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Although I have had a lot of instruction and practice in listening techniques, I believe Evocative Coaching has clarified the importance of listening and the value of being totally present; not solving problems but building on the positive.
Everything that I have learned is influencing and impacting my work with students as a teacher, as a PLC facilitator with my colleagues, and with the building and district leadership as I drop “pebbles” of the Evocative Coaching model along the pathway to our school and district’s transformation.
Each week in the Evocative Coaching Training Program I learn more and more that will impact my job. I am becoming more comfortable in using the strategies and have become much more reflective in my discussions with teachers.
Through this training program I have become a better listener; I give less advice and instead practice giving empathy. I think about how the skills I am learning can impact my students and my work environment. It has helped me detach in a good way from stressors in my environment.
The consistent focus on positive feedback really supports the self-efficacy of my staff. Being reminded of the Möbius strip with story, empathy, inquiry and design thinking has really effected how I communicate / coach my staff.
I joined this course because I wanted to transform schools; I have found instead that I have been transformed.
Through this course, I have started to really feel myself on the cusp of something quite tremendous as a professional and also as a person.
Imaginative listening is a game changer in that it allows teachers to tell their stories with full engagement. The more teachers understand their stories as stories, rather than as settled facts over which they have no control, the more teachers are cultivating a willingness to change and become lifelong learners.
By listening mindfully, quietly and reflectively when teachers tell their stories, coaches disarm resistance and evoke open dialogue which sets the stage for change. It is seldom that a person is listened to without judgment and with no agenda. This alone may be why evocative coaching is refreshing and powerful enough to transform an entire school.
When I meet with a teacher or walk into his or her class, I finally feel as if I have the tools to help them reach their potential. I took this job because I like the coaching aspect but after my first year, I was not sure if I had the “it” that caused teacher to see me as more than just a helper. I feel empowered!
The core training program of the Center for School Transformation takes educators through the basics of our signature, evocative-coaching process for performance improvement. More than 200 school leaders, teachers, staff developers, and support coaches have now learned to engage in more productive and life-giving professional development conversations. The live classes take place in a unique virtual classroom that can be accessed easily and affordably either via the telephone or through Skype. It is a surprisingly effective experience that affords practice in dyads and small groups as well as hands-on assignments between classes.
Based on a book by the Center’s founders, Bob & Megan Tschannen-Moran, the core training program assists anyone concerned about improving their own performance or tasked with the responsibility of improving the performance of others to learn how to have conversations that are more likely to generate better student outcomes and enhanced school climate. The title of the book summarizes the goal of the program — Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time (Jossey-Bass, 2010).