In response to the post, “Instructional Discussions,” a reader writes:

“Here is one key concept in response to your post that the LYS philosophy stresses that people have such a hard time comprehending: We need to FORCE teachers to be “coaches,” not lecturers, and model for them what true instructional coaching is. When I went through the LYS Leadership Development Academy, Cain talked it, preached it, and always modeled it. Our staff had no doubt what instructional coaching was.

As we all transformed from lecturers to actively engaged coaches, success permeated our inner city secondary campus. Coaching is the word and the concept. But it is too simple for the majority of educators to grasp.”

SC Response
You are right. You also hit on one of the six keys to rapid change. Once you train your people, you have to make them implement the training. That sounds draconian, but it really isn’t. Because over 90% of making someone “do” something involves coaching, observation, feedback, timely support, encouragement and problem solving. When that is in place, the “doing” occurs more effectively and efficiently. As you pointed out, this is what we lived everyday, in real time and in real classrooms, at the Leadership Development Academy.

Now juxtapose that to the traditional model in place at most campuses.

1. Campus administration stays in their silos.

2. Central office never ventures out from Downtown.

3. Teachers hunker down in their classrooms.

4. Meaningful training occurs infrequently (if at all).

5. Some level of administration mandates improved performance.

6.Teachers continue to do what they feel is most effective.

7. Finally, the weakest link gets the blame for the failures of the campus. Depending on the campus, the weakest link is usually identified as “those students” or “those teachers.”

As you can see (and many of you have lived through), the shift to LYS philosophy is dramatic. Since most educators have only been exposed to the traditional system, they do not believe that the LYS’er is there to coach, up until someone proves to be uncoachable. Understandably, their initial response is to fight and pushback. Hence, the “make them implement” rule. But with LYS, “make” is all together different.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…