Today I was working with a great new group of principals, coaches and teachers. We were working on literacy leadership and what it means to build trust in the coaching role and what role leadership should play in coaching – how much should the coach tell the principal, what is off-limits, how much the principal should direct the teacher’s work with the coach, etc.

Their current coaching model is a clear delineation and near silence between the coach and principal about the progress of coaching and the focus of coaching. This got me thinking: how much should the principal direct the coaching and if the principal, coach and teacher are in cahoots on what the coach is working on with that teacher, does that somehow work against the trust? I don’t think it does!

I believe there is a sweet spot in coaching where the principal can hold the teacher accountable for working with the coach on a specific aspect of instruction that the principal and teacher deem important to increasing achievement in the classroom. Then the teacher can bring the coach into the conversation by saying, “Mrs. Johnson and I have talked about how I need to work on my classroom management. Can we set up a time to work on this?” This might be a bit of a stretch to begin with, but a conversation we can teach teachers to have over time.

What do you think? Leave your comments below!