“Regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences” – ISTE Coaching Indicator 6c.
Coaching others in using digital technology in education can be difficult. It’s even more difficult if you have no indication of how successful you are at the enterprise. I considered this recently in my Digital Education Leadership program after doing some coaching of a teacher at my school. I also reflect on this process in general (as well as the late New York mayor, Ed Koch) in my post, “How’m I Doing?”: How to Tell if Peer Coaching is Working and if You’re Doing it Right. I look at how coaches need to determine how they’re doing not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of the school. I also consider several different rubrics for assessing the effectiveness of coaching, but I come back to self-assessment for my particular circumstance as the most immediate and practical approach. I would still argue that the most important component in the coaching equation is trust, a topic I address in my post “The Expert and the Coach” as part of ISTE standard 1. Elena Aguilar includes the relationship between the coach and teacher as part of her “Transformational Coaching Rubric” in my “How’m I Doing?” post and now that I think about it, I think that connects that to the idea of trust quite clearly. I’m still not sure how one would exactly assess this relationship as part of a rubric, but I am more convinced than ever of its importance.
In any case, regular evaluation and refection is important in teaching and coaching. It is impossible to adequately model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences without them. In my experience as a coach and teacher, I have found that trust, based on long-term professional relationships, should be at the center of this process. It may be messy and it may be inscrutable at times, but only thorough, honest reflection and evaluation will make any kind of meaningful difference.