Thursday, May 25, 2017

Coaching Forward with Positivity and Encouragement

When we meet challenges on the teaching/learning road, we can turn those challenges into lessons on how to work with greater care and effort.

Recently I felt quite demeaned in an educational effort. That kind of feeling does little to support good work and effort. As I think of that, I recognize how we have to steer clear of discouragement and silence when working with our young learners, and instead move towards empowerment and meaning. Our classrooms are not about us as educators, but instead all about our learners--it's their learning-teaching environment, and we are the guides, coaches, mentors, and fellow learners that support their teaching/learning road.

An important consideration on this path is good rationale. Typically when we give learners and collaborators good rationale for efforts we're engaged in, there is buy-in, support, and positivity. When a good, meaningful, and understandable rationale is missing, that's when collaboration wanes.

We can ask, what is the rationale for this choice, and how does that rationale empower our mission and vision with regard to teaching students well?

It's also important to provide vision, to let learners know what the goals are and where we are headed. It's even better if those goals and vision are co-created with the collaborative group? Where do we want to go and why?

What is our long-term vision, and what goals are we reaching for as individual educators and educational teams?

Further, we don't have to all take the same path to get where we are going. There are always multiple good paths to learning and teaching. Positive learning and teaching is not a one-size-fits-all-path, but instead a personalized journey that includes collaboration with others, the use of good tools and resources and continual analysis, reflection, and revision as we move towards those meaningful goals.

What paths are we creating, designing, and following to reach vision, mission, and goals? How do our varied paths support learners?

I work with a diverse group of learners young and old. All of those learners and me will continue to navigate the terrain as we move forward in ways we hope to be meaningful, enjoyable, and productive for ourselves and others. We do best to encourage and support one another with rationale, goals, vision, and access to the paths that matter in this regard. It's also best to, as much as possible, remove the obstacles that hinder the journey in order to make the journey doable and positive. Onward.