sowing seeds of change
transforming coaching with
compassion in massachusetts
In Massachusetts, in addition to teachers receiving coaching, school leaders also engage in weekly leader coaching. While teachers are on their journeys with the CLI coach for their school, leaders are on their journeys with Lindsay Mangold, CLI’s Partnership and Implementation Manager.
Lindsay has learned that to transform practice, coaches need to get to the root of their beliefs and the beliefs of their clients. They must ask themselves, “What is at their core that causes them to move in this way? Plan this way? Teach children this way? Defend this practice? What is at our own core that causes us to see things differently? How can we plan for success when our whole selves – all our experiences and beliefs – come to the table in every coaching conversation?”
Even with careful planning, these assumptions about teacher beliefs (developed through observations) are often incomplete, inconclusive, or sometimes flat out wrong. CLI’s coaches shine in how they respond when this inevitably happens.
One day one of Lindsay’s coaches came to her frustrated about one of her teachers. The coach told Lindsay, “She’s not ever talking to children. She isn’t supporting her co-teachers. She is mad because she moved classrooms. She doesn’t think she has to participate anymore. The children don’t listen to her. She’s angry and never smiling.”
Lindsay used CLI’s transformational thinking guide to walk through these observations with the coach. The guide explores what the coach is seeing, how it plays into what they believe and what they think the teacher believes, what emotions it could bring up, and then directs them on how to design their coaching accordingly.
Before consulting with Lindsay, the coach feared conflict, so she may have never brought her concerns to the teacher. She may also have done a surprise formal observation and given the teacher a “bad score.” After walking through the problem with Lindsay, the coach decided to diversify her data and get to the heart of the teacher’s beliefs. She ultimately brought the teacher together with her co-teachers so they could negotiate individual and shared classroom responsibilities as a team.
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