How Leaders Can Support Coaches
Roselia Ramirez: Hello everyone, and thank you for attending today's webinar, "How Leaders Can Support Coaches" as part of the Education Manager Series. I'm Roselia Ramirez, and I'm your host for our session today. I am joined today by my colleague Ragan McLeod who is our guest presenter on today's topic. Before I turn it over to Ragan, though, I do want to go over a few housekeeping items as we will be using some of the ON24 features during our webinar.
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Ragan McLeod: Great. Thanks so much, Roselia. I'm so excited to be here with you guys today to talk about how leaders can support coaches. So, I've worked with NCECDTL for a number of years and before that with NCQTL to develop a lot of the materials around practice-based coaching both for programs, as well as for coaches.
So, I'm excited to share some things with you today and talk about how in your role you might support the coaches that you have in your program. So, what we're going to do today is we're going to talk about some different strategies to identify support to provide to coaches. We're also going to discuss some ideas around ... And some resources that you can use to support coaches as you move forward after today, and we'll talk a lot about data and how we use data to identify those supports for the coaches.
So, before we jump into the things that we'll share today, I wanted to see how you currently are identifying the types of supports that you give to coaches in your program. So, what do you use to identify the supports that coaches need and the supports that you give them? So, you can answer this in the Q&A ... I'm sorry. I apologize, in the team chat. Any thoughts, anything that you want to share that you're currently doing or how you're currently identifying those supports that you give to ... Sorry, the group chat. Sorry. It's been a while since I've been on one of these webinars.
So, it's in the group chat if you have any ideas or any things that you'd like to share around how you identify supports that you give coaches. So, I see some responses. State-wide surveys from Christine, so using some surveys to collect data, I'm going to say, around what's going on around coaching and what coaches might need. Reflective supervision, I see, listening to coaches, their strengths and needs and their challenges, reflective feedback, so lots of things. I see some kind of running things here around using interactions with the coaches directly. So, feedback, surveys, observations. So, lots of different ways that I see you guys, and a lot of that looks like kind of that direct interaction with the coaches to identify what those needs are and the types of supports that you can give. Coaching competencies, so I know there was certainly some states and some programs that are using coaching competencies. Great.
Well, it sounds like you guys have quite a few tools in your toolbox around identifying those supports. So, we're going to share some things today. Hopefully, you'll add a few tools after our discussion today. And I see some of the things that people are adding in are things that we might share as a part of what we're doing today. So, thank you all for adding to that. So, as you well know, there are lots of different ways that coaching can be implemented. So, in Head Start, the model that Head Start has really invested in and provides a lot of resources and materials around is practice-based coaching, and practice-based coaching is a research base. It's been heavily researched and found to be effective in changing staff practices, education staff practices, so I just want to quickly review the components of practice-based coaching so that we're all on the same page.
So, practice-based coaching, the foundation of it, is really this outer circle, the collaborative coaching partnership. And so, the idea there is that the coach and the coachee work together. They collaborate to develop shared goals and shared plans for meeting those goals. In the center of our practice-based coaching model are effective teaching and home-visiting practices, right? So, these are the things that we know teachers, home visitors, family child care practitioners, if they do these things, they'll have better outcomes for kids. So, at the center of practice-based coaching are those effective practices, and the rest of the practice-based coaching model may change, but what you put in the middle for those effective practices are really going to be specific to who you're working with as far as your coachee.
My friend, Joyce, who couldn't join us today, says it's kind of like our bull's-eye, our target right there in the middle. That's really what we want to get at with our practiced-based coaching. So, the first component in practice-based coaching is shared goals and action planning, so identifying, again, collaboratively, the coach and the coachee, identifying a goal and how they're going to get to that goal through an action plan. Using that action plan, the coach conducts a focused observation, so that's an observation of the coachee implementing that action plan and their progress towards the goal, and the coach uses ... And the coachee uses the information from the focused observation to reflect on progress towards that shared goal and for the coach to provide feedback – supportive feedback on how well the coachee is progressing towards the goal, as well as constructive feedback about how they can change or progress better towards that goal, do things ... Use the practice differently or better. So, that's the rundown of practice-based coaching. So, we're going to talk about ...
