If you're a principal, would you work with a coach?
The premise around coaching has always been that coaches help teachers become better at their practice. Some of those teachers may need growth in a few areas like classroom management and student engagement. Other times those teachers may excel in many areas, like Michael Jordan excelled in basketball and Wayne Gretsky did in hockey (I'm showing my age with those two examples), and they need strategies to help them go from asking students questions to inspiring students to do the asking.
One of the other beliefs about coaching is that it's good for all teachers, and no one should be ashamed to work with a coach. Many principals believe that all of their teachers should engage in a coaching relationship with an instructional coach. The focus is always on growth.
We're supposed to have a growth mindset, right? We always ask our students to have one.
If it's so important for teachers to work with a coach, then why aren't more principals working with a coach to improve their leadership practices? Since posting this blog a few days ago (If Coaching Is So Important, Why Aren't More Principals Being Coached?), I have heard form some districts, organizations and leaders who are being coached, which is awesome (read the comments on the bottom of that blog to see the organizations who are coaching leaders). It gives hope that principals are learners as well as leaders.
However, many leaders believe that coaching is only good for teachers. Why? Why is it good for one group in a school but not for the people responsible for running the school? Is it because principals know everything they need to know already? That can't be true, because education is about lifelong learning, so we don't know everything we always need to know.
What the Research Says