Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coach me, show me, teach me ...

I'm an educator by trade ... it's how I make my living and I'm lucky enough to have fallen into a job I  love.

Pedagogy fascinates me. How can I be a better instructor? Facilitator? Teacher? Trainer?
How do people really learn? How do dogs and other animals really learn?
Finding solid coaching in my animal world has made me look at education from both sides of the coin.

Some things I know are true:
  • everyone learns differently
  • positive instruction leads to better learning
  • perfect practise and opportunities to try things for yourself lead to best results

further; a good educator:
  • will help you set realistic goals
  • will also push you beyond where you thought you could go
  • will let you learn
  • will ground you
  • will offer CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions when you struggle but let you find your way
  • will keep you safe (physically and emotionally)

I have worked with a few different trainers and coaches in the agility world but my own lack of coachability interferes with making the most of opportunities.
A online assessment tool I used last fall had this to say:

Coachability This is about how well you handle criticism and your ability to make changes to improve your performances.
0-4 Below average - Improvement during training is slow, you have trouble managing your emotions when criticized.
5-9 Average - You benefit from your coach's comments but can lose motivation during practice if there is a lot of criticism.10-12 Above average - You make adjustments quickly and enjoy the challenges of training with a demanding coach.

Your Score: 8 / 12

My coachability is directly influenced by my knowledge of pedagogy. I want to learn but I want the premise behind the educable moments clearly laid out as well. Frustrating for the brave suckers who take me on as a student I'm sure.
Asking me to blindly so something new is sure fire way to provoke a discussion. Not ideal in group classes for sure. Telling me that there is only one way to do something also tends to push me to prove the other ways something can be done.

I'm a lousy student for teachers to work with. I feel badly about that.  I beat my own path and think through puzzles for myself.

I wish I was more coachable.


Sara said...

This was great! Whenever teachers have to sit in a seminar/conference, I notice that we are the worst students! We do the crossword, carry on conversations, grade papers, sleep, etc. Cracks me up!

I find that the instructors who I like the most are the ones whose teaching style is similar to mine....warm and cozy and full of positive reinforcement. Not sure if I learn as much that way, but I go home feeling good.

andrea said...

Sara - OMG - we should work together .... we would both feel great and I bet we could teach each other something :)