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Why do some teachers find coaching skills frustrating and hard to grasp?

From the diagram we can see that whilst traditional teaching and mentoring have many commonalities, coaching skills can be a stretch for some teachers.

As a teacher one asks questions we know the answer to. As a coach, often you don't know what your client is going to say.

As a teacher we impart our knowledge and experience to those less experienced than us. As a coach, you don't need to have had experience in a specific field to be able to coach someone. You just need the skills to be able to coach.

As a teacher mentor, you are used to the mentor being in a higher more experienced and powerful position to you. In coaching there is no hierarchy. A Teaching Assistant could coach an Executive Head.

The greatest hurdle teachers find when training to coach is asking questions instead of just giving answers. We are fixers by nature.

What if some of us have been teaching the wrong way all this time? Perhaps as teachers we need to ask more questions of young people to ensure they are less dependent on us? Perhaps they would feel more empowered if we incorporated more of a coaching approach to teaching?

What do you think?

Only 2 places left on the ILM recognised Online Essential Coaching Skills for School Leaders course. Starts on Sunday 7th November!

Book your place now! Email:

Mal is a leadership consultant, coach and trainer. All MalCPD courses have been accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management.

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