More talk less control

coachmartinrichards

Would you be willing to have less control in your classroom?

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The Coach in the Classroom

Written by Co-Active Coach Martin Richards

The purpose of this book is to explore the question:

What happens when you use a coaching

approach in an educational environment?

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Contents

Contents.......................................................................................................2

Acknowledgements....................................................................................3

What is a Coaching Approach?................................................................4

Developing your coaching approach skills.............................................4

How to use this Book.................................................................................5

Coincidences................................................................................................9

Chapter 1: Inspiring Teenagers...............................................................27

Chapter 2: Attitude Makes a Difference................................................57

Chapter 3: Two Teachers’ Strategies......................................................75

Chapter 4: Classroom Fight.....................................................................93

Chapter 5: Give Up and Continue........................................................107

Chapter 6: Reading Aloud from the Book...........................................123

Chapter 7: More Talk, Less Control.....................................................139

Chapter 8: Wake Up Call.......................................................................169

Chapter 9: The Juvenile Criminal.........................................................187

Chapter 10: The Ambassador................................................................207

The Midwinter Vigil...............................................................................227

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2017, (c) Martin Richards, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Web www.martinrichards.eu

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Acknowledgements

This book is the result of many collaborations, collaboration with the

many fictional characters portrayed in this book and collaboration

with real, living people, of whom the following deserve heartfelt

and special mentions:

Hetty Brand Boswijk, CPCC, for partnering with me in

our quest to write a book together. It is an ongoing

journey of learnings and revelations.

Michele Helman, CPCC, for accelerating and easing

the final stages of writing, reading and supportively

commenting on the need for this book to be published.

Elizabeth Nostedt, ACC, DTM, PMP for proofing and

commenting on an early version of the manuscript.

Vicky Jo Varner, PCC, CPCC, for repeatedly and

meticulously proofing and commenting on the later

manuscripts.

Jenny Geuken, for the original cover artwork.

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What is a Coaching Approach?

Certified coaches use a coaching approach, on the inside. A coaching

approach names what is happening inside their bodies and inside

their minds, while they are coaching. It could be called the hidden

skill of coaching, because it’s hidden. It is not always visible in what

they do, nor audible in what they say. It is, however, apparent in

what they do not do, and what they do not say. Certified coaches do

not, for example, judge the person they are coaching. That takes

practice. Nor do they offer their opinions or experience. That takes

even more practice. Not judging and not giving advice are two of

the most powerful hidden coaching skills. There are coaching skills

that are visible and audible, they include: asking great questions,

and listening actively.

Teaching using a 'Coaching Approach' is carrying out the work of a

teacher and 'making use of the skills of a coach'. The combination is

awesome.

Teachers who use a coaching approach, interact with students in an

authentic, self-developing, reflective manner. A description of the

coach's mind-set appears gradually in all the stories in this book, an

especially in Anthony's notes at the start of each campfire story.

Developing your coaching approach skills

Whatever your professional background, the best places to start

developing your coaching approach are the the hidden skills of:






Active listening

Non-judgement

Holding back personal opinions and advice

Being comfortable with not knowing what is right or wrong

Not knowing what will happen next.

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Riccardo

Midwinter’s

Tales

of

The Coach in the Classroom

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Chapter 7: More Talk, Less Control

"This is the only school serving the area. All the children born in this

district will eventually attend this school. It has maintained a good,

although not outstanding, reputation for many decades," explained

Graham, Principal of the school as he and Riccardo walked to the

hall where the teaching staff had been gathered. "It is large, with just

over a thousand students, and provides a wide range of courses,"

Graham continued. Riccardo smiled and listened attentively.

This proud gentleman had large, fierce, blue eyes. His curly, ivory

hair was trimmed to resemble dragon's scales. He had small ears

and surprisingly small hands. He had an over muscled build and

ruddy skin. His wardrobe had military overtones, which bolstered

Riccardo’s suspicions that Graham spent much of his spare time

outdoors, working out.

Graham took his place on stage and addressed the eighty or so

teaching staff, "How do you know when someone has been on a

coaching course?" he began. "Don’t worry, they will tell you." A

laugh of recognition ran through the audience.

"We have invited a certified coach," Graham said waving a small

hand in Riccardo’s direction, "to give you an introduction to

coaching." Having thus warmed up the audience and given the

introduction, Graham held out the microphone to Riccardo and

grinned, his fiery blue eyes passed on the challenge.

