Profile in practice: Leadership coaches learn to better support principals through trainings

July 17, 2017

School leadership coaching is one of the most powerful tools a system can leverage to improve the practice of its principals. Over the years, the Leadership Academy has developed a variety of trainings for leadership coaches to increase their capacity to support principals. To date, we have trained more than 750 school leadership coaches across the country in our unique model.

Leadership coaching was a top priority for Shavonne Gibson, Managing Director of Schools for Center City Public Charter Schools, when she stepped into her role to oversee six charter school principals in Washington, D.C. “I felt it was important for my principals to have someone outside of the school building to assist with brainstorming, trouble-shooting and triaging day-to-day decisions,” she said. “I wanted to create a space to reflect not just on issues of content, instruction or operations, but to really think about decision-making and the implications of the principals’ leadership moves.”

To create this relationship with her principals, Shavonne realized she needed to build her own capacity. “I was already doing coaching work, but I may not have been identifying and making the right moves to be most impactful in each moment,” she said

Shavonne attended the Leadership Academy’s Deepening Leadership Coaching session this spring. An advanced coach training program, the three-part series of workshops teaches principals supervisors how to strengthen trust, promote targeted and critical reflection, and support school leaders in identifying and applying high impact action steps to dismantle inequitable practices and accelerate school transformation and student learning.

“So often the PD opportunities for professionals at my level focus on education generally,” Shavonne said. “It’s great to see an organization drilling down into the nuances of leadership coaching and that the learning I experience impacts my daily work.” She valued the opportunity to role play and practice coaching techniques while receiving feedback in real time, as well as the program’s emphasis on a systems-thinking approach to leadership.

Click here to learn more about NYCLA’s leadership coach trainings.

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