Today, we're going to talk about how to, you know, identify what a coach's needs are and the supports that are needed for them. Many of the materials that we'll talk about today are going to be focused on practice-based coaching, are built around practice-based coaching, and some may be broader than that, but, again, many of the materials that we've developed for Head Start have been focused on practice-based coaching. So, we also know that practice-based coaching can be delivered in a variety of ways and be effective, so in Head Start, what we talk about is delivering practice-based coaching in an expert model where you have an expert coach and then a coachee, and that expert coach is someone who knows coaching, who's an expert in the practices that they're coaching on.
And then we also have peer coaching, and this is what we call reciprocal peer coaching, so you have two people, two coachees, working at about the same level on a set of skills, and they're supporting each other to implement those skills. And then, there's self-coaching which is where a coachee really walks him or herself through the process – through the coaching process alone, maybe supported by an outside person, by an expert coach, but not in an ongoing way that you would support someone through actual expert coaching where the coachee is self-coaching themselves with some support as needed.
We also have a model that's not mentioned here which is called our TLCs, together, learning, and collaborating, and that is a group model of coaching that really combines expert, peer, and self-coaching, and I know a lot of your programs are probably using TLCs because they've become quite popular in our program. We also talked about coaching in-person, so that's where the coach goes to the classroom or goes on the visit with the home visitor to the family child care site and meets directly with that coachee, observes on-site, live, and then meets to debrief together again in-person, versus distance where you might have meetings by Zoom or Skype, you know, in an online format. And then you might observe by video, that the coachee uploads or shares with the coach, and then debrief again, you know, by video conference or by email or by phone.
A lot times, what we see is actually a hybrid of those things, where people are doing some things in-person and some things via distance. Just to reiterate, according to the Head Start Program Performance Standards, if you're thinking about intensive coaching, so the performance standards talk about a coordinated coaching strategy, so you may have coaching going on with coachees that are not receiving intensive coaching and then coachees that are receiving intensive coaching. To be considered intensive coaching, it must be expert delivery or the TLC delivery model. So again, we know PBC can be delivered in all these ways.
No matter how your coach is coaching, so whether your coach is working in an expert model or supporting peers or supporting coachees who are self-coaching or facilitating TLCs, those coaches really need support as they're doing this because we think it as that parallel process, right? Our professional development, we think of as providing support to each education staff member at the level they're at and for the needs they have, the strengths and needs they have. It's the same thing with our coaches.
We want to make sure that we're providing them support for their strengths and needs based on where they are and based on what we want as the outcomes for our program as a whole. So, when we think about that, the model that we kind of follow ... We've developed a number of trainings around practice-based coaching at NCECDTL, and this is somewhat of the flow or the way that we saw these trainings being rolled out of the program. So, the idea was that program ...
Teams from programs would attend a PBC Leadership Academy or the current version of that called a PBC Implementation Academy, and as a part of that Implementation Academy or Leadership Academy, the program would make a plan for how coaching would be rolled out, how coaching would happen in the program. And then after that Leadership Academy or Implementation Academy, they would take that plan back and share it with the coaches, the coachees, other stakeholders in the program so that everybody knew what the plan was for coaching. And one of the expectation was that whoever would be coaching would attend coach training. And so, we developed a coach training of Practice-Based Coaching Training Institute that really walked through how practice-based coaching happens and supports coaches to learn those skills.
Additionally, coaches may have attended or may have gone to practice training, so by practices training, I mean if you've got a coach who's coaching around the pyramid model, you've focused your coaching on really those social-emotional skills and the pyramid model, and so a coach may need to go to a training on what those practices are, or if you're implementing a new curriculum and the coaches are coaching on practices within that curriculum, maybe they need to go to a training on the curriculum.
So, that's what the practices training are. Again, the coach training is practice-based coaching generally, and then the suggestion was that if coaches were also going to be facilitators in TLCs, those together, learning, and collaborating models of coaching, then they would also attend a TLC training. We know that in some cases those TLC facilitator coaches just attended a TLC training, but the suggestion was that they attend both the coach training and the TLC training. So, that's an overview of the trainings that we have created as a part of DTL, and we know that coaches may have been to some of those and not all of them or programs may not have had a plan, may not have gone to a Leadership Academy before coaches came to a PBCTI, or coach training.
So, we wanted to get a sense of you and kind of your experiences with any of these trainings. So, we have a poll here for you to give us information about which of these events have you attended, and though we know that other people in your program might have attended a Leadership Academy or might have attended a coach training, but what have you attended in your role? So, I'll give you a minute to fill that out, and then we'll check out the answers. OK.
