During the past few years I've been considering the pros and cons of the role of coaching in schools. In general I'm a fan of the teacher as coach role when it comes to teaching children well since when we take on the role of "coach" we pay careful attention to each learner and the strategies that help that learner move forward.
On the other hand, I continue to have mixed feelings about the role of coach in educational organizations. In many organizations the role of coach is one that is separate from that of serving children, and it seems that when educators move too far away from working with children they often lose sight of what it means to teach children well. So I think it's important to be mindful of the structure, schedule, and role of the academic coach in a school setting--does that role fulfill criteria that truly helps teachers and students succeed?
In society, in general, I think we will see the role of coach increase since it is such a powerful role. To hone a skill well takes the leadership of skilled experts, people who understand the skills, knowledge, and concepts you want to master with strength and experience.
For example, I've been hearing individuals praise a local athletic trainer. Her good reputation is touted by a large range of individuals. Today I had the chance to work with this trainer and in only a few minutes I knew that her reputation was real. If I continue to work with this coach, I know I'll learn a lot.
I've also been working with a couple of teachers who are not part of my current educational system. These teachers also offer me great value when it comes to developing my skill to teach well.
It seems to me that we cannot coach well if we don't have the experience to work with skilled coaches who are dedicated to our growth as these coaches model for us what we can do for the children we teach each day.
So in summary, I believe educators profit from finding and working with good coaches in their areas of interest. At this time I think the best coaching lies outside of one's educational organization, but I am open to learning about successful, in-house coaching models. I believe that these coaches not only offer educators support in areas they want to grow, but also offer a good example of how to coach others forward.