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Reflections of the impact coaching has on professional learning

The Leicestershire Secondary SCITT appreciates the central role of its school-based partners, including subject mentors and ITT co-ordinators, in supporting the professional development of its trainee teachers. In order to recognise and reward their dedication, the SCITT has committed itself to offering high-quality OLEVI programmes to promote the professional learning of these key colleagues.

To meet this pledge, it has already welcomed six SCITT-funded delegates to attend the OLEVI Power of Coaching programme this academic year, facilitated by Strategic Director of Leicester Teaching School, Dave Roper.

Here are two reflections of the impact of this successful offer:

“It is rare that a training course changes the way you see yourself and your role as an educator, but this was the case for me after my attendance at the recent OLEVI Power of Coaching programme at the Leicester Teaching School. I can honestly say that it made me feel at once challenged, inspired and at times out of my comfort zone and has definitely    transformed my approach to teaching and learning. Since attending, I have enjoyed sharing what I learnt with colleagues and hopefully supporting them to be the best that they can be.”

Nicole Ayres, ITT Co-ordinator at Lutterworth High School

 

“Joining the autumn cohort of the OLEVI Power of Coaching programme, I was hopeful that I would develop some skills and attributes that would support me in my brand new role as ITT and NQT co-ordinator. Actually I took away much more than that!

 The programme was structured as three half-day sessions, meaning I didn’t have to be away from school for too long in order to attend. Each day also included a tasty lunch – a perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues between sessions about how they had been implementing coaching strategies in their schools.

We started the programme by considering what is meant by coaching, and how it differs from mentoring, counselling or teaching. I was surprised to discover that coaching strategies could actually be used with students in the classroom too, to help them to reflect on and improve their learning, so the programme didn’t just give me a skill that could be used in my ITT and NQT role, but also a skill to develop my own teaching practice. Not only that: we also considered different ways of listening and responding, giving me a heightened awareness of the importance of listening that could be applied in a range of different scenarios. After just the first session, I returned to school with lots to think about and put to the test.

In the next two sessions, we looked at different models for coaching and the use of both careful questioning and silence to encourage coachees to think, reflect and develop. This involved lots of practical work, coaching one another in groups and providing feedback to one another on everything from our questions to our body language and tone of voice. This practical element of the programme helped me to realise that effective coaching is harder than it looks, but also to understand how powerful coaching can be if done well and to know what tweaks I could make to refine my own coaching to make it stronger.

 The programme has transformed the work I do with the NQTs and ITT participants at school, empowering them to be more reflective of their own practice and development. It has given me more confidence in having reflective conversations, in asking the right questions and seeing the productive nature of thoughtful silences. I plan to take my skills even further next year by working more closely with mentors in the school.

I was definitely left in a better place.”

Hayley Sizer, ITT Co-ordinator at Fullhurst Community College

 

The Leicestershire Secondary SCITT is delighted to announce that, in addition to these testimonies, four SCITT-funded candidates have now completed the OLEVI Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP), alongside the six SCITT-funded candidates who have successfully completed the OLEVI Power of Coaching accreditation.