So, looks like we've had quite a few of you attend the PBCTI, the Coach Training Institute. A few have been to a Leadership Academy, about 20%. That's great. Similar numbers for the TLCs and around 20% for all of the above, which is great. So, it also seems like we've got a range of experiences around our PBC trainings, which is really good in your roles and that you guys are supporting those coaches, and so having that knowledge base is wonderful if you, you know, have attended those. One of the things I forgot to say on the last slide as I was talking about those trainings is that what's really happened particularly ...
So right now, we, as DTL, are going to regions, and we're having a number of PBC Implementation Academies in the next year, but the PBCTIs, the Coach Training Institutes and the TLC training are really now being held at the regional level. And so, if there are any Leadership Academies, those are also being held at the regional level. So, if you have questions about these trainings and whether they're happening, then I would suggest checking with your regional TA, your early childhood specialist, as they will have the best information about when these trainings might be happening. Alright. So, let's talk a little bit about data. Everybody's favorite topic, right?
So, we know a lot, and I'm sure that you know, particularly if you've been to any of the events that I just mentioned, that data is a big part of what we do around practice-based coaching. So, we know that PBCs, the practice-based coaching, involves a lot of using data to identify what we're going to focus on for coaching and particularly around what the needs are of the education staff. That helps us to identify what those priorities are in our program. So, we have to have that data, really, to plan. And so, we have this set of data that helps us to plan what we're going to do around our professional development and our coaching, but we also have to collect data throughout the implementation of our coaching plan to identify what's going well, what we might need to change, and if the education staff and the coaching needs are the same or if they're changing over time.
So, it's really important that we're collecting data on the education staff practices, right? Their use of those effective practices that we're coaching on. That we're collecting data on our child outcomes to really think about our program goal and how we're using PD to support those. But we also need to be collecting data on our actual coaching. So, on our coaching around what the coaches are doing, if they're being able to coach as planned, right?
So, are they adhering to that plan that we have as a program for coaching. And then, are coaches able to use these practice-based coaching strategies with fidelity? So, we have lots of different levels of data that we collect to figure out what we're going to coach on, and then are we coaching like we said we were going to. So, when we think about that data, we can think about it as quantifiable data or qualitative data. So, our quantitative data are really the things that we're putting numbers to, right?
So, when we say data, this is often what people think of. So, when we think of our child-level data, it's often that [Inaudible] data. There's numbers there, right? We think about class data for our teachers and their use of practices. Our HOVRS data, right? Those are all quantitative data, numbers data that give us information about what's going on around those specific practices or those measures, but there's also that qualitative data, and when you guys were identifying the things that you use to identify the support coaches need, you mentioned a lot of this, so surveys, that reflective supervision piece, so those conversations and reflective conversations, observation, right? So, that qualitative data is more about almost our anecdotal data. What are we seeing that might not be captured in the numbers, right? So, what are we actually seeing teachers doing that might not be captured in the class, or what are we seeing the home visitors doing that's not captured in the HOVRS. And so, we want to think about ... It's also about that demographic data, right?
So, if we know coaching is not happening as coaches aren't able to do the coaching that was expected in our plan, so they're not able to see those coachees every other week like we planned, then that demographic data that we know ... So. Oh, well, this is a place where we've lost a lot of staff, and so coaches are having to fill in for staff. That kind of qualitative data gives us a lot of information about what supports coaches need as far as the context of the kinds of trainings and supports we give them.
So, what's really key here, in thinking about collecting that data and using that data, is the idea of communication. It's key in identifying what the supports are that a coach needs. Ongoing, consistent communication between you and the coach and between the coach and the coachee builds that trust and rapport. So, it's important, just like we talk about coaches building that trust and that rapport with coachees, to really make practice-based coaching effective, we think it's important for you at your level to build that trust and rapport with your coaches so that you can know what the supports are, what their strengths and needs are and provide those supports.
