Coaching ‘is a way of supporting children’s learning of any life skills’, and a process you will go through to improve individual performance and in addition encourage personal and professional development. Working in groups of three enabled each individual the opportunity to observe, reflect and evaluate the different roles in the coaching and mentoring session. The three positions of role play carried out in the lecture consisted of the learner, observer and the coacher.
The role of the observer primarily enabled me to observe the coach’s responses and identified missing points and highlighted effective approaches to the situation.It also allowed me to use active listening skills, and time to reflect on the questions I would ask in the role of the coacher. The observation process highlighted the importance of the flow questions and overall evaluated the role of the coacher in the exercise. This enabled and encouraged learner’s responsibility for personal and professional development. To repeat this task again in a similar situation I would focus on observing how the coacher guided the learner to their own solution, and reflect on the guiding skills used to encourage the learner to arrive at their own solution.The observation process provided me with examples of how it could be used in a professional situation. As a teacher I would use these coaching and mentoring skills to enable and encourage personal development and allow the learner to relate to others.
Although, I am not familiar with the role of the learner this experience identified my own weakness in my personal performance. Reflecting on myself and my own work, this is an area I feel needs improvement however, I identified these tasks to be essential for me to reflect and improve my personal development.Initially in this role I felt I may have had a negative viewpoint, and that I would not benefit from the task however, this was not the case and I gained some useful and effective advice from the other peers in the group about handling a certain situation. Feedback suggested by O’connor included, ‘approach the teacher and ask to observe, giving constructive feedback so I can review, reflect and action’. I believe this is useful information if this particular problem arises. Reflecting on my own skills in the role of the learner, the task allowed me to identify viewpoints from others.Furthermore, how an individual may approach tasks differently, therefore taking this into consideration at various times would improve my own personal knowledge, viewpoint and outlook on other individuals.
As a teacher I agree with Suchitzky and Garner who stated that: ‘A good communicator will leave you with questions unanswered rather than answers for which there have been no questions formulated’. I believe this will allow the learner to develop and adapt their own thinking and overall the coaching will provide guidance for the learner.Due to my previous work experience in a team leader and manager position for a large number of individuals I felt more comfortable in the role of a coacher. I feel one of my greatest strengths is the ability to quickly build rapport with individuals, and in the task I believe I asked open reflective questions allowing me to show my curiosity and enabling the learner to analyse the situation. The flow questions assisted me to remain focused throughout the task, and I feel as a teacher this would allow the learner to reflect, openly view the situation and try to identify the problem themselves.In addition to this I aim to redesign the flow questions to include my own personal view, and constantly review these as an ongoing process for myself. According to Robertshaw the feedback mentioned included; ‘my body language was open and not defensive’, ‘good communication’, ‘good eye contact’ and ‘I asked questions to identify the problem’,highlighting the course of action that had already took place and how the learner felt this could be developed further.
I agree with Parsloe and Leedham who suggest that all issues need to be addressed ‘sensitive to all circumstances’ In the section of the proforma sheet ‘indicate one area I could improve on’, the observer did not propose or identify any areas. Following further discussions to evaluate areas for improvements I felt the feedback aimed more descriptive than evaluative. As a teacher I feel children will gain skills and satisfaction far more effectively if adults offer plenty of encouragement with constructive and accurate feedback.Reflecting on my own task as the coacher, I felt myself dominating the conversation between myself and the learner, and providing solutions including a range of ways to approach them however, I feel I need to improve my coaching skills to encourage the learner to develop their own ideas further and identify their own solutions and overall responsible for their own learning. I felt this area highlighted the most significant challenges for me, and this is the area that I personally feel I need developing to improve my overall coaching skills.As a teacher I feel the guiding process would be more important to the leaner as it will allow them to improve their lifelong learning skills, ‘key to develop greater self-awareness’ and their ability to relate with others at different levels. In conclusion, the coaching and mentoring session enabled me to reflect not only on my approach, outlook and how I personally address tasks, but the opportunity to reflect on other peers approach and process.Overall, evaluating the coaching and mentoring exercise I can see the advantages and understand that the ‘mentoring and coaching is key to the professional development’ Agreeing with Parsloe and Leedham that if I address, reflect and learn from this exercise, and therefore improve my coaching and mentoring skills this in return will give me a ‘rich learning experience’
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