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10 months ago

Two teachers strategies

"Getting through what?"

"Getting through what?" asked Riccardo’s inner voice. "I will find out," replied Riccardo. "How will I know how you are getting through to them? What are the signs?" Anna, "They keep up with the lesson." Belle, "They focus on the lesson, not on whatever happened at lunchtime. They pay attention." "How will I know that they are paying attention?" Anna, "They are reading in their books." Belle, "They can answer our questions." Anna, "They ask good questions. And they listen to each other." Belle, "And they listen to us. We have a reading lesson that we want you to observe. We are going to take it in turns to read from this book." Anna, "And while she reads, I write the keywords on the board, words we expect are new or challenging for the students." Belle, "Then we review the words." Anna, "Then we swap, so they hear two different voices." "If I understand you correctly, you want to know if you ‘get through’ to the students, you want me to notice if the students are ‘paying attention’ when you are reading aloud, can answer questions, ask their own good questions and listen to each other." Belle, "Yes." "And the aim is for you to get feedback on what else you could do that might improve their attention and speed up the learning, especially the language aspect." Belle, "We look forward to getting some tips from you." 80

"Tips? I don't give tips exactly. What I do is elicit the learning from you, by coaching." Belle, "Exciting. That sounds much better. But if you have any tips, you will tell us won't you?" Anna, "What would be the point of keeping it a secret?" "There may be some tips, but I aim for them to come from you rather than from me." Anna, "Why?" "Then you will believe in them more, and be more willing to try something new." Anna, "Hmm. OK." "It sounds like this kind of coaching is new for you." Anna, "Somewhat. I had thought you would observe then give feedback and recommend what we could do better." "That's what I thought coaching was before I got trained." Belle, "There's a training for coaches?" "And a certification." Belle, "You're a certified coach. How long did that take?" Riccardo grinned as he related, "It took me ten years. The training course took half a year, with a hundred hours of structured practice in the tools, techniques and mind-set of a coach, under the supervision of two course leaders, plus hours of individual coaching with an observer. The certification took just as long, with multiple observers giving continuous feedback on my coaching skills for over half a year. And then there was a written exam, but that was the easiest part." Belle, "Well, now I am expecting miracles!" "That's a good frame of mind to be in." 81

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