So, having that open communication with the coaches allows opportunities for them to share what they need, and just like we talked about coaching being in a safe place, that makes the coach feel like they have a safe place to express what they need, as well, and their successes and challenges. So, some ways we see programs do this, or they might ... If you're the coach supervisor or the coach of a coach, you might have weekly check-ins, weekly scheduled meetings with your coaches as a whole. You might be observing to either coach to coach or for supervision of the coach. You might have weekly emails or texts with your coaches to really keep a continued finger on what's going on around coaching. So, some of the things that we think are important to know about a coach when you're thinking about what the supports are that you need to give them are information about their coaching background, as well as the professional background.
So, by coaching background, we mean what are their experiences with coaching? What are their experiences with practice-based coaching as a coach? What are their experiences with other coaching models? Because there are a lot of them out there. And also, I think, just as importantly, what I've seen in a lot of programs is that the people that become coaches have often been education staff before that, so they've been teachers, or they've been home visitors or in family child care, and so they may have had experience from the coachee side with coaching, and that can really change how they are as a coach and their strengths and needs. If they had a really bad experience, that may color how they interact with coachees. If they had a really good experience that worked for them, they may keep to that one set of strategies or that one approach, which may not work for all coachees.
So, having a sense of kind of what their background is with coaching can help you to identify where the strengths and needs are, and similarly with their professional background, so if you've got a coach who's working with a range of program options, right? So, classrooms, as well as home visitors, as well as family child care, knowing what their experience is in those different settings and what the gaps may be can help you to identify what their training needs or supports needed might be. So, are there other things about background data for coaches that you think would be important or helpful to know as you're identifying those supports? Are there other things that ...
Other information you collect about their background that help you to identify the supports they need? If you have ideas about this, you can enter it in the group chat. I'll give you just a second. Any ideas about other things that you might ask or other information you might want to know about your coaches' background to help you think about the supports that you need to give them? Oh, I hear that we have some audio problems. I'm sorry. I hope that that's resolved soon. So, if you have ideas about this, feel free to add it into the chat. I'm going to move it forward and share a few of the materials that we've developed to help you think about what those supports are.
So, someone said amount of experience in the classroom, level of comfort with different coaching strategies. Oh, that leads so well into the next thing we want to talk about, too. So, we've developed a few materials that can help you think about what the supports are that coaches might need, kind of where they are currently with their coaching and how you can kind of gather data around their strengths and needs. So, these are three, and these are in your resources, I believe, Roselia, correct me if I'm wrong about that. So, that you guys have access to these. So, these are some materials we've developed, so you can see ... I'm actually going to take that off of there so you can see it a little bit better. So, we've developed a practice-based coaching coach log, which is the first document you see there, and that's really an opportunity for coaches to ...
It can be used in a number of ways. One way that we use it is that coaches complete that after each coaching session with their coachees, and they identify the things that they did. So, it's really a fidelity form – so it's all the pieces of practice-based coaching that we want coaches to be using. And so, coaches go through and use it as a checklist, and they identify which of those they used, which of those strategies or steps they used in their coaching. So, it can be used as a self-assessment or fidelity for the coach. It can also be used by a supervisor or a coach of a coach as they're observing or listening to coaching sessions. We often audio record our coaching sessions and then listen to them and complete fidelity forms.
And so, that can help you identify which of the fidelity items, which of the specific practices around practice-based coaching is the coach using, and which of those may he or she not be using consistently. So, that's the first document, which is the coaching log. The second document is called a coaching strategies discussion worksheet, and there's a couple of different ways that this can be used as well. So, this document has a number of coaching strategies, and then it has the coaching strategies and gives the definition for each one of those strategies, and then it has a place to mark the comfort with those strategies.
So, this can be used by you when you're working directly with a coach, or set of coaches, to have them assess how comfortable they are with using those coaching strategies. So, it can be a nice measure of what are the things they feel really comfortable with as a coach, and what are maybe some strategies they don't feel comfortable with that we might need to provide some support around. The other way we've suggested that programs use this form instead is the coach can complete it with the coachee. And so, for each of those strategies, the coachee can think about how comfortable they are with that being a part of the coaching. So, for example, one of those is role play, and role play is, for some people, an acquired taste. And so, coachees may not feel comfortable with that. Another one is videotaping, right?
So, that gives an opportunity for coachees to say, "You know, I'm really comfortable with this being a part of our coaching," or not. So, it can be used kind of at both levels. You can use it with your coaches to assess how they feel about using those strategies, and coaches can also use it with their coachees to talk about what strategies the coachee might feel comfortable with in coaching. And then, the final document that we have here is the coaching strengths and needs assessment – coaching practices strengths and needs assessment. And so, you're probably really familiar with needs assessment for your education staff. This is a needs assessment for coaches to self-assess on those practice-based coaching, coaching practices.
