In response to the post, “I got a Royal Flush – Part 6,” a long time LYS’er writes: SC, So well said, I hate to add more, but you know I can’t resist. Teachers get far too much abuse and not enough solutions to their problems. Let’s start by remembering that the cornerstone of LYS is that modeling is EVERYTHING. Now contrast that to the current, ridiculous trend of cognitive coaching taken to the extreme. I am not saying cognitive coaching is a bad concept in its entirety, but coaches of dubious ability and credentials have executed the cognitive coaching I have recently witnessed. After a little observation it is obvious they are using the meta-cognition component of cognitive coaching to cover up the fact they have NO CLUE how to actually solve problems themselves. If you have one of these people show up in your district or on your campus, pull out the ultimate trump card and ask him or her to, “SHOW ME!” Now we are back to modeling and the cognitive coaches that I have observed will now find themselves in a pickle. Because as E. Don Brown says, “If you don’t bring anything to the table, don’t come.” If ALL you have to offer your teachers is cognitive coaching, do yourself and your teachers a favor and just keep your mouth shut. SC Response I don’t condone your comment, but I understand it. I don’t believe that you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to be of assistance to them. But if you have never in your life walked a mile, what do you really have to offer? There is no question that the coaching model is effective. But there are two variables that are critical to that success, the willingness of the learner and the skill set of the coach. Learner willingness is what you bring to the table. Coaching skill set is what your coach brings to the table. If any of those two are lacking, the coaching relationship is greatly compromised. Not only do I believe this, I practice it. I tell the learner that if you don’t trust and value your coach, quit wasting your money and fire the person. I tell the coach that if the learner isn’t a willing participate and providing some effort, quit wasting your time and release the client. But here is my caveat, and it does apply to your case, where you have inherited a coach of dubious experience and expertise. Don’t dismiss, but listen to your “coach” and study him and his reasoning. The mental process you go through as you prove or disprove his theory of action will help you gain better insight and understanding of what you do and why you do it. This is a tremendously powerful process. Essentially, cognitive self-coaching as a mode of self-defense. And if you are really lucky, you may have the perfect anti-coach right in front of you. That is the person who is so consistently wrong that they actually help you make decisions. During my career I have had the incredible fortune (no sarcasm implied) to work with two such people. And they are still helping me make difficult decisions. When I find myself at one of those decision-making crossroads and I can’t decide which path to take, I ask myself, “What would Ron do?” Then I do the complete opposite. It works every time. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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