So thank you very much for agreeing to have a chat with me, I'd really appreciate it. So we're here today to talk about instructional coaching. And I just want you to tell me a little bit about your kind of journey and your experiences across the year from sort of September really, of how it's how you've experienced instructional coaching before now. Started September.
So I think I've had very different experiences with the instructional coaching between different settings. And something that I've noticed is really important, is I don't have to work. Saying, I have something in my head, and I can't involve a
say, and so let me say the question again, to help you out. So thinking about September and your experiences of instructional coaches and instructional coaching, tell me I think that's that kind of early experience of you say your first placement where you have those weekly mentor meetings, and you engage with that instructional coaching, observation notes, the icon form and the CRD, the collaborative review document, and then maybe the elf for the experiential learning form. Think about kind of all of those things and how they might have fitted into your instructional coaching weekly mentor meeting kind of conversations, how did those conversations kind of go tell me about how it felt in September early doors, and kind of move forward to now how did those meetings feel? How did they go?
So I think at the beginning, it was very intimidating. It kind of was you had this big Excel document. And I felt like there was a million things I needed to learn and that I needed to kind of build and do to make me a better teacher, because I didn't have any prior teaching experience, from coming down to the course. And then I'll suddenly face it all, all the steps and things that a teacher should be a teacher should do, and it was a bit. This is scary. I think what once I've got my head around, and I think to an extent that because it was kind of a new system that my mentor, Northam felt a similar way, or this is different, it all looks a bit scary. But I think once I had kind of got an understanding of it, and I spoke her through it, and I explained, you know, how this will help us form are our targets and our focus for the week, I think we both got a lot more comfortable. And that became a lot easier. As the time progressed. And even up to this point, I'm still finding it easier and easier each week and starting to take more of a more of a proactive approach and me controlling the conversation a bit more.
So the first mentor that you had, was she knew to mentor him.
She wasn't I think she was used to the old system. Okay. And and although once we broken it down, she was oh, it's pretty much the same. It's just taken, I think, was it three separate ones into one or something by the end, she said, Oh, it's a lot easier. Like it's a lot, you know, more manageable to do, we don't like less repeating yourself. And it just looks, it just looks scary. And it's difficult to navigate or appears to be but it's not, it's actually quite simple. It's quite nice, how it's broken down into tabs, and then statements and you can clearly see Oh, so this week, I'm we spoke a bit about behaviour management, because x y Zed, I was, you know, there was a bit of low level disruption. Let's have a look on the CID. And we can see like pick a focus and pick a you know, a pinpoint a specific statement that we can use to construct a
target. And the early doors, the instructional coaching model, as in that kind of equal conversation, and you not being given the answers and kind of finding those answers through a conversation. How is that? I think
this is where I was saying I saw quite large differences between different settings. Because same in the first instance, my feedback session and my mental meeting blended into one. And how did that feel? Well, it often just became that I couldn't pick a target. That wasn't related to my observation. So I might have taught 10 lessons in that week. But if my one observation lesson, I hadn't effectively use the TA, then that would become the focus of my target, the focus of my instructional conversation and instructional coaching conversation. And I felt like there was almost no chance for me to say it, but actually, I think I want to focus on this all Can we discuss this? Because it was like, Well, this is what I've seen in the lesson. This is what I observed. I think this should be your target for the week. Okay, and it didn't give me much room to kind of negotiate that. Okay, whereas I've also experienced settings now imaginably The same here, although we only have one meeting here, but in my second placement, they were Monday morning would be my coaching session and Friday or sometime after my observation would be my observation feedback. And it was really nice to have that difference. And to know that there were completely different sessions where we will talk about different things. Because although I might have an observation where they say, Alright, I think you need to work on this easier, positive, these are like things you can improve on. That was kind of put aside. And then when it came to the coaching session, although we might pull on certain things that were picked up in the observation, there was also opportunity, like you said, to talk through things, and to kind of find our way through the conversation,
where you've had that conversation where it's been equal, and kind of really collaborative. How is that felt?
It's felt nice, because it's made me feel more in control of my teaching. And I think more like a young professional and like a young teacher, as I imagined I will, in my UCT years, rather than your student. This is what I've seen, this is what you need to work on.
So how does that feel? Have you experienced that? And how does that feel?
