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September 26, 2023

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Fostering a coaching culture in school

Coaching can be defined as “listening very well, asking effective questions, and helping people move forward.” This is exactly what we, teachers, do every day.

The most crucial tool educators use to enable students to learn and grow is communication. A teacher-student relationship based on open discussion, mutual respect, and acceptance creates a safe environment for growth. Young people feel seen, heard, and valued, which helps them acquire new knowledge and become confident adults. Coaching skills are essential for improving these skills in teachers.

In coaching sessions, the coach does not give advice but uses open-ended questions to help the client find the right path. Educators who use this approach enable their students to become independent more quickly. Through this process, students move along the continuum of help from direct instructions to the ability to work through material independently and have more success in the learning process. They are also prepared for an ever-changing society and are ready to take responsibility for themselves. They become thinkers and change-makers who are self-aware of many aspects of life.

It is not necessary to have a full coaching session with someone to create this fulfilling partnership; being coach-like is one of the pillars of an exceptional schooling experience. This is achievable through being curious about students’ dreams and aspirations and approaching them in a non-judgmental way. If we ask, “What happened?” instead of “Why did you do it?,” we create a space for constructive conversation. We also build stronger connections and teach each other valuable lessons of personal growth through making mistakes.

The benefits of a coaching culture in schools are many. Creating a safe environment where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and expand knowledge not only benefits students, but also makes all staff feel valued. This fosters strong links within the community, whose members feel supported and empowered.

The coaching model used at Wellington College China schools is Graydin’s Heart-Head-Step, designed specifically for education. Under this model, our teachers get to know students better, providing a safe space for them to be vulnerable as they step out of their comfort zone through the schooling experience. To develop its staff even more, Wellington College China offers foundational and advanced coaching training. Coaching sessions by a trained co-active coach are also available for all members of our community.

By following their core values, people can find their way to do extraordinary things, and this is something we strongly believe in at Wellington.


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