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Professional Learning for the Busy Coach

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Written by Joseph Kanke, Statewide Coaching Coordinator

"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it."  Marianne Williamson


Welcome to this community of coaches. My name is Joseph Kanke and I am Wisconsin’s Statewide Coaching Coordinator. In the past several years, I have had the privilege of engaging in communities of book studies across the state with leaders and coaches. Given the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic, I made the decision to put the book studies on hold. After reaching out to coaches in the field; however, I see the need for community is greater than ever.

In place of carving out time to read a full text, I invite you to collaboratively engage in a series of short texts which will explore the current realities of education. With the help of colleagues I have curated six short texts (podcast, articles, blogs and videos) which touch on topics such as emotions, equity and mental health and well-being.

This learning opportunity is designed to prompt individual reflection and engage in shared dialogue. In this introduction letter you will find the following for each session: technical details (dates, times, zoom links), a summary of the text, coaching journal prompts as pre-work and a suggested reading/conversation protocol. Following each session, participants will receive a brief email with a post-session coaching journal prompt.

Now, more than ever, time is always a consideration when taking on a new commitment. Engaging in the text, including pre and post reflection is designed to take about 30 minutes. Virtual discussion sessions will also be limited to 30 minutes.

Please review the list below and consider signing up for sessions. Each session is an independent topic so join as many or few as you are able. Once you sign up for the sessions you of your choosing, you will receive a calendar reminder with the zoom link.

Session 1: Wednesday, April 6. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Ten Reasons You Need Coaching More Than Ever Right Now
  • Summary: This article from the International coaching federation considers what clients will need from coaches given the shifting realities brought on by the pandemic. Turns out, people may need coaches more than ever.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: Shifting Landscape: How has your role shifted since the pandemic? How does this make you feel about your position? If you were to look ahead to next year and consider your ideal coaching state of being, what would it look like?
  • Discussion Protocol: Save the Last Word for Me. One participant selects a quotation from the text and reads it aloud. Other participants take turns responding to the text, and the original participant closes the discussion with a reflection.
  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 767830

Session 2: Wednesday, April 13. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Coaching for Equity Demands Deeper Dialogue
  • Summary: This article uses a case study to outline how coaches are well-positioned to engage in race-based dialogue with educators to move towards action. It also explores the role resistance often plays in coaching for equity.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: Do you feel like Coaches are well-positioned to engage in race-based conversations and equity work? If so, why? If not, why?
  • Discussion Protocol: The 4 A’s - Participants discuss assumptions, what they agree with, what they argue with, and what they aspire to, based on a specific text.
  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 438504

Session 3: Thursday, April 21. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Immunity to Change
  • Summary: We, as humans, resist change. Over time we’ve adapted coping mechanisms to convince ourselves why change isn’t necessary. This short video describes a framework you can use to coach others through the change process.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: After watching the youtube video, ask yourself (and write about) the following questions: 1) What is it that you really want? 2) What do you find yourself doing or not doing instead? 3) What would it feel like if you just tried to do the opposite of each of the actions in the question above? 4) What are the big assumptions you hold that make these competing commitments seem absolutely necessary?
  • Discussion Protocol: Three Levels of Text Protocol. Do 1-3 rounds. A round consists of one person using up to 3 minutes to: Level 1: Read aloud the passage she/he has selected. If another participant has previously read one of your passages, select another to read. Level 2: Say what she/he thinks about the passage (interpretation, connection to past experiences, etc.) Level 3: Say what she/he sees as the implications for her/his work. Finally, the group responds (for a total of up to 2 minutes) to what has been said.
  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 667766

Session 4: Thursday, April 28. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Coaching Strong Emotions
  • Summary: This short podcast from Brightmorning focuses on emotions, specifically emotions that clients may be feeling due to the pandemic. She leans into the importance of listening.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: Review this chart on Expansive Listening and answer the reflection questions on the second page.
  • Discussion Protocol: Connect, Extend, Challenge. How are the ideas and information presented connected with what you already knew? What new ideas did you get that extended or broadened your thinking in new directions? What challenges or puzzles have come up in your mind from the ideas and information presented?
  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 387459

Session 5: Wednesday, May 4. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Advice Trap and Staying Curious a Little Bit Longer
  • Summary: * Note - This podcast is longer than the other text (50 min) but I couldn’t pass it up. Start the podcast at 8:45 to skip over introductions and back matter. This podcast explores the potential dangers of giving advice and the power of holding a space of curiosity.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: How are curiosity and vulnerability similar? How do you really feel when you get advice? What role does advice play in coaching?
  • Discussion Protocol

    Golden Line. 1. Listen to the podcast and use your journal to jot notes on parts of the text that: 

    Raise questions for you. 

    Confirm what you already believe. 

    Make you say, “Aha” 

    Conflict with your beliefs. 

    Cause you to reconsider prior assumptions. 

    Show constraints of the problem or topic. 

    2. Choose two different “Golden Lines” that you want to share with the group. Two provides a choice in case someone else chooses the same line and shares similar reactions. 

    3. Each person has one minute to share his or her line, by directing group members into the text, reading the chosen line and then explaining the significance of that line. 

    4. As each person reads and responds to their “Golden Line” all group members quietly listen. 

    5. Whole group discussion takes place after each person has had a chance to share. The group discusses what this means to our work with students.


  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 994825

Session 6: Wednesday, May 11. 3:30-4:00pm

  • Title: Why the Calling out vs Calling in Debate is a Dangerous Distraction from Actual Anti-Racism Work
  • Summary: This article explores what it means to call people in vs calling people out when engaging in anti-racist work and when both approaches may appropriate.
  • Pre-Work Journal Reflection Prompts: When you’ve noticed policies and actions that have upheld racism (policies, biases, microaggressions, etc.) what has your response been? What would you like your response to be? What tools or learning would you need to achieve your desired coaching state of being?
  • Discussion Protocol: They Say…, I Say…, So What…?: Read a passage/article and describe what they say about the topic. Interpret what you think the topic is about (I say). What does this topic mean to you (so what).
  • Zoom Link: Passcode: 777821

I look forward to learning with you!

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