Not in such a harsh way, but kind of in a way that I think you need to work on this? Do you agree? And it's kind of like, oh, yeah, well, I've only talked for a couple of weeks. So yeah, I'd take what you say. And, you know, you must be right, because you've got 20 years teaching experience, if you tell me I need to work on this, then. I mean, they probably aren't right. But it was, it would also be nice to say, Oh, actually, I've noticed this about my practice. And so you know, it's much nicer when you can negotiate that this and it makes you feel more in control, and I think builds you to be a more reflective and self evaluative teacher in the long run, which is obviously a skill that you're going to take all through your career for however many years that I'm a teacher.
Okay, fantastic. So can I ask you about what sort of learning you've done about instructional coaching, say at uni? What sort of learnings or understandings, you found out about instructional coaching at school? If you've done any, any extra kind of research on instructional coaching? Or is that something you want to work on? Tell me about where your learning has come from, to do with instructional coaching.
I think when we first began uni, we kind of got explained how the conversations with our mentors, and these weekly mental meeting shouldn't just be, they are going to say work on this. And you're just gonna say, alright. And we got told, you know, kind of the rough structure of what it might follow. And obviously, all the form, the mental meeting forms in the weekly log are explained to us in a way that it should be collaborative in nature. But I think I have learned a lot more just doing it. And I felt like you kind of find your feet. And because every mentor is so different, I think it's kind of hard to say this is what your coaching session will look like. Because, I mean, I know I've experienced a couple of, you know, different settings. But speaking then to other people on the course, there has been such such a range of some people, I don't think had proper mental meetings ever in two placements that they've done. Like I said, I've been fortunate enough to have had really good placements where I think my mentors have been, you know, quite proactive and allow me to have a voice. But I know of other people who haven't had that experience,
and how do you think that's affected them?
I think it's, I think it's difficult because I think it will vary from person to person. But I think if you are somebody that really benefits from that guiding and that coaching, which I think all of us do, to an extent, but I think some people like not handholding but for one to a better expression, that kind of guide to to bring you through all if you're lacking that, then I think you're gonna make a lot less progress in all the areas of like the teacher standards.
Okay. And then tell me about you, you said that you had some experiences of yourself of common positive coaches. Tell me about some of the kind of characteristics of a coaching conversation if I was Navy, and I came down and I didn't know what a really great instructional coaching conversation looked like and found, like, Tell me about it. I think
something that was really lovely. With one of my mentors was we used to start our mental meeting. And he would just basically say, so how we found this week, and it was just that straightaway, I was I had to take the floor, because he just wanted to hear how I found things and my reflections before he says, Oh, I've noticed this nurse, you should pick up on this in this because we might have noticed complete different things I might have said I think my behaviour management has been wonderful this week, and you'll go okay, and then you kind of build on that conversation and then that might come around his idea or he might say, Okay, well, you know, I had this one observation where this might slip You're saying that, you know, the rest, that was an anomaly and the rest of the week you've really cracked it, it was been able to open that dialogue and just somebody that yeah, lets you voice your opinion. And. And, yeah, just a good listener definitely. And someone very encouraging. And also someone that comes prepared to the meetings with things to say and things for you to work on. It's not just a case of either I have to come completely read or they have to come completely prepared, you both bring things to the table and are prepared for the meeting to have that discussion so that it is collaborative in nature. And someone that also helps organise opportunities for you in the school. So it's all well and good, sitting there and forming the target with your mentor or them suggesting or you could go and observe some expert colleagues in this. All I think you need to contribute to the wildlife of the school. And then just leaving it like that. But if somebody says, Oh, I can speak to this person, this person, or, you know, I can drop them an email. And we can arrange for you to do that, or, or contributing to the wildlife of school, how about next week you write the newsletter, or I would really like if you could go into this, and I'm really helping you with examples and ways that you can meet those targets. I think that's really important.
Do you think the way that you go to instructional coaching meeting has changed?
