Page 14 - FIS World October 2018
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 Coaching Connections
Leveraging strengths to achieve greater results
New instructional coaches, Tony Winch (left) and Robin Neal (right), are working with teachers to help further unlock their potential;
as teaching colleagues, their coaching also extends to one another
Serena Williams is one of the most successful athletes in history. Like most sports professionals, she has been supported on her journey by a dedicated coach whose role it is to assist an already talented tennis player achieve her goals and overcome challenges when they arise.
The non-sporting world has been slow to seize on the transformative power of coaching, and the idea of an educational coach has only gained traction in the last ten years or so. But this year, FIS has joined the growing community of coaching and has added new instructional coaches across divisions to strengthen its areas of excellence from the top down.
Connected to the many new “accelerators” being implemented at FIS, the emphasis on coaching is intended to permeate all facets of the school, and as Head of School Paul Fochtman says, “help create an overall culture of coaching.” In August, he and the school’s leadership team, as well as the Board of Trustees, were the first to venture into this form
of professional development by working alongside leadership coach, Aleysha Morris, to identify their respective groups’ existing strengths and then create plans of action to capitalize on them. Members of each group also worked with Ms. Morris individually to learn strategies to help them achieve their own personal goals.
In other areas of the school, two newly hired instructional coaches are helping build on faculty strengths in the Upper School. And at both FISW and FISO, math coaches have been added in the Primary and Elementary divisions to help improve instructional practices in mathematics and enhance student learning.
Sarika Sharma, who has worked as a teacher, curriculum coordinator and coach at international schools in Ghana, Argentina, Panama and elsewhere in Germany, views her role as a math coach as two-fold. “My goal is to work with individual teachers and teams to help them capitalize on their strengths as math educators,
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