The GES National Coaching and Mentoring Framework

INTRODUCTION TO GES NATIONAL COACHING AND MENTORING FRAMEWORK

Coaching and Mentoring are developmental activities within relationships based on trust and established through conversations. These activities aim to develop the personal or professional competencies of the mentee. The focus is on the individual or the team and the resources and solutions they generate for their specific personal or professional context.’ (EMCC 2013)

OBJECTIVES
It is expected that at the end of the session you will demonstrate the skills needed to support teachers to meet the professional standards.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a structured, sustained process for supporting professional learners through significant career transitions.

Types and usefulness of mentoring

Mentoring is useful to a practitioner, at the beginning of her/his career, at times of significant career change or in response to specific, significant challenges.

Mentoring for Induction is used to support professional learners on joining a new school.

For Newly Qualified Teachers this will also include induction into the profession as a whole.

Mentoring for Progression is used to support professional learners to respond to the demands of the new role, to understand the responsibilities it brings and the values it implies.

Mentoring for Challenge is used to enable professional learners to address significant issues that may inhibit progress.

Mentoring Activities

Mentoring involves activities which promote and enhance effective transitions between professional roles, including:

1. identifying learning goals and supporting progression

2. developing increasing learners’ control over their learning

3. active listening

4. modelling, observing, articulating and discussing practice to raise awareness

5. shared learning experiences e.g. via observation or video

6. providing guidance, feedback and, when necessary, direction

7. review and action planning

8. assessing, appraising and accrediting practice

9. brokering a range of support.

COACHING

Coaching is a structured, sustained process for enabling the development of a specific aspect of a professional learner’s practice.

Coaching is the process whereby one individual helps another; to unlock their natural ability; to perform, learn and achieve; to increase awareness of factors which determine performance; to increase their sense of self responsibility and ownership of their performance; to self-coach; to identify and remove internal barriers to achievement.’ MacLennan (1999)

Types of Coaching (Read More here):

Personal/Life Coaching –‘A collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee.’

Executive Coaching – ‘As for personal coaching, but it is specifically focused at senior management level where there is an expectation for the coach to feel as comfortable exploring business related topics, as personal development topics with the client in order to improve their personal performance.’

Corporate/Business Coaching – ‘As for personal coaching, but the specific remit of a corporate coach is to focus on supporting an employee, either as an individual, as part of a team and/or organization to achieve improved business.

Specialty /Niche Coaching – ‘As for personal coaching, but the coach is expert in addressing one particular aspect of a person’s life e.g. stress, career, or the coach is focused on enhancing a particular section of the population e.g. doctors, youths.’

Group Coaching – ‘As for personal coaching, but the coach is working with a number or individuals either to achieve a common goal within the group, or create an environment where individuals can co-coach each other.’

Coaching Activities

Specialist coaching involves activities which promote and enhance the development of a specific aspect of teaching and learning or leadership practice, including:

1. support to clarify learning goals

2. reinforcing learners’ control over their learning

3. active listening

4. modelling, observing, articulating and discussing practice to raise awareness

5. shared learning experiences e.g. via observation or video

6. shared planning of learning and teaching or leadership, supported by questioning

7. supported review and action planning

8. reflection on and debriefing of

Usefulness of Coaching

Coaching is useful to a practitioner, at any stage in her/his career, in developing a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of existing and new approaches.

It is used by schools and teachers to:
• review and refine established practice • develop and extend teaching and learning repertoire
• introduce and experiment with alternative teaching and learning strategies
• support the development, across a department or a school, of a culture of openness e.g. mutual support for and critique of professional practice.

2. Similarities between coaching and mentoring

Many of the attributes of both interventions are interchangeable depending on the needs of the coachee/mentee and skills of the coach/mentor.

It is widely accepted however that: Mentoring is a longer term relationship than coaching.

Coaching can be a single session/agreed programme of sessions with planned outcomes.

Mentors are usually more experienced at working in the same or a similar organisation/situation, they possess knowledge, skills, networks and experience useful to the mentee.

Coaches can be drawn from different levels within or outside the organisation as their approach requires specific skills in coaching rather than expertise in a field.

The holistic nature of mentoring, particularly in its traditional sense, distinguishes it from other learning or supporting roles, such as coaching, which is goal focused.

PRINCIPLES OF MENTORING AND COACHING

A learning conversation structured professional dialogue, rooted in evidence from the professional learner’s practice, which articulates existing beliefs and practices to enable reflection on them.

A thoughtful relationship developing trust, attending respectfully and with sensitivity to the powerful emotions involved in deep professional learning.

A learning agreement establishing confidence about the boundaries of the relationship by agreeing and upholding ground rules that address imbalances in power and accountability.

