEN to the “coachee’s” responses. Their responses often give you the next question. Just asking the questions you have prepared and not listening INVALIDATES everything the person is saying. You MUST listen! 10 Curious Listener A curious listener listens with a purpose and with an inquisitive mind Why is curious listening important? It allows the coach to: Scaffold Provide questions feedback Paraphrase Summarize Read the coachee’s responses the discussion body language Tip: If you find it difficult to focus on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them - this will reinforce their words in your memory and help you control mind drift. You may also need to keep notes of the coachee’s responses. Why would this be important? Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is restating what the other person said in an objective manner even when emotions may be interfering. It can also provide the coach time to process the teacher's response and develop the next question. Sample phrases that can be used in the paraphrasing process: “You are saying…” “In other words…” “I gather that…” “If I understand what you are saying…” “You’re suggesting…” “So, you…” “Recapping…” “What I heard you say…” Summarizing Summarizing information ensures that both participants in the conference are clear about what has been discussed and any decisions that have been made. Like paraphrasing, it also provides opportunities for the coach to provide academic feedback to the coachee. Examples of starter phrases that lead to a summarizing statement: “Some key ideas we have discussed are…” “If I understand you, you feel this way about [describe]…” “I think we agree on this. What we are saying is …” “In talking about this area, we have come up with three main ideas…” Non-verbal communication Nonverbal communication is facial expressions, such as, smiles, gestures, eye contact, and even one’s posture. When used in a positive manner it shows the person with whom you are talking that you are indeed actively listening. It can make the teacher comfortable and confident that their opinion is valued. When used in a judgmental manner, it can make a teacher feel uncomfortable and unwilling to share their opinions and thoughts. Components of non-verbal communication Eye contact – Look directly at the individual and maintain eye contact Body posture – Maintain body posture that signifies openness to others’ ideas Physical distance – Position yourself next to the teacher as opposed to across a table. This leaves you open to a conversation as opposed to a more formal situation. Application Activity—Video Analysis We will watch portions of a pre- and post-conference that occurred before and after classroom observations The slide in your presentation contains questions for you to reflect on and answer after you watch the video. You will share with a partner. Skills of Effective Coaching in Pre-Conference 5th Grade Math Quadrilateral Pre-conference Skills of Effective Questioning/Coaching in Pre-Conference Sample Pre-Conference Questions Tell me about this lesson. Where does this lesson fall within the unit? What do you expect the student to know and be able to do as a result of this lesson? How will you know if students have mastered the objective? What changes or adjustments will you need to make if students do not show evidence they have mastered the objective/sub-objectives? How will you communicate your expectations? What procedures and routines do you have in place? Is there anything you would like for me to pay special attention to? Sample Pre-Conference Questions If students will be in groups… How do you decide on the instructional grouping? How do you hold each group accountable? How do hold individuals accountable? How do you assess the performance of each group? How do you assess the performance of individuals? Strength/Improvement focus… Is there an indicator on the rubric you are especially working on? Is there anything in particular related to the rubric that you would like for me to watch for? Sample Pre-Conference Questions Conclusion… How can I support you in your goals for this lesson? Is there anything else that I need to know? Reflection For 30 seconds reflect on what we have discussed during this session. Turn to a partner and explain for two minutes each what aha’s and questions you have regarding coaching and questioning. What are the skills that you will need to continue to strengthen as a mentor for your teachers. What actions will you need to take for this to occur? Partners should: listen for “golden nuggets” that can be shared with the entire group practice listening, asking follow-up/probing questions, and paraphrasing Skills of Effective Coaching in Post-Conference Skills of Effective Coaching Clip 3 Skills of Effective Coaching in PostConference How did the conference leader lead the teacher to self-reflect on the lesson? How did the conference leader support the teacher in identifying the area of relative strength? How did the conference leader support the teacher in identifying the area for growth? How did the conference leader justify the improvement area selected? How did the conference leader support the teacher in strengthening the area of strength? What is your evidence that the teacher obtained new learning as a result of the post-conference? Were the conference leader’s objectives for the teacher met? Reflection For 30 seconds reflect on what we have discussed during this session. Turn to a partner and explain for two minutes each what aha’s and questions you have regarding coaching and questioning during the preand post-conference. What are the skills that you will need to continue to strengthen as a mentor/coach for your teachers. What actions will you need to take for this to occur? Partners should: listen for “golden nuggets” that can be shared with the entire group practice listening, asking follow-up/probing questions, and paraphrasing Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up HOW DO YOU OR CAN YOU USE REFLECTION JOURNALS AS A WAY TO COACH TEACHERS? IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU USE WALK-THROUGH DEBRIEFS TO COACH TEACHERS?