michelle coaching

Michelle Kindt demonstrates the coaching process with Emily Ibrahim teaching Arabic

iFLT Coaching Your Colleagues to Success by Melisa Lopez

Today, I had the opportunity to listen to Michelle Kindt explain the background of coaching in her session “Coaching Your Colleagues to Success”. First and foremost, I’ll be the first to admit that getting up in front of your students is most times way easier than getting up and teaching in front of your peers. However, coaching isn’t meant to be a nerve-wracking experience! Coaching is meant to lift up what you are doing right! 

Coaching is a process that consists of four roles: the coach, the teacher, the students and the observers. The coach is meant to show support at all levels. Their goal is to create a safe environment for the teacher and to make sure that all discourse remains positive through their questioning.  They set the ground rules and help to guide the teacher to the appropriate skills and structures. 

Teachers are in control of the entire lesson. They choose the skill that they want to work on, the ages of the students, and the time period of the lesson (no longer than 5 minutes). The main focus of their lesson is to connect with students and keep language comprehensible.  

The students are meant to behave and follow the direction of the teacher. At the end of the demonstration, they need to be able to identify how the teacher made the language comprehensible for them and how the teacher made them feel.

Finally, we learned today that the observers really can learn the most through this process as they can easily identify ways that they can improve their own teaching through watching others! They just watch and provide additional positive feedback after the teacher and students have expressed what went well.

We know what we do wrong during any given lesson, and we know when we make errors in our language. We truly are our own worst critics. Coaching isn’t about drawing attention to any of that negativity! Instead, it’s all about what you did right! How did you engage with your students? How did you keep your activity comprehensible? Were you yourself? 

You can utilize any strategy, but the key is to make sure that your personality shines through. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Personally, I’m not great at acting, and it can make me feel super awkward. However, I can utilize my students to help me show what I’m trying to teach!  Maybe you’re a superb actor! Use that ability and let your light shine in your lesson!

If you haven’t been coached and you’re at iFLT right now, then take the opportunity to volunteer to be coached during your cohort or after hours. Pick a skill that you want to work on and how old you want your “students” to be.  You get to decide what you want to be coached on! Not at iFLT? This is a great incentive to come next year when we are in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!

Did you know that free professional development is just a click away on Facebook?
Fluency Matters Facebook page
Fluency Matters Comprehension-Based Readers Facebook group
Fluency Matters COLLAB groups
iFLT Conference Facebook group
CI-Intermediate Students Facebook group


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