Riccardo received the microphone with a trembling hand.

"It feels like standing between the converted and the uninitiated" thought

Riccardo. "Don't judge, simply be here and allow whatever is to happen to

unfold," reminded Riccardo's inner voice.

Riccardo faced the audience and spoke into the microphone, "My

name is Riccardo Midwinter and I am a certified coach, and I'm a

teacher, a Maths teacher. Are there any more maths teachers here?"

A few mumbles of acknowledgement could be heard.

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Riccardo continued, "I don't teach Mathematics at the moment, I

coach teachers. And I train teachers to use coaching skills."

A rumble sounded through the audience. It cracked and hissed like

rocks and dirt falling down a mountainside.

"That sounded like the start of something moving," called Riccardo's inner

voice, "Which way is it going?"

Riccardo's stomach turned upside down. His knees felt weak. He

continued, "What is your opinion of coaching at the moment? On a

scale from 1, low to 10, high. I would like a show of hands for each

level. Are there any votes for ten? OK, are there any votes for nine?

OK… "

He wrote on the board the number of hands that were held up for

each level. Their opinions ranged from six to two.

Riccardo stated his intention, "My job today is to raise that level by

two, at least."

"Nothing is impossible," whispered his inner voice.

Riccardo asked with full curiosity, "I wonder what might move you

in that direction?" He waited but got no reply, so he suggested,

"Perhaps we need to listen to your definitions of coaching before I

share with you what I know?"

A small ripple of looks ran through the audience that hinted at cooperation.

Riccardo forged ahead, "I invite you to speak with the person next to

you, and answer this question, 'What is the purpose of coaching?'

and then I will ask you to share what you have come up with."

The teachers' voices bubbled into a gentle roar, like water going over

a cliff.

After three minutes, Riccardo interrupted them, "OK, what

definitions would you like to share?"

Their answers came quickly:

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"We have seen coaching on TV. Coaching is for people who aren't

good at their job. The coach gets them to work better."

Riccardo caught the accusation and tossed it aside. It didn't have his

name on it, "We have to remember that TV is TV, it's entertainment.

Real coaching is not so entertaining. As for that description 'not

good at their job', I wonder if there is anyone here who would say

they are not good at their job? No, I didn't think so, me neither. And

yet, if I ask the question a little differently, is there anyone here who

feels they could do their job better? Yes, me too. Even after all these

years, in fact, the older I get the more I see I could do better."

Murmurs of recognition washed over the teachers.

Riccardo was sure there were more definitions to be shared, "What

other definitions have you come up with?"

"Coaching is when someone tells you what to do, to get better

results."

Riccardo picked up on the two opposing ideas, "I agree with the part

about 'better results', that's usually true for people who ask for

coaching. But a coach doesn't tell you what to do. It might seem like

that, the coach might be there in the room with you when you come

up with an idea for what to do differently, and yes the coach had

played their part in the journey up to that moment, but the coach

won't tell you what to do, not if they have been trained – and

certified. Of course, since anyone can call themselves a coach, there

are 'coaches' out there who make a decent living from telling people

what to do; that’s consulting, but it's not coaching."

Nods of recognition.

Riccardo felt there were still more definitions to be shared, "What

else would you like to share?"

"Coaching is like teaching."

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That was music to Riccardo's ears. He beamed, "Oh yes, I have

found that it is so. And I hope to be exploring with you the ways in

which coaching is like teaching, and the ways teaching is different to

coaching."

Riccardo thought" I felt their opinions shift a little towards a six or an

eight. More movement is needed!"

Riccardo leaned into their experience of coaching, "Perhaps we

could hear your definitions of what a coach does before I share with

you what I do. Could you speak with the person next to you, and

answer this question, 'What does a coach do?' and then I will ask

you to share what you think."

The teachers' voices were more melodious this time. Like a river

flowing around a sharp bend.

Again, Riccardo interrupted, "That was three minutes. What would

you like to share first? What do coaches do?"

The first response was loud.

"They shout at you!"

Riccardo parried the response with humour, "Are we in the TV

world again? It's rare, very rare that a coach will shout at you. If it's

necessary, if it serves you, then they will shout, raise their voices,

call on you; but generally, they don't shout."

"Tells you what you are doing wrong," interrupted one teacher.