Combining support from fellow professional learners and specialists collaborating with colleagues to sustain commitment to learning and relate new approaches to everyday practice; seeking out specialist expertise to extend skills and knowledge and to model good practice.

Growing self-direction an evolving process in which the learner takes increasing responsibility for their professional development as skills, knowledge and self-awareness increase.

Acknowledging the benefits to the mentors and coaches recognising and making use of the professional learning that mentors and coaches gain from the opportunity to mentor or coach.

Experimenting and observing creating a learning environment that supports risk-taking and innovation and encourages professional learners to seek out direct evidence from practice.

Using resources effectively making and using time and other resources creatively to protect and sustain learning, action and reflection on a day to day basis.

Setting challenging and personal goals identifying goals that build on what learners know and can do already, but could not yet achieve alone, whilst attending to both school and individual priorities.

The Mentor/coaches and the Mentee

Specialist coaches are fellow professionals with knowledge and expertise relevant to the goals of the professional learner. They enable professional learners to take control of their own learning through non-judgmental questioning and support. The coach might be from the same institution or from elsewhere (e.g. a university). Coaches are usually chosen by professional learners themselves. A professional learner is someone tackling a specific teaching and learning or leadership challenge who seeks out or is offered coaching.

The Mentors are experienced colleagues with knowledge of the requirements of the role. They broker access to a range of increasingly self-directed learning opportunities to support the development of the whole person. Mentors are selected on the basis of appropriate knowledge of the needs and working context of the professional learner. A professional learner is someone tackling a new or particularly challenging stage in her/his professional development who seeks out or is directed towards mentoring.

  Skills for mentoring and coaching

Mentors relate sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence model expertise in practice or through conversation relate guidance to evidence from practice and research broker access to a range of opportunities to address the different goals of the professional learner observe, analyse and reflect upon professional practice and make this explicit provide information and feedback that enables learning from mistakes and success build a learner’s control over their professional learning use open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, develop plans, understand consequences and explore and commit to solutions listen actively: accommodating and valuing silence concentrating on what’s actually being said using affirming body language to signal attention replaying what’s been said using some of the same words to reinforce, value and reframe .

Coaches relate sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence model expertise in practice or through conversation facilitate access to research and evidence to support the development of pedagogic practice tailor activities in partnership with the professional learner observe, analyse and reflect upon the professional learner’s practice and make this explicit provide information that enables learning from mistakes and success facilitate growing independence in professional learning from the outset use open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, encourage professional learners to arrive at their own plans, understand consequences and develop solutions listen actively:

accommodating and valuing silence concentrating on what’s actually being said using affirming body language to signal attention replaying what’s been said using the same words to reinforce, value and develop thinking 10. establish buffer zones between coaching and other formal relationships

In short, what do MENTORS actually do? Manage the relationship

Encourage

Nurture

Teach the mentee to help themselves

Offer mutual respect

Respond to the mentees needs

Support at all times.

In short, what do COACHES actually do? Consider the coachee’s needs at all time

Offersupport and encouragement

Ask questions

Challenge

Hold the coachee to account/ensure goals are set

Encourage/enable

See goals through to the (agreed) end

Knowledge, skills and attitudes of mentees/coachees Mentees/coachees 

Understand the programme objectives/purpose and process

Be self-motivated

Be able to articulate expectations and own objectives

Meet commitments

Accept feedback and act on it Listen Be self-aware

Have the ability to reflect

Be open Willing to engage in meaningful feedback

Benefits of coaching and mentoring ; The benefits for the coachee/mentee/student/colleagues:

Making sense of feedback from others and deciding how to deal with it.

Being given the opportunity to challenge thinking and be challenged in return.

Being given the opportunity to receive career advice (and possible enhancement).

Gaining an insight into management processes.

Having someone else to act as a ‘conscience and a guide’.

Having someone (other than friends/colleagues/tutors) available to share difficult situations Having someone to believe in you and your ability.

The benefits for the coach/mentor:

A chance to challenge and be challenged – mutuality.

Taking pride in the mentees/coaches/students/colleagues achievements.

Learning new ways to support and develop others.

A chance to discover and work with colleagues/students from a different viewpoint.

An opportunity to share their knowledge, skills and experience.

The satisfaction of knowing that they have made a difference to someone else.

The huge amount of personal learning that can be taken from the experience.

CONCLUSION

Coaching and Mentoring are developmental activities within relationships based on trust and established through conversations. These activities aim to develop the personal or professional competencies of the mentee. The focus is on the individual or the team and the resources and solutions they generate for their specific personal or professional context.’ (EMCC 2013)

Read aslo: The 6 types of learners and the need to adopt activity based strategies in teaching_ Felix Agboyi

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