In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” Jeff and Sue discuss Chapter 5 of Coaching Matters. In this chapter, we learn about Coach Champions and important they are in not just setting up a Coaching relationship with teachers, but also the relationships between coach and principal.
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Coaching Matters Chapter 5: Coach Champion
- Successful coaching programs usually have one or more people designated in the role of a “coach champion”
- What does a Coach Champion do?An advocate for coaches
- Ensures thatThe coaching program is effectively implemented
- The conditions for effective coaching are recognized and implemented at all levels
- The coaches have sufficient opportunities for their own coaching and ongoing support
- Coaches may be talented and amazing educators, but without the right support and optimal conditions, the overall impact of the coaching program will suffer.
Designating Coach Champions
- Coach Champions are generally administrators who have central office-level authority and responsibility and understand the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the coaching program.
- They exercise their voice to influence others who access and depend on coaching for implementation supportAt some point in their career, they might have even been a coach.
- A Coach Champion help the district develop their plans for implementing new initiatives or new expectations or procedures that will impact teachers
- A Coach Champion is closely in touch with both the needs of coaches as well as the district’s priorities and student learning needs.
- They have a clear view of how coaching can positively impact the instructional practices of teachers, the culture of the school, and the opportunities for students to become more successful learners.
- The number of Coach Champions a district need depends on how many coaches are deployed across the district.
- Coach Champions have multiple responsibilitiesEnsuring that the coaching program as designed is implemented with fidelityMaking sure that the program has
- focused goals
- Strong infrastructure
- Delineated roles
- Establish relationships of collaboration and trust with each coach that they support.Setting up regular 1:1 sessions with coaches to check in with them
- Reviewing their work schedule
- Providing troubleshooting assistance
- Celebrating success
- Meetings can be formal or informal and often has a clear agenda to the meetings.Conversations can revolve aroundSetting Goals
- Determining Action Steps to achieve their goals
- Measuring goal attainment
- 1:1 meetings help to provide individual attention to each coach and their needs to address their strengths and weaknesses.
- Creating a Partnership AgreementAdds trust to a relationship by ensuring that confidentiality is maintained between Coach and Champion
- Partnership Agreements might also be between a Champion and a building principal to inform them of what the role of the coach and coach champion is so that they know what their expectations are when they are in the buildingsThis helps to clearly define the roles of the coaches inside of school buildings.
- Determines who will supervise and evaluate the coach and help maintain a purposeful focus on the integrity of the coaching program and the needs of the individual school buildings.
- Helps to collect, set, and review dataData TopicsTeachers Worked With
- Time Spent
- Task Accomplished
- Topic Addressed
- To serve as a second set of eyes to help the coach gain additional and broader perspectives about their work.Usually can be more objective about a topic due to a broader perspective about the impact of coaching
- An advocate for coachesTo help point out to others how coaching can positively impact outcomesTo help intentionally leverage coaching as a strategic approach for achieving organizational goal
- Having a Growth mindset when working with coaches to convey the belief that all coaches are able to improve their practices and make a difference for teachers practices, the culture of a school building, and ultimately student learning
The Importance of the Coach Champion Role
- The main reason for having a Coach Champion is to ensure that someone in the district is ultimately responsible for the success of the coaching program and its success.Also to make sure that the program has someone who purposely attends to the needs of coaches and supports them in their work.
- A coach champion is often used when a coach needs to have conversations with a building administrator.
- A Coach Champion is not to supervise or evaluate the coach but rather to be an advocate for the coach and the coaching program and to promote the growth and development of the coach.Both the integrity of the role of the coach supervisor and that of the coaching program are important.
- To help provide a consistent interpretation of district policies or procedures related to coaching and other areas that need clarification for coaches.They can communicate directly to coaches to clear up misunderstandings or misinterpretations
- Effective champions visit schools often when coaches are engaged in coaching.When a champion meets regularly with the coach and principal, the champion is able to support the coach and understand each coach’s context.
A Well-Defined Champion Role
- Ensuring that the coach champion is effective in their role requires that the district be thoughtful and intentional in defining what the roles and responsibilities of the position are.It is important that the champion and champion’s supervisor have frequent conversations to address the successes and challenges of the coaches and coaching program and keep leadership apprised of how the program is impacting schools.
- It’s all about the job description and who you put into that particular champion position that helps to determine the success of the coaching program.
- A Coach Champion needs to have
- Strong interpersonal skills
- The ability to manage the coaching program
- Provide performance-based support to coaches in meeting their roles and responsibilities
- Needs to know how to facilitate effective, learning-focused meetings
- District leaders who invest in coaching have the responsibility to select and support a coach champion with the responsibility to sure that the coaching program is successful.
- When a coaching program is properly maintained, the coaches have the greatest opportunity to be successful in their buildings.
- When the Coach champion achieves the appropriate balance between spurring coaches to achieve new heights in their practice and providing support along the way, coaches are likely to be more effective in their own practice.
- Designating a leader who is an advocate for coaches and for the coaching program will clearly extend the effectiveness of coaching as a vehicle to enhance performance and results.
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