I think at the start, I did kind of feel like I was just this this fresh faced student that was just going to be told you to do this, this, this and this? And I would just say yes. Okay, I think I was very much a year I agree with you. I'm just gonna listen, because it's been such a learning curve. And I knew coming into this, I would have so much to learn. And I think, now, I take a lot more responsibility for actually, these are my targets. And they're not just based on what, from my previous but what my other mentors have thought. It's also things that I'm now thinking, especially coming towards the end of the year, come September now, say I've got my own class, what I think I've got no idea how I would do that, or, or I'm not too sure about that. So things like summative assessments, that's kind of one of the things that I think if I've got a class, and I've suddenly got to do a parents evening, or write a report, and I've got to try and compile all this data, do these assessments, I wouldn't know where to begin. So that's now one of my targets that I've got that I can discuss in my mental meetings with my mentor throughout, you know, this placement to get more involved in. Luckily, obviously, I'm in year six, and it's SATs. So I'm getting a lot of experience in that. But I just think you have started to take more of a proactive approach and focus in now on know, my AECT years and what I really need to know and making sure that those those targets that I want to hit are, are fulfilled.
Very interesting. Can I ask you to tell me just a little bit about, I'm just, I'm thinking about the what kind of warrant values and I know that they're kind of really central to what we do at the very start of the course we talk about them, we give you sessions on them, we explore them across? Be honest. Tell me about have they helped you in any way? Have they have been in the conversation? Or do you kind of or how differently you see them?
I think it's a nice thing to have these values. It's almost like when a school has values. So you know, my law school? Well, a lot of schools have their core values that they refer to, you know, during behaviour management things they can say, oh, show your you know, you're showing respect vote on House point, you know, and I think that's a nice thing to have to have these core values that you you know, kind of you can, they're like the epitome of what you are. But in terms of how they have contributed to weekly mental meetings, as some times found that it was like, on the for what value we were going to pick this week, and it was just looking down and we'd got to get it out and I've looked at the list and I'll be like, Well, this week let's say I've done perseverance because my teaching percentage has gone up or Oh, we were doing mental health week so let's say it's it's civility or something. And it almost felt like it was a bit superficial. The way I was using them, I think without knowing because of the taught sessions and because of placement you you build these values into your practice, but I don't know whether it's a is a conscious thing or whether that's just something that is part of the teaching journey?
Do you think that they will be something that you might ponder on in uacc or moving forward or if they've just been part of the PGCE, and you think I'm parking them, when because I don't need to use them to pass a course or to demonstrate that I've engaged with them,
I like to think that I do embody a lot of the work teacher values. So in that regard, yeah, I would say I'm taking them into my practice. But I can't say that I'm going to start my week saying, Oh, this week is all about motivation. And I also think it would, it's, it's also nice as an AC T, to make your own values, I almost want to have the Miss virus, the values, I don't want to have the word teacher values anymore, because of course, I will always be a teacher that trained at work. And that's always going to be a part of my identity as a teacher. But moving away from that I want to be this is the kind of teacher and which kind of goes back to the feeling like a teacher part of the ePdP, EDP and, and the kind of teach that I want to be, which is a lot of what's in the Warwick teacher values about, you know, the moral values and the intellectual curiosity. But then, me now so kind of Yes.
And last question, I want to talk to you about what sometimes can be a bit of a the elephant in the room. At uni, you're learning about, you know, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at uni, you're learning about metacognition, and when you learn about adaptive teaching about Luna, at uni, you're learning, you know, all sorts of things that, that to deal with kind of research elements and kind of research labs and giving you that range of reading and understanding to help you do assignments and things like that. I'm wondering, do you see any connection? And How To what extent do you see a connection between you missed off that you do think assignments, think like lectures that you haven't seminars that you have? And then think teaching? And like, chalk face at the class or in the classroom doing what you do in? Is whatever? The links between them? Yes or No? Or maybe and tell me about them?
To pick question.
Up can add some thinking time,
I think, yes, unknown, gone. The yes part comes massively from all the talk sessions, I've taken something from, I might not think, oh, you know, this is 20 page article that I've read, that's going to everything's going to apply to my practice. But I thought, oh, you know, that's an interesting thing that I'm going to consider or that's a strategy I might try for behaviour management, or certain things like that, you know, you you do draw on that. And it's not like, learn it, and then just took out my brain because over in my assignment, I don't need to know that anymore. But there is a lot of reading and there is a lot of things that were taught in the taught sessions at uni that I think, is this going to help me
like what would give me a for example,
for example? Oh, it's tricky. Is it tricky because it's something that's not on useful, but something that I found very different in the realities of school will be learning about adaptive teaching, I think because there's this big move from differentiation to adapt