This year at school, I am excited to take on a new leadership role of part-time coach. I will be working mostly with the upperclassman Language Arts teachers, as well as supporting my co-coach in other ways our department needs. The best part–I still get to teach. I am just not that person who ever wants to leave the classroom–or the students–to lead; I’d rather have the best of both worlds.
As I’ve been ruminating and preparing for this new role, I’ve been pursuing some learning opportunities. I have been reading Elena Aguilar‘s book The Art of Coaching. I also have been seeking out the wisdom of other leaders I respect in my life. And I am
taking devouring Cognitive Coaching training. All these are inspiring me to create a coaching creed: a list of principles and values that will guide and anchor me and my work as I step into this leadership role.
- I am first and foremost a teacher. What I do in my classroom with my students is the greatest gift I can give all involved. With this in mind, I will always strive to be a model of best practices. Because I want to led by example, my classroom will always be open.
- In everything, I will act with integrity. I will be woman of my word. I will apologize and admit mistakes. I will take responsibility instead of making excuses. I will establish boundaries so that I can be true to my word.
- I will sympathize with what it is like to be an adult learner. To the best of my ability, I will make meetings or conversations meaningful. Agendas will be created and followed. The highest good will be sought. I will seek feedback to ensure this is the case.
- I will teach, learn, and coach in a perpetual state of reflection, asking questions of myself, and seeking out opportunities for growth.
- Assuming positive intentions, I will honor that teachers are doing the best they can with what they have. It is my hope to validate that effort while offering teachers resources–internal and external–which allow them to “better their best”. Often these resources are within the teacher and just need to be unlocked; therefore I will elevate questions above advice.
- We all operate in a system. To improve, one part cannot be ignored. To improve, many areas must be addressed. It is my hope to be an advocate for positive systematic change. In this, I will expose problems while focusing on solutions.
- Students come first–in all, through all, above all. This may mean uncomfortable conversations and/or conflict. I must shift away from peace-keeping to peace-making, which invites and expects tension. Through discomfort, conflict, and tension, growth emerges.
This is draft one. I realize I am a new, young, and perhaps naive leader; thus this is moldable. Nonetheless, I will be a person driven by values and not circumstances, by heart and not agenda. Here goes nothing! And here goes everything!