Respecting Teachers’ Goals and Values - Steve Barkley
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Respecting Teachers’ Goals and Values

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Do Your Employees Feel Respected?, Kristie Rogers reports that, “When you ask workers what matters most to them, feeling respected by superiors often tops the list. In a recent survey by Georgetown University’s Christine Porath of nearly 20,000 employees worldwide, respondents ranked respect as the most important leadership behavior.”

Beth Armknecht Miller in Start With Trust When Coaching, shares these suggestions for building trust:

  1. Be curious and ask lots of questions. Start with open-ended questions — ones that start with “what” and “how, and try not to use “why” questions. “Why” can make a person defensive. Curiosity builds relationships while judging will kill relationships. Curiosity demonstrates that you are interested in the coachee and builds trust in your relationship.
  2. Actively listen. To be truly curious, you have to set aside your own opinions and ideas, and listen to the answers to your questions in order to fully understand what the person is saying. Don’t interrupt. Paraphrase back to them to make sure you understand what he said. This demonstrates respect to the person talking.

I’ve created this short video on respecting teachers’ goals and values. When a teacher knows that the coach recognizes and supports her goals and values, she is more open (vulnerable) to the exploration, reflection, and experimentation in coaching that produces new understanding and skills.

I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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3 Responses to “ Respecting Teachers’ Goals and Values ”

  1. Tresa Murphy Says:

    Great blog post! This one resonates with me personally as I truly believe that each teacher has their own “secret sauce”, in other words a way of being and teaching and interacting with students that is unique and valuable. It is a personal goal of mine to honor, respect and share teacher voice in my coaching. What makes you YOU?

  2. Jenn Kellett Says:

    This really resonates with how I work and feel about teaching. There is certainly a lot of science in education, but there is also so, so much art in our relationship building and style of teaching. Our colleagues are truly connecting with other human beings every day and I value both the agreed upon standards and the uniqueness each teacher brings to their learners. It’s exactly the reason we joined this profession – we care about young people and their potential.

  3. Chet Garber Says:

    I greatly appreciated this reminder to respect everyone’s goals and values, and to truly listen to understand all of the intended outcomes; both standards-based and otherwise. As a coach, it’s tempting to dive right in to “fix a problem” without taking time to help the teacher meet their goals. As a tech coach, I’m understanding more and more that tech coaching is half technology, and half psychology. Helping a teacher truly meet their goals is vital to building trust and continuing the conversation with that teacher in the future.

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