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The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation

ISBN: 978-1-118-20653-9
360 pages
March 2013, Jossey-Bass
The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation (1118206533) cover image

Description

Hands-on resources for new and seasoned school coaches

This practical resource offers the foundational skills and tools needed by new coaching educators, as well as presenting an overview of the knowledge and theory base behind the practice. Established coaches will find numerous ways to deepen and refine their coaching practice. Principals and others who incorporate coaching strategies into their work will also find a wealth of resources.

Aguilar offers a model for transformational coaching which could be implemented as professional development in schools or districts anywhere. Although she addresses the needs of adult learners, her model maintains a student-centered focus, with a specific lens on addressing equity issues in schools.

  • Offers a practical resource for school coaches, principals, district leaders, and other administrators
  • Presents a transformational coaching model which addresses systems change
  • Pays explicit attention to surfacing and interrupting inequities in schools

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation offers a compendium of school coaching ideas, the book's explicit, user-friendly structure enhances the ability to access the information.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS OF COACHING 1

Chapter 1: How Can Coaching Transform Schools? 3

Chapter 2: What Is Coaching? 17

Chapter 3: Which Beliefs Help a Coach Be More Effective? 33

Chapter 4: What Must a Coach Know? 45

PART TWO: ESTABLISHING COACHING WITH A CLIENT 73

Chapter 5: Beginning a Coaching Relationship: How Do I Develop

Chapter 6: The Exploration Stage: What Do I Need to Know at the Outset? 97

Chapter 7: Developing a Work Plan: How Do I Determine What to Do? 119

PART THREE: THE COACHING DANCE 145

Chapter 8: Listening and Questioning 147

Chapter 9: Facilitative Coaching Conversations 163

Chapter 10: Facilitative Coaching Activities 175

Chapter 11: Directive Coaching Conversations 195

Chapter 12: Directive Coaching Activities 211

Chapter 13: Technical Tips and Habits of Mind 231

Chapter 14: Reflection and Assessment: What’s Next? 247

PART FOUR: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR COACHES 265

Chapter 15: What Is Professional Development for Coaches? 267

CONCLUSION 287

APPENDIX A: THE COACH’S OPTICAL REFRACTOR (THE COACHING LENSES) 291

APPENDIX B: COACHING SENTENCE STEMS 297

APPENDIX C: TRANSFORMATIONAL COACHING RUBRIC 301

APPENDIX D: CHEAT SHEETS AND LISTS 307

APPENDIX E: RECOMMENDED RESOURCES 311

APPENDIX F: GLOSSARY 317

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 321

REFERENCES 325

INDEX 329

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Author Information

Elena Aguilar is an instructional and leadership coach in the Oakland Unified School District. Elena writes about education for Edutopia and for Education Week's Teacher Magazine, and is also a member of the Teacher Leaders Network.

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Press Release

July 01, 2013
The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation

"To produce drastic gains in the academic achievement levels of our students we need the strongest, most prepared teachers. The Art of Coaching provides concrete, actionable steps to move teachers along the continuum of excellence to meet this challenge head on." —Heather Lechner, turnaround school leader, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Art of Coaching

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation

By Elena Aguilar

San Francisco, CA - Currently, coaching is a vague and undefined practice, which can vary from school site to site.  There are few training courses, no required certification and no nationally accepted standards for assessing a coach’s work.  Additionally, the great majority of coaches in our public schools were strong teachers who were encouraged to take up coaching.  This presents a challenge because coaches need to be more than strong teachers.  Exceptional coaches require an understanding of adult learners, change management theories and systems thinking, as well as organization, facilitation and communication skills.

The Art of Coaching (March 2013, Jossey-Bass, also available in ebook format), by Elena Aguilar, fills the tremendous un-met need for coaching resources.  It is the guidebook to for coaches, principals, district leaders and other administrators to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill the potential of coaching.  It offers the foundational skills and tools needed by new coaching educators and offers established coaches’ ways to deepen and refine their coaching practice.  It presents an overview of the knowledge and theory base behind the practice. 

The book demystifies the process of coaching with easy-to-apply, immediately actionable ideas.  Aguilar offers a model for transformational coaching that can be implemented as professional development in schools or districts anywhere.  Although she addresses the needs of adult learners, her model maintains a student-centered focus, with a specific lens on addressing equity issues in schools.

This comprehensive research and practice-based guide covers:

  • How to create a coaching vision
  • How to build trust and listen well
  •  How to ask powerful questions
  •  How to develop a work plan 

The Art of Coaching also addresses coaching conversations and describes dozens of coaching activities to develop an educator's practice.  It highlights common challenges followed by creative solutions and is filled with numerous practical tools: rubrics, cheat sheets, and coaching sentence stems. The concluding section on professional development is geared for coaches and those who supervise them.

It’s the hand-on resource for new and established coaches.  For more information, readers can go to The website, www.elenaaguilar.com, provides a wealth of additional tools and tips.

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