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For a moment Riccardo felt sad that this teacher had had such a

negative experience of coaching, "That happens, but it is not the

coach's main focus. The coach's main focus is on the results you

want to achieve and which of your teaching strategies are already

working well. Naturally, that can shine an uncomfortable light on

any results that you don't want, and reveals what's working less

well. The coach's focus will be on you choosing strategies that can

take you towards the results that you do want. Again, the coach

does not tell you, you tell yourself; whilst speaking about your goals

and strategies you will realise what it is that you want to improve,

modify, change."

Riccardo wanted deeper answers, "What else does a coach do?

"Makes you look at things you don't want to look at."

There was depth in that answer, thought Riccardo. He answered,

"Yes and no. I'm concerned about the phrase 'makes you'. Nobody is

forced to have coaching. Willingness to be coached is prerequisite. If

you aren't willing, it means you aren't ready for coaching, for the

reason you mentioned. During a coaching session, you could

uncover things that have been hidden from you, often

unconsciously hidden, and there can be emotional reactions to

lifting the lid on that particular thing you didn't want to look at. Be

sure of this, a good coach will always ask your permission before

inviting you to look at things that might be sensitive. You can

always say no, not now, not yet. A good coach will guide you

towards feeling comfortable and strong enough to look wherever

you want to look. This is one of the skills that coaches have to learn

on their training course, and prove during certification."

Riccardo leaned into his expertise in coaching, "Perhaps we could

look at the skills that a coach has to prove in order to become a

certified coach?"

The teachers were facing Riccardo and smiling. He displayed the

slide he had prepared.

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ICF Core Competencies

Setting the Foundation

Meeting ethical guidelines and professional standards

Establishing the coaching agreement

Co-creating the relationship

Establishing trust and intimacy with the client

Coaching presence

Communicating effectively

Active listening

Powerful questioning

Direct communication

Facilitating learning and results

Creating awareness

Designing actions

Planning and goal-setting

Managing progress and accountability

Giving the teachers some minutes to read through the slide

themselves, he asked, "What similarities to teaching do you notice?"

Their answers were given in respectful tones:

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"Managing Accountability and Progress, that's feedback, and

formative assessment, isn't it?"

"Planning and Goal-setting, that's the syllabus, lesson plans and

goals for the lesson."

"Powerful questioning, we ask a lot of questions too."

There was no need to edit or respond to their comments. They were

making the connections themselves. After a while, there was a pause

and Riccardo asked, "What differences do you see?

"Establishing trust and intimacy with the client. I'm not sure that's

what we do."

"Would you agree though that there is trust and intimacy to the

extent that 'they don't care what you know until they know that you

care'?"

"Coaching presence – what's that?"

Riccardo replied, "You could call it self-confidence, assertiveness,

being there... leadership."

"What about Creating awareness?"

Riccardo answered, "Teachers do that all the time. You bring

students' awareness to what they don't know, and need to know,

before you start teaching them, I think? Awareness is one of the four

stages of the learning process:

Unconscious incompetence

Awareness > Conscious incompetence

Training > Conscious competence

Practice > Unconscious competence

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He continued, "The coaching process is similar to the learning

process, it has specific stages. The coaching process can be described

in many ways, each coach training school has its own flagship

model of coaching."

"There is a space here for you to do something bold," encouraged

Riccardo's inner voice.

Fear washed through Riccardo's body like a river of ice. He was

grateful for the moment of stillness that came with it. He reached for

his most confident voice and said, "I would like to demonstrate the

coaching process now. And to do that, I need a volunteer. My plan is

to coach, here on stage, and for you to keep your eyes and ears open

for what the coaching process is. Then I will ask you to share what

you have seen and heard. So, who feels ready to share how they

teach?"

He left a gap, and nobody moved. Riccardo continued to explain

what was going to happen, "I am going to ask you to think back to

the most recent lesson that could have been better. But before I do,

there's one thing we need to agree on. Confidentiality. Can we agree

that what we see here, stays here?"

The teachers agreed through their voices and body language, several

nodded.

"The person who comes up on stage to be coached, is a person who

has the courage to be seen and heard, and the curiosity to discover

what they could do better, as a teacher. I ask that we meet that

person with non-judgement and curiosity," Riccardo challenged the

teachers.

"When you are watching and listening please look for shifts,

significant changes in how things look or sound; and listen for the

steps I am taking. Do not write anything down. No pens, no paper,

no smartphones," he admonished with a teacherly wave of his index

finger.

Through the laughter, a teacher walked boldly up on stage. He was

met with heartfelt applause.

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