That's a lot of coaching and practices in one sentence, but they can go through each one of these and say, "You know, this is a practice I feel really comfortable with that I'm using," and it's organized around each of the components of practice-based coaching. So, there's a set of practices around collaborative partnerships, a set around shared goals and action planning. So, they can go through, self-assess, and then you can use this and, in collaboration with the coach, to say, "OK. I see this is an area that you would like some support with or an area that you see as an area of need for yourself. Let's talk about how we can support that." It works really nicely, particularly if you're doing any coaching of coaches, or if they're doing any kind of self-coaching that they can use this needs assessment as a jumping-off point for that. So, I just wanted to give you ...
So this ...
Again, those three documents, they're in your resources if you haven't seen them already. If you've been to a coach training, you've likely seen the coaching practices strengths and needs assessment, as well as the coaching log, but you may not have seen that second document, the strategies discussion worksheet. So, I just wanted to give you a second to think about are there ways that you've been using any of these documents in your program or some other version of a needs assessment for coaches or a log for coaches or the ways that you guys have been using these in your program.
As you're thinking about that or typing in your responses, I'll tell you a couple things about what we've done particularly around the coaching log. So, as I said, we have our coaches, and I'm currently coaching Head Start classroom teachers, preschool teachers as well, and so we, each session, fill out a coaching log and then some set of our sessions – well, we record all of our sessions. We audio record all of our sessions, and so then we have an outside person, not one of the coaches, pull one of those sessions and then complete a fidelity check, complete the log while listening to our coaching session.
And that gives, you know, it gives some reliability to what the coach is saying they're doing, and, you know, I think it's good to have that kind of outside person. We actually used it, too, for feedback. So, the outside person listens to the fidelity, completes that, and then gives feedback to the coach about what they, you know, again, similar to what we do when we coach teachers. They give feedback to the coach about what's going well or what they might need to improve. So, I see people saying that they've used the strengths and needs assessment and the coaching log. That's great. Glad those are materials that have been useful. And people using the ...
So, Adrianna, hopefully I said that right, is saying that she is interested in taking some time to look at these resources, so, again, they're available. If they're not something that you've seen before, you know, feel free to take a look at them. So, a few people saying that they're new to this. Great, so glad to see ... Mm-hmm, and some people ... And that's a great point. So, Christine said they had a self-assessment based on the Colorado Coaching Competencies.
So, we know that in some states, there are coaching competencies, and you may have developed your own form that is similar to these, and that's the point, right, is that, just like we talk about having a way to assess the strengths and needs of our education staff to identify the supports they need for professional development, that's the point of these documents for our coaches, too, that we have a way to assess their strengths and needs to identify what supports they need. Wonderful, so I'm going to move us forward. Please feel free to continue to put in thoughts about these documents, and, again, Roselia is collecting questions that we'll come to at the end, as well. Roselia, anything that's come up that we need to address sooner rather than later?
Roselia: Well, there's actually just been a few – a few questions that have been related around the difference between, like the academy, PBC coach, coaches' training, the TLC training, so which one they should go to, and then along those lines, you know, what types of trainings are available to certified coaches to deliver this model, as well as a question was specifically, "How do you get certified in PBC coaching?"
Ragan: That's a great question. Yeah, I think that's great before we move onto the next part. So, we don't have an official certificate or certifi ... Let me say that again. We don't have a certification in practice-based coaching through the Office of Head Start. There are certain states that have certificates around coaching or certification around coaching, but there is not a certification through Head Start. Now, if you come to one of the practice-based coaching trainings, we often have a certificate of participation, but it's not any kind of national certification. Hopefully, that makes sense. I would say that if you are someone who is supporting coaches ...
Well, let me take a step back. The point of the Leadership Academy or now the new version of that, which is the Implementation Academy, is really for programs to send a team of people. It's a team of people that represents the different roles in coaching, so we usually have a leadership role, so often, that's the director of the program, someone who's often – someone in your role would represent which is someone who's kind of that, you know, supporter of coaches or that ed manager that the person who might be over or a coach of coach or a supervisor of coaches.
