When it comes to professional development, coaching is a great way to help teachers reach their goals. But how do you know if it's really working? To measure the effectiveness of coaching, it's important to set specific, measurable and time-bound objectives. These objectives should be based on the teacher's professional practice and should reflect the most influential strategies that may affect student learning. For example, a goal could be something like: "I use a variety of formative evaluations every week and the data from those evaluations will guide me in reviewing my study plans." Or "I establish positive relationships with students and the results of surveys conducted with students about their enjoyment and learning in my class improve by 80 percent."Coaching promotes growth and change over time for those who commit to self-development.
At the organizational level, there are effective ways to structure and measure training programs. Some examples of measurement include promotion, performance, improved team coordination, and higher retention rates. These are great metrics for measuring the success of your training program at the end of an engagement. But how can you tell if coaching is working long before it ends? How do you see the improvement in the context of daily work? Understanding the key results and ROI of coaching programs helps companies defend the value that coaching brings to the organization. Coaches begin the training process by understanding what they need to work on, and coaching helps them learn how to do it authentically in order to maintain the changes.
Coaching capacity involves skill on the part of the coach, and if the coach can foster a solid and trusting relationship, it's very difficult to be a coach if your coach has no skills and is critical and sees you as a problem to be solved. Schools (and districts and networks) need a clear vision of training, goals for a training program, and specific roles and responsibilities for coaches; otherwise, the training potential is weak. Most of the time, conversations with coaches about whether coaching is working lead us to a bigger picture and to realize that there is a lot to do to perfect their training program before determining that a teacher is not learning. To ensure that coaching is effective, it's important to have an understanding of what success looks like. This means setting measurable objectives that are based on professional practice and reflect strategies that may affect student learning. It also means having an effective structure in place for measuring training programs at both an individual and organizational level.
Finally, it's important to foster a solid relationship between coach and teacher so that they can work together towards achieving their goals.