Coaches play a pivotal role in the lives of students, offering guidance, support, and motivation that can have a profound impact. They possess the ability to unlock hidden potential, instill self-belief, and foster personal growth. Whether in the classroom, workplace, or personal relationships, the power of coaching cannot be understated as they enable individuals to create transformative experiences and effect positive change.
This concept was fundamental to the newest edition of the “Coaching Skills for Teachers and Adult Education Staff'' course that took place in Bologna from 25/06/2023 to 01/07/2023. Sixteen participants came from all across Europe, with Ned and Cian from Limerick & Clare ETB in Ireland; Maria, Milos, Kristina and Marika from Komvux Lund in Sweden; Ingo and Doris from HLW Feldbach in Austria; Fareen from Hertie School in Germany; Ana from Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Murcia in Spain; and six participants from Romania: Maria, Flavia, Teodora and Dorina from Liceul Teoretic Coriolan Brediceanu, and Luliana-Floriana and Adriana from Voltaire Parents and Teachers Association.
Our first day was dedicated to laying the foundation of coaching. In our introduction to coaching, we worked through a series of exercises aimed at reflecting on the essence of coaching and understanding its differences from teaching. We explored the unique role of a coach and contemplated the importance of recognizing our strengths. Additionally, we took time to reflect on our toolbox of skills, acknowledging the diverse set of abilities we possess as coaches. This initial day of the course provided us with a solid framework to build upon as we delved deeper into the world of coaching.
On our second day, we focused on Emotional Intelligence, emphasizing the significance of self-awareness, self-control, and empathy. Emotional Intelligence encompasses the aptitude to perceive and acknowledge not just our own emotions but also the emotions of others, enabling us to cultivate a heightened understanding of ourselves and our environment. A teacher who possesses emotional intelligence demonstrates the ability to comprehend their students' emotions, fostering a genuine connection and offering guidance in effectively managing their feelings.
On the third day, we delved into the essential topics of leadership styles and pillars of collaboration. We explored various leadership approaches, examining the different ways individuals can effectively lead and inspire others. Additionally, we discussed the fundamental pillars of collaboration, emphasizing the key principles that foster successful teamwork and cooperation. Through engaging discussions and interactive exercises, we gained valuable insights into effective leadership and the foundations of collaborative efforts, equipping us with the knowledge and skills to enhance our coaching practices and facilitate positive outcomes.
On day four, we explored concepts relating to conflict management and effective communication. We tied these areas together with the pillars of collaboration and empathy concepts learned earlier in the week to demonstrate that conflict management and communication is an approach and mindset rather than a structured, surefire method. To further develop our coaching toolbox, we explored an activity called the Six Thinking Hats, which encouraged participants to engage in and account for different angles when approaching a problem.
Our final class focused on coaching-specific techniques such as the power of questions. Through a series of exercises, we discussed how the precise wording of questions can generate nuanced interpretations and lead to certain reactions and responses. We also touched on battling negativity, an obstacle faced by both coaches and coachees alike. Participants reflected on their own personal thinking patterns and habits that fostered negativity regarding themselves and the world around them. One particular exercise was the Gremlins Activity, where participants imposed a more concrete existence of their negative thoughts and habits by giving them a name. Through this, participants were able to directly face and reflect on the existence of those "Gremlins", and objectively evaluate the role they play in their lives.
The active participation, enthusiasm and willingness in exploring and developing key coaching skills made this iteration of the “Coaching Skills for Teachers and Adult Education Staff'' course a truly enriching experience. The course not only ignited inspiration but also equipped participants with practical techniques to be a strong pillar of support and guidance to students and clients. We truly enjoyed the spirited discussions, diverse experiences, and thought-provoking insights brought by the group. Their passion and desire to affect positive change in individuals speaks to their dedication to foster continuous excellence in many domains of a student's life. Thank you everyone for the amazing course!
Discover more about this course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.