Over the course of my international teaching career I had only heard positive things about Cognitive Coaching(℠). It has been described to me as the best professional development, right up there with The PTC. While having not been a part of a school where it was implemented or highlighted, I was still a bit unclear as to what it was all about. However, when provided with an opportunity to attend Part 1 of Cognitive Coaching(℠) with Ochan Powell, I registered right away.
From the start, it was one of the most active professional development workshops I have ever been in.
- Numerous opportunities for time with partners and small groups shaped the day, supporting ongoing reflection.
- Multiple opportunities to observe live cognitive coaching conversation with time after to ask questions and share what we noticed enhanced my awareness of critical elements of cognitive coaching.
- The time and space to practice coaching myself with various partners deepened my understanding of the planning conversation map.
- Immediate and specific feedback was also provided by my colleagues as they observed me practice a cognitive coaching conversation with a partner.
As each day ended, I spent some time reflecting on the day, thinking about my takeaways and areas where I felt I needed to grow in. Reflecting on a concept formation strategy we used where we identified what cognitive coaching is and what it is not, I focused in on how cognitive coaching is mediating thinking, not fixing. As I can identify with being a problem solver, listening during future conversations and using pausing, paraphrasing and mediative questions without jumping in to offer solutions will be a focus of mine.
At the International School of Helsinki, we now have 11 educators who are trained in Cognitive Coaching(℠). We are now able to practice using the conversation map and seek out feedback from each other as meta-coaches. We also have an opportunity to share with our school what we have learned and invite them in for conversations while building their own self efficacy. I will still pursue Part 2 of the training in the future, but I feel confident I can now share the same positive thoughts on this professional development and recommend it to other educators.