Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Alissa McGraw

Episode Summary

Peer coaching is a powerful way for teachers to pay it forward. Whatever you offer to others, you strengthen in yourself. As a peer coach you learn to listen nonjudgmentally, notice successes, and celebrate them. As you share your skills and talents, you learn to be more conscious and intentional in your own life.

Sometimes, though, there’s a lack of willingness to coach or be coached. This is the result of fear: fear of not knowing what we’re doing, fear of being perceived as a know-it-all, fear of being judged or becoming judgmental, etc.

In this episode, Becky Bailey and special guest Alissa McGraw discuss how to overcome common obstacles to peer coaching. Alissa is a 14-year veteran teacher who started out as the only teacher practicing Conscious Discipline at her elementary school. Now, she hosts twice monthly voluntary meetings attended by administrators, counselors, and 25-30 teachers. Listen as Alissa describes her transformative peer coaching process, including how to build connections and foster collaboration.

Essential Takeaways

  • Peer coaching is a “win-win” for all involved. The best way to learn something is to do it yourself, then teach it to others. Teaching others encourages reflection and self-discovery.
  • Limiting beliefs about ourselves sometimes decrease our willingness to coach or be coached. Remember that sharing your gifts in no way discounts the gifts of others.
  • The peer coaching process can include answering questions, modeling, observing other teachers and being observed by others. You may also want to conduct voluntary meetings or book studies with interested teachers.
  • The classroom is a “sacred space” for many teachers. For peers to be comfortable inviting you into their classrooms, it’s essential that you build authentic connections.
  • Transformational change can’t be forced; it must be inspired. Work with the teachers who are willing and give time and space to those who aren’t.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • Start off slow. Send out emails to gauge interest, consider hosting voluntary meetings, and express a willingness to visit classrooms or invite others into your classroom.
  • Get your students involved in the coaching process. Have them read Shubert books to younger children or model structures like the Brain Smart Start and the Time Machine.
  • Live it! Be the person you want others to become. Share your journey openly with others and build connections that pave the way for collaboration.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline 

  • :20 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :54 The power of paying it forward
  • 2:20 Addressing the limiting beliefs that keep us from coaching/being coached by peers
  • 4:55 Introduction of guest Alissa McGraw
  • 6:28 Impact of Conscious Discipline
  • 9:30 Using Conscious Discipline with older students
  • 12:25 Getting into peer coaching
  • 13:40 Sharing Conscious Discipline with peers through voluntary meetings
  • 14:08 Evolution of Alissa’s monthly meetings
  • 15:15 Relationship building and its impact on peer coaching
  • 16:50 Alissa’s coaching process
  • 18:20 The role of administrative support in peer coaching
  • 19:35 Story of a support teacher’s success with noticing
  • 22:30 Responding to peer teachers who are not willing
  • 25:10 Three tips for teachers considering peer coaching
  • 27:50 What’s Becky up to?

Thank You for Listening

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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.