We always have a coach on that team and then a coachee, and then there are other people that come depending on the program, but that team comes to the Leadership Academy or the Implementation Academy. It's a three-day event, and they come with the idea that they walk away ... At that event, we talk about how to structure coaching, how to think about your overall professional development and how coaching fits into that, the resources that go into coaching. So, lots of information and then how to collect data to monitor and evaluate coaching. So, it's a packed three days, but the idea is that at the end of that three days, that team walks away with a plan for how they're going to implement coaching in the program.
So, that really is, if your program doesn't currently have a plan for implementing coaching, right? So, you don't have a consistent idea about who's going to be a part of coaching, who your coachees are, what your intensive coaching will look like, how coaching is going to be delivered, what your coaching focus will be, if you don't have that plan at your program level, then I would say as a program, you really want to consider attending an Implementation Academy or a Leadership Academy, and the first step for that is to reach out to your early childhood specialist, your training and technical assistant and assistants in your region for what opportunities there are for that because regions have structured that really differently in the way that they're providing those academies, so that would be my first step.
So, you know, big idea is if you don't have a plan at your program level, that's the first step. If you do have a plan, then I would suggest, and you as an ed manager are going to be supporting the coaches, then I would say you definitely need to have attended a practice-based coaching training institute. At the end of this, I'll give you some resources, too, as far as an introductory level of practice-based coaching. And if TLCs are happening in your program, then I would say you also need to attend the TLC facilitator training because although that's practice-based coaching, the TLC model feels different than our traditional kind of expert coaching that we see that many of us think of when we think of coaching. So, hopefully that helped a little bit. We can revisit that, too. I don't know. Roselia, do you feel like that answered some of the questions you mentioned?
Roselia: Yeah, I think so. If there's any additional questions or if that wasn't quite clear, if you guys could just enter those questions into the Q&A, and we'll make sure that we loop back around to that, but thank you for that, Ragan.
Ragan: Thanks. So, hopefully, that clarified some, and again, as Roselia said, we can circle back to it at the end in our Q&A time. So, let's talk a little bit more about what coaches need as far as their supports, so what they need in order to do their job well. So, we talked about this, but I just want to reiterate again, that we want to make sure coaches have training in what they're going to be doing, and so that training will be around, if you're implementing practice-based coaching, around practice-based coaching and the coaching strategies used in practice-based coaching.
So again, that practice-based coaching training institute would be one way to do that to have that training, but if they're going to be serving as a TLC facilitator coach, then a TLC training, but they need to know how to do those things, and I said this before, but I want to be clear. If you're having TLCs in your program, those people who attend the TLCs facilitator training, we also recommend they attend a PBC coach training because TLCs use the practice-based coaching model and strategies, but we get more into the specifics of facilitating those group interactions in the TLC training. So, we want to make sure our coaches are trained in those coaching strategies. Coaches also need to be trained and feel comfortable with adult learning principles, learning how to incorporate adult past experiences with the coaching strategies, as coaches, being active listeners. I know that's important for adult learning and giving our coachees opportunities to try new things and get feedback, which is what coaching is all about, and it's based in those adult learning principles. Again, our coaches need training in those teaching practices as needed, right?
So, if they're coaching on something that's new to them, then they'll need coaching, I'm sorry, they'll need training in that set of practices. And then, we want to make sure, and this is outside of the trainings that we've developed at DTL, but that coaches are trained in any kinds of tasks they're expected to do. So, for example, if you're planning on having coaches use that coaching log, they need some exposure to that and some information about how they're going to use it. Are they completing it every coaching session? Are they completing it, you know, on some other regular basis?
Who do they turn that into? How do they enter that data? All of those kinds of tasks need to be trained so that everybody is on the same page and so that you as a program can collect that data that will help inform what you do around your practice-based coaching. So, we know one of the things that DTL has developed a number of resources around that may be really helpful that we have not had at some of our previous coach trainings are materials around working with children who are dual-language learners.
And so, you know, that may be an area that your coaches need some support on so that they can support the education staff. So, there are a number of resources that are out there right now, including the Ready DLL app, the DLL Program Assessment or the planned language approach materials that can help coaches to feel more comfortable with those practices that best work for our children who are DLLs. So, one of the big things that we do in our coaching that we know is so important, and I can say this as a coach and as someone who has supported coaches, is that coaches need that ongoing support. So, some of the ways we've structured that, as I mentioned before, coaching our coaches, right?
