Sunday, August 20, 2017

Listen, do you want to know a secret? (The Beatles)

Seeing is believing - a strategy is required!

Why am I interested in figuring out what a good learning coach does?

As Dan Rockwell highlighted in one of his posts - managers notice environments and people.

  • How does the environment feel? Hinder? Elevate?
  • How are people interacting with each other?
  • What is the energy level of individuals or teams?
I have noticed what is largely missing from our Learning Centre because I notice what I am not doing well. I have noticed how some teachers are not interacting as learning coaches with their students.

I see and continue to believe we are lacking an essential person to help free up our teachers to become (better) learning coaches.

It's hard not to notice how the environment of the Learning Centre is geographically perfect for learning coaches to prosper.

My inquiry has now gathered together student, staff and parent voice.

Time to analyse!

Monday, August 14, 2017

So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way (Joni Mitchell)


Learning coaches, learning conferences, learning centres, life-long learners.

I like the way our rhetoric has embraced the idea of learning and moved away from 'teaching'. Although I've never really subscribed to the concept of teacher as teller and wise old holder of the knowledge, okay maybe a teenie weenie bit 30 years ago when I was kicking off my career, I now greatly appreciate the fact that teaching has morphed more and more into lead learner status.

I'm currently researching what a learning coach is spost to be all about. What does a good learning coach do, how is that different to the old model, and how does it suit our context at Westmount school?

Three good questions right?

I started with some research. Mostly came up empty but here's a bit of what I've found out so far, regarding some key points of being a learning coach and how this role can be a mutually enjoyable and rewarding relationship.
  • Coaching is a one-to-one relationship in which the coach’s experience assists the learner with their action learning.
  • Coaches can help especially with the reflection and conclusions.
  • Individuals prefer to learn in different ways and the coach should be aware of such differences.
  • The role of the coach in action learning is to support and enable the learner.
  • Building a comfortable relationship is important.
  • The will to complete the learning or be a good coach is the main success factor.
  • Teachers (expert collaborators) need to make learning visible, need to have the capacity to facilitate learning conversations with learners regardless of content
Reading this again reminded that I did a lot of coaching stuff in the Middle East while working for Cognition.

That's where I'm headed next.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ar, that's a shame (George Costanza)


Sometimes, with the best will in the world, life gets in the way of my blogging schedule.

Take today.

A combination of my wife working, torrential rain, darkness, and a need for me to shift two horses from a soggy boggy paddock to a dry stand yard before heading off to school meant no post on Baggy Trousers.

I did read this great interview when I got to school though and retweeted it as fast as I could.

Here it is for your perusal. It's important. Take some time. I'll wait.

Done? I know right! 

This bit...amazing 'this week, Chinese language learning startup, Liulishuo, which uses machine learning algorithms to teach English to 45 million Chinese students, raised $100 million to accelerate its work'.

Boggles the mind!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Follow your bliss (Joseph Campbell)


Respect.

Teaching in the primary school is a career pathway I deeply respect, but it's not for me.

I've been a secondary school teacher since 1983, I've always maintained that I could never have been a primary school teacher.

I like to visit, but I couldn't live there.

My patience wouldn't hold. 

Talking to primary teachers at school, they indicate they couldn't work in the secondary part.

Interesting, how we find our niche.

I respect this ability to access our own realities.

Together we make a great team. Professionals being challenged inside a niche environment of their own choosing. 

Making connections and developing relationships. 

Doing the best we can.