From the forums

31st May 2013 at 01:00

Teacher coaching: emperor's new clothes?

After two days of continuing professional development I am still none the wiser. How can all this touchy-feely stuff actually substitute for just getting some decent training?


The last set of clothes were so 2012. Of course a new outfit is required.


Is coaching something to do with sitting down with the children and their parents, advising them where they are going wrong and then telling them what you plan to do about it?


Coaching is where an experienced teacher observes and "coaches" a less experienced teacher to help them get better. Although in reality it's being used to force teachers out.


Didn't that used to be called mentoring? Although the reality remains constant.


I think that the process of "coaching" (registered trademark 2013) is more formal and structured? ... I think it might be a wise and lucrative career choice if I were much perkier, and less cynical.


Mentoring is where the mentor instructs and guides the mentee towards the outcome, whereas a coach will guide the coachee towards finding the answers and the direction themselves.


It's the latest merry-go-round initiative rubbish. The other idea people seem reluctant to discuss is the notion that all teachers can improve when some clearly do not have the required disposition or many of the "uncoachable" traits a teacher needs.


How many school leaders (acting in a coaching capacity) does it take to change a light bulb? First the light bulb has to want to change.


The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who don't have it.



Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today