So, we provide feedback to coaches based on their fidelity so those audio recordings, as well as their fidelity forms, but the other really important thing that we do, and, again, I can say this as a coach, is that we have regular meetings of our coaches, too. It's what we call a community of coaches. And so, that gives us an opportunity to really, you know, troubleshoot what's happening because we often see these kinds of consistent needs or consistent concerns, not necessarily with the coachees, but just with the structure. So, for example, I'm working as a coach right now on a distance model, and so we're using Zoom for our coaching meeting, but there's been a number of technology issues with that, and so having that community of coaches where we can work together to troubleshoot those things has been really, really helpful as we think through the problems and really try to address those.
So, we want to make sure that coaches have a community of coaches to share ideas, to share resources, to troubleshoot things, and one of the questions I often get about this is, "Well, we're a small program, and we only have one coach," and that definitely happens in a lot of our programs, so what I would say is, you have this webinar. You have other times where you're meeting ed managers in other programs, or you might be meeting coaches from other programs. Those coaches can work together across programs. You can build that community of coaches across programs. I would suggest reaching out. If you don't know how to get in touch with other coaches or help build that community of coaches, reaching out to your ECF and asking if they know of other coaches that might be interested in forming a group, they would be a great resource for that.
You know, I think the other thing to make sure is, one of the big things we hear from programs is that we often hear about coaching not happening as a program plan, so they might have planned for coaching to happen – their intensive coaching to happen on a two-week basis, right? So, a coach would see each coachee every two weeks, and they get to the end of the year, and they find that the coaches really only saw their coachees about once a month, not because they weren't working hard at it, but because they didn't think about the amount of time it requires for ...
To do those observations, to have those meetings, to prepare for coaching. So, you know, for every half hour online coaching meeting that I have with my teachers, it takes me a good hour, hour and half to prepare for that, to look at the observation, to think about what I'm going to share. And so, really being realistic and thoughtful about what the time is that coaches need, and if you see that they're not, you know, being able to coach at the dosage level, right, or the amount that you expect as a program, then why is that? Where is the time being spent? And so, you know, being really thoughtful about what a coach needs time for and do they have that time? This is a great place to refer back to your data, too.
So again, looking at those coaching logs, one of the things we record on our coaching logs are how much time coaches spend in each of those pieces of coaching, right? So, how long was the meeting? How long was the observation? If you have coaches that are traveling, you can have them record how long their travel is, right, as another piece of data, and that will give you information about what is the time. What are the time expectations? Do we have the right expectations for the amount of time that coaches are spending or need? So, I'm actually going to skip here and go back to the slide before this. But the other thing that coaches might need time for, and I mention this again, as I'm preparing for coaching, a lot of time is spent on gathering resources to share.
So, you know, I share a lot of videos through my coaching of practices, reviewing video. In our case, we do distance coaching, so we have to review the videos that our coachees upload, and, you know, the great thing about video is that you can watch it over and over again to really collect data or think about what you want to share as a coach, but that also means that it takes more time than just an observation that you go for. It might also need time for creating materials, and then I know program by program that travel may take a lot of time as well.
So again, we just want you to think about as a program and you as an ed manager, do you have the expectations for all of the many things that coaches are actually doing as a part of their work? I just want to come back to this with the Coaching Companion, so one way that might help with thinking about that time and managing that time is if you use resources like the Coaching Companion. If you're not familiar with it, the Coaching Companion – the Head Start Coaching Companion is a free resource, and it is a way ... It's an online platform where coaches and coachees can collect or can use it to develop their shared goals and action planning. They can upload focused observations to it, so a coachee can upload a video, or a coach can upload a video of the coachee implementing the action plan.
The cool thing about the video is that the coach can time-stamp it and make comments at specific places on the video so that, you know, you can get some really specific feedback about the moment when a coachee is using a strategy, and then there's a place, of course, for some reflection and feedback comments as well. So, it's a nice place to keep all that together, and if you're using distance coaching, it's actually what I'm using in my current distance coaching, too, so it's a great place to kind of keep those action plans and goals and then upload videos in a very secure place.
