Here are some basic tenets of teaching with TPRS:
1. The teacher constantly works to create an atmosphere of success, inclusion and safety.
2. The teacher builds on students’ successes and strengths.
3. The lesson is highly interactive.
4. The ideas are given by the students, but decisions are controlled by the teacher.
5. Student errors are not criticized; the teacher models appropriate language in response.
Our goal last week was to have the coaching model parallel our teaching model in the classroom!!
1. The coach constantly works to create an atmosphere of success, inclusion and safety.
2. The group focuses on the teacher’s successes and strengths.
3. The experience was highly interactive.
4. The ideas are given by the coach, if requested, but the decisions are controlled by the teacher.
5. Teacher actions are not criticized; others model additional options when they teach.
The two biggest challenges were that we were not yet used to coaching that way and teachers were not yet used to being coached that way!!
As the week progressed, coaches made several adjustments that helped everyone:
A. If a teacher needed, and requested, direction, the coach offered two options and the teacher chose which one to use, or many times, offered a third to try.
B. If a teacher truly wanted “corrective” feedback, the coach and the teacher met afterwards, alone, to discuss it.
C. We will be labeling responses “growth feedback” rather than “positive feedback” since the term had some negative, emotional connotations from some teachers.
D. Someone in the group, possible the coach on deck, will act as a scribe during the feedback time so that the teacher can have a written summary of what was shared to reflect on.
E. We will post a list of skills for all to see for reflection and feedback.
F. We will post a list, inside and outside of the coaching room, so that all can see what each participant can offer. (Some people didn’t realize until the last day that they could be observers and not teach…we wanted to improve that!)
I was so humbled by the way the coaches took to this new approach and how clearly and deliberately they prepared participants to be successful in this new model.
But I was not prepared (silly me) for the power of the insights shared by the participants involved as students and observers. I learned so much simply by listening to their reflections. I was also overwhelmed by the emotional response of so many involved. Teachers need to be heard.
Each time we observed a coaching cycle (teaching+feedback) we, the coaches, also grew. Here are some comments from coaches…
“I have never learned so much in the position of coach.”
“In this model we ALL grow together. In the end, I just want to say that we never stop growing. By allowing myself to grow, I feel I’m much happier today. I want to thank you for the happiness I have gained. I can’t thank you enough for all the love, support and encouragement I have received from all of you this week.”
” I really want to see the next step in our journey towards offering the best in teacher support that we can, in a way that builds confidence in one’s own ability to analyze strengths and areas for growth.”
“I have every confidence that it will grow and evolve as will we as coaches. I feel a keen responsibility to do all that I can to help others be successful and to enjoy leading their students to true acquisition.”
“It is from each one of you that I continue to grow and be inspired. This certainly is evident in our ever-changing ideas about coaching and reflection on how we can help others grow.”
“Paradigms shifted and hearts soared!”
It was a clear shift and the beginning of a ripple effect that touched the entire conference.