The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation

by Elena Aguilar


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Hands-on resources for new and seasoned school coaches

This practical resource offers the foundational skills and tools needed by new coaching educators, as well as presenting an overview of the knowledge and theory base behind the practice. Established coaches will find numerous ways to deepen and refine their coaching practice. Principals and others who incorporate coaching strategies into their work will also find a wealth of resources.

Aguilar offers a model for transformational coaching which could be implemented as professional development in schools or districts anywhere. Although she addresses the needs of adult learners, her model maintains a student-centered focus, with a specific lens on addressing equity issues in schools.

  • Offers a practical resource for school coaches, principals, district leaders, and other administrators
  • Presents a transformational coaching model which addresses systems change
  • Pays explicit attention to surfacing and interrupting inequities in schools

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation offers a compendium of school coaching ideas, the book's explicit, user-friendly structure enhances the ability to access the information.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118206539
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/18/2013
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 30,846
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Elena Aguilar is an instructional and leadership coach in the Oakland Unified School District. Elena writes about education for Edutopia and for Education Week's Teacher Magazine, and is also a member of the Teacher Leaders Network.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Coaching for Transformation • What Might a Transformed Education System Be Like? • One Purpose and Two Promises • Where I’m Coming from and Who This Book Is For • Summary of the Contents and How to Use This Book • A Couple Notes

Part One: Foundations of Coaching 1

Chapter 1: How Can Coaching Transform Schools? 3

A Story about What Coaching Can Do • What Will It Take to Transform Our Schools? • A New Tool Kit Based on Ancient Knowledge • What Can Coaching Do for a School? What Does the Research Say? • The Necessary Conditions • Speaking of Race • The Value of Coaching

Chapter 2: What Is Coaching? 17

A Story about a Coach Who Didn’t Know What She Was • Why We Need a Definition • What Are the Different Coaching Models? • A Vision for Coaching • A Coach Who Knows Who She Is and Can Travel Back in Time

Chapter 3: Which Beliefs Help a Coach Be More Effective? 33

The Dangers of Unmonitored Beliefs • The Basics about Beliefs • Coaching Beliefs and Core Values • My Transformational Coaching Manifesto • Identifying and Using Your Coaching Beliefs

Chapter 4: What Must a Coach Know? 45

Introducing New Coaching Tools: Coaching Lenses • A Story about a Teacher Who Seems to Struggle with Classroom Management: Part 1 • A Story about a Teacher Who Seems to Struggle with Classroom Management: Part 2 • When Will I Use These Lenses?

Part Two: Establishing Coaching with a Client 73

Chapter 5: Beginning a Coaching Relationship: How Do I Develop Trust with a Coachee? 75

‘‘Without Trust There Can Be No Coaching’’ • A Story about Trust • What Is Trust? • Useful Lenses for This Stage • Ten Steps to Building Trust • Assessing Levels of Trust • ‘‘The Thin Cord of Trust’’

Chapter 6: The Exploration Stage: What Do I Need to Know at the Outset? 97

From the Edge of the Field • The Stage of Exploration • Useful Lenses for This Stage • Ten Steps in Exploration • Moving on to Planning

Chapter 7: Developing a Work Plan: How Do I Determine What to Do? 119

What Role Does a Work Plan Play? • Useful Lenses for This Stage • Developing a Work Plan • How Do I Use This Work Plan?

Part Three: The Coaching Dance 145

Chapter 8: Listening and Questioning 147

The Three Movements in the Coaching Dance • Listening in Transformational Coaching • Listening as a Vehicle for Whole-School Transformation • Questioning in Transformational Coaching

Chapter 9: Facilitative Coaching Conversations 163

Coaching Conversations • Facilitative Coaching

Chapter 10: Facilitative Coaching Activities 175

Engaging Clients in Learning Activities • Scaffolding the Learning • Facilitative Coaching Activities • Conclusion

Chapter 11: Directive Coaching Conversations 195

When Is Directive Coaching Useful? • A Story about a Principal Who Needed a Directive Coaching Stance • Mental Models • The Confrontational Approach • The Informative Approach • The Prescriptive Approach • Coaching for Systems Change: Institutional Mind-Sets

Chapter 12: Directive Coaching Activities 211

Further Engaging in Learning Activities • Observations • Conclusion

Chapter 13: Technical Tips and Habits of Mind 231

Tricks of the Trade • Scheduling • Planning for a Coaching Conversation • The Arc of a Coaching Conversation • Logistics during a Conversation • Coach Responsibility during Conversation • Closing the Conversation • Conclusion

Chapter 14: Reflection and Assessment: What’s Next? 247

A Midyear Crisis • The Midyear and End-of-Year Reflection • Coaching for Systems Change

Part Four: Professional Development for Coaches 265

Chapter 15: What Is Professional Development for Coaches? 267

The Importance of a Team • Professional Development for Coaches • Developing Reflective Practices • Conclusion

Conclusion 287

A Final Story • The Road Ahead • Fearlessness and Faith

Appendix A: The Coach’s Optical Refractor (The Coaching Lenses) 291

Appendix B: Coaching Sentence Stems 297

Facilitative Coaching • Directive Coaching

Appendix C: Transformational Coaching Rubric 301

Appendix D: Cheat Sheets and Lists 307

Essential Frameworks for Transformational Coaching • Coaching for Systems Change • Tips for Using Different Approaches • The Coaching Conversation • Five Steps for a Midyear or End-of-Year Reflection

Appendix E: Recommended Resources 311

Appendix F: Glossary 317

Acknowledgments 321

References 325

Index 329

About the Author 339

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The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheLiteracyCookbook More than 1 year ago
Although I am usually a fast reader, I admit it took me a while to read THE ART OF COACHING.  It’s incredibly comprehensive, like a very large pot of soup, and I didn’t want to miss a drop. Elena Aguilar, who is an instructional and leadership coach in the Oakland Unified School District, uses her vast experience in this role to provide a steady stream of insights about coaching along with frameworks for how to understand the coaching process.  If you have ever been a coach or “coachee” in a school, you will recognize the scenarios she describes.  I found myself frequently nodding and thinking, Yep, I’ve heard that.  Yep, heard that, too.  And I was fascinated to see how Aguilar handled those situations.  She is obviously very wise and skilled at her work, and her willingness to be self-reflective has clearly contributed to her growth.  Her stories about the challenges of coaching show how difficult and rewarding the work can be. Along with explaining different approaches to coaching (she clearly knows that one size does not fit all)—such as, cathartic, supportive, confrontational, informative, prescriptive, and shifting mental models—she offers useful tips on how to conduct coaching conversations and how to guide midyear and end-of-year reflections. This book is dense in a good way.  Aguilar peppers it with thought-provoking aphorisms that can cause you to stop and reflect.  For example, “We don’t see things the way they are; we see things the way we are” (The Talmud) led me to pause for several days.  One dominant message in this book is that our beliefs shape our actions, and as coaches, we need to understand the beliefs of our clients in order to help them transform their actions. Probably my favorite quote is one that should be applied to ALL fields of employment, not just coaching: “Start measuring your work by the optimism and self-sufficiency you leave behind” (Peter Block, 2011).  Yes, indeed!  Elena Aguilar will have a lot to measure after more people have read this book.  Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D., LLC, author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK