In the world of coaching sports, there is not a coach around that doesn't use video to analyze their team's play. From basketball to soccer, coaches find people to video their competitions to help them improve. Coaches celebrate the successes, analyze their weaknesses, and even chart statistics to help their team grow. Why does this change when coaches switch from coaching sports to coaching teachers? This blog post, will touch on why Benton Community Instructional Coaches use video to improve coaching practices with teachers.
Video can be an essential tool to help instructional coaches reflect and improve their craft. Although there is not a coach on our team that enjoys watching themselves on video, we all know how important this experience can be to help us grow as coaches. We believe video impacts our team in a positive way. One reason we use video is to help build a collective vision of a coaching cycle. As a team, we talk about coaching cycles all the time, but over the years I know that each coach on our team often wonders if what they are doing with teachers really constitutes as a coaching cycle. Is this what it is supposed to look like when I coach? By using video, we can share our vision and push ourselves as coaches to define a coaching cycle. Video is the springboard to the conversation that creates a "one voice" for our team when it comes to coaching. By taking time to watch our teammates coach, we develop a clearer vision of where we want to go individually and as a team.
Another reason why I believe video to be an important tool is because coaches need to watch themselves coach. When you are in the middle of coaching, it can be challenge to consider what do or say. Why am I moving my hands so much when I talk? Does my face really look like that when I am listening? These are all important facets of working with others that need to be addressed and video doesn't lie. It is the mirror needed to deepen reflection.
Reflection is another reason video impacts our team in a positive way. By using video, our team can reflect together on planning for a coaching cycle, coaching stems and questions used during the conversation, and possible next steps for the coach after a meeting with a teacher. With video, we can stop, start, and replay conversations that happen within the cycle. We are able to discuss celebrations and address missed opportunities. Reflecting together with your team requires vulnerability, but builds trust and a growth mindset for everyone. When we step outside our comfort zone, we create an opportunity to grow and learn.