This morning I had a powerful conversation with an AIW Coach-in-Residence. The residency period is one year long and is an opportunity for a new Coach to lead a pilot team through the scoring process in their school’s first year of AIW reform.
In this particular case, our conversation turned to the dynamic between the Coach-in-Residence and the more experienced Lead Coach, who was working with staff from another AIW building in the same district. Through our conversation we realized something important: While the other Coach has more in-depth understanding of AIW and experience using descriptive evidence to analyze artifacts brought to the team by a presenting teacher, the strength of the Coach-in-Residence is her ability to participate as a learner.
There is an honesty of being a learner that resonates with teachers, especially those who are learning to share the thinking in their classrooms rather than controlling it. Coaches must do the same. Lead Coaches, like experienced teachers, can often become seduced by being the expert and go back into the role of trainer. Coaches-in-Residence have a humble heart when learning. This is their gift to their team!