Our Approach to Coaching and Mentoring
New online course: Powerful Communication Skills for Coaches
Led by expert coaches Joellen Killion and Sharron Helmke, participants will engage in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning and coaching practices to enhance their critical coaching skills of self-awareness, listening, questioning, and supporting the critical thinking of others.
Participants will meet virtually over eight weeks, including live and asynchronous sessions, and will engage in learning experiences and collaborate between sessions in Learning Forward’s new online learning community. New cohorts will be announced soon.
We deliver both face-to-face virtual Coaches Academies and Mentor Academies for districts to help them support teachers in ways that reflect best practices in adult learning as well as virtual learning. Our Virtual Coaches and Mentor Academies includes:
- Live, facilitated sessions with an expert coach;
- Asynchronous, collaborative learning communities to reflect on learning, reinforce strategies, and share progress;
- Tools and strategies specific to coaching and mentoring in a virtual context;
- Individual support for coaches and mentors as they work virtually with teachers in their systems.
Coaches and mentors have the power to transform teaching and learning. Coaching and mentoring are high-impact professional learning strategies that advance the expertise of beginning and veteran teachers through sustained instructional improvement. Effective coaches and mentors partner with teachers to model and facilitate the use of intentional and reflective practices. They also engage teachers to examine their beliefs about teaching, learning, and equity.
Our work with coaches and mentors help them develop a body of knowledge, numerous skills, and practices aligned to their roles and responsibilities to meet the unique needs of teachers. They develop skills to support teachers’ planning, implementation, and assessment of content-specific instruction, as well as to establish the conditions, structures, and community in which teachers will thrive.
Learning Forward supports school- and district-based instructional coaches, content-based coaches, and mentors of beginning teachers to support planning, implementing, and reflecting on their decisions and the impact of those decisions on their work, their students, and their schools.
We develop coaches and mentors who:
- believe in the capacity of every teacher to grow and learn;
- have moral purpose to achieve results for students while holding teachers’ goals at the center;
- maintain fairness and equity by respecting and honoring teachers’ backgrounds, experiences, and expertise;
- maintain trusting, productive, confidential relationships with teachers;
- work within the parameters of a coaching or mentoring program’s purpose and goals;
- commit to continuous learning, reflection, and growth for themselves and the teachers they support;
- commit to collaboration with others to achieve collective efficacy and responsibility;
- are well-prepared for her or his unique roles and responsibilities; and
- respect the context in which coaching and mentoring occur.
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