So, the videos, the action plans, all of that is only shared between the coach and the coachee, and they can give access to other people, but it's not readily available to administrators or to other people within the program unless it's shared by the coach and coachee with them, so it's a very secure place, as well. Again, if you're interested in that, it is a free resource, and it ... You know, you can sign up for more information about it as well.
So, I wanted to give you a chance to talk about, and I see some comments in here as well about how you're currently supporting coaches and what's working well, so what are some things that are going on currently in your programs, or what's working well for you as far as supporting your coaches? I'm just scrolling through some of the comments that have been shared as well. So, I see someone asked about sharing and uploading videos for distance coaching, and Coaching Companion is an option for that. I know people might be using other platforms as well.
Roselia: Hey, Ragan, on the Coaching Companion, is there, like, technical support for folks that are having trouble, like, time-stamping videos, and is it free?
Ragan: It is free. So, there are multiple versions of the Coaching Companion. The Head Start version is completely free. For Head Start grantees, you just have to email and request access, and then they'll walk you through. You typically have a webinar that you go through that walks you through the process and kind of goes through what Coaching Companion looks like and the functionality, and I'm sorry I don't have it directly in front of me, but there is a tech support for the Head Start Coaching Companion as well ...
Ragan: that you can ask it tons of questions, and they have people that can kind of walk you through that process.
Roselia: Thank you.
Ragan: So, I wanted to share another resource with you and then give a minute to answer any other questions. Another resource that is now on our iPD are the online modules, so these are five modules that are an introduction to practice-based coaching, and so it walks through each one of those components I mentioned earlier, and it has some resources in there. It has opportunities for people who go through these modules to reflect and a few kinds of interactive knowledge assessment-type things. So, these are really a very basic version of our coach training with the expectation that if someone goes through these modules, they'll have an introduction to practice-based coaching, so if you have new coaches that have not been to a coach training, this might be a good introduction for them. Even your coachees could go through this to get a sense of what practice-based coaching is and looks like, administration, if you feel like they need some more information about practice-based coaching. These are very basic introductory-level modules on practice-based coaching.
So, I would not say a coach could go through these and then be ready to coach, but if you don't have a coach training right away, these can be a good introduction to your coaches that may be waiting on more intensive coach training. So, those are readily available on our iPD, and you can access them, and, again, they can be used for a number of purposes. So, I got a little ahead of myself, but we're running out of time. I wanted to see, Roselia, did some questions come up? Are there other things that came up as we were talking?
Roselia: Just really quickly, there was some questions that came up around who should supervise a coach. So, for instance, is there a conflict of interest to have the educational manager supervise a coach, and then who supports a coach who also supervises?
Ragan: Yeah. So, those are great questions, and, you know, I think this is a new role that we are ... That programs are figuring out right now, so there's not a lot of guidance in the program performance standards around who should coach or supervise a coach or how that should be structured. So, it really is a program-by-program decision. I think that, you know, if you have a coach ... That having someone to support them – if you're not really feel like you're an expert at practice-based coaching, then getting some expertise on that through a coach training yourself if you're going to be coaching or even if you're going to be supervising coaches would be really important so that you feel comfortable with those strategies in order to provide them less ...
You know, to develop those goals and action plans and provide the coaches with feedback. Right now, we've seen program structuring this in lots of different ways, and I think that programs are really just trying to figure out what is the best model, but ed managers, we've seen that role service supervisors or coaches of coaches in a lot of programs.
Roselia: Great. Thanks, Ragan. So, I know we're running out of time, so what I'd like to do now is just invite you to, if you're not familiar with the MyPeers community, we have several communities that are offered through DTL, and one of them is actually specifically for education leaders, so if you're not a member of that community, I highly encourage you to get connected, and we can definitely continue the conversation there. There's a couple more questions that kind of came up, and so I will go ahead, and I will post those into the MyPeers community to share some more information with you guys there, and then also within that community, we want to share some exciting news about what you can expect this year for this specific series of webinars. So again, check out the MyPeers.
We really encourage you to get logged on into that community. We'd like to thank you for joining us today. Ragan, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information. It seems like people were really engaged and want to learn more about the Coaching Companion and just all the different ways that they can support coaches out in their programs.Close
In this video, learn about resources and strategies to support coaches in their role. Hear about successes and challenges from the field. Find out how to use data to identify and plan professional development for coaches. Explore resources programs can use to support coaching implementation.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit Upcoming Events.