As a teacher, I was able to participate in the “Your Students today…Leaders tomorrow – Coaching Techniques for Language Teachers to Enhance Teenagers’ 21st Century Competencies” course a few years back and it has changed my approach to teaching, especially my teen students. Coaching was not a new concept for me as I have used and taught coaching in the military to help young leaders become empowered to making the right decisions. Now I was learning how to apply coaching techniques to the teaching of foreign languages. Having been teaching for a few years this was exciting for me to develop the skills needed to support my students in getting important 21st century life skills such as how to work in teams, problem solve, think critically and creatively, and how to communicate effectively.
By taking part in the course, I have learned that using coaching techniques in the classroom has expanded my abilities to connect with the students in a unique way. I was able to have my students to not only learn the language, they have worked so hard to understand, but to empower them and actually use and think in the language they are learning. This course has helped me understand my role as a teacher/coach and to take a step back and encourage my students to take “ownership” of the project by working together as a team. I learned throughout the course that my focus was no longer the final product but the process in getting there.
I thought it was great that the course fully immerses you right from the start. So, I thought I would talk about the module that I thought stood out. Don’t get me wrong, they were all great and each module builds on the next, but in module one, you learn a great deal about yourself and your personality and how to pull out the best from your students. In this module, you do quite a bit of self-reflection and activities to see where you fit in as a team member. I remember learning “appreciation sentences” to teach students to be more appreciative of their team members. This activity stood out because it showed me how to incorporate positivity into the classroom and how I could introduce a way for students to interact and get to know each other, but also a chance for me to reflect on how to appreciate more myself and promote positivity in classroom environment.
This module also raised my awareness on encouraging and guiding my students in finding their own voice by choosing the roles they are to perform based on their strengths and reflect on if it is the best for the team. I could use this to help my students set and track their goals more effectively and I could do the same with my own personal and professional goals.
The rest of the modules were equally impactful, and I could go on for hours talking about my favorite parts of each, like powerful questioning in Module two and teambuilding in Module 5 and even the steps of project-based learning in Module seven. All of them, which made me a better teacher and most importantly a better coach, but each teacher gets to experience something different throughout the course and taking with them the tools needed to create an amazing and fun classroom experience.
So, in the end, I think if you are looking to challenge yourself and your students and enrich your classroom with empowering your students to learn new life skills. I think this course is for you and you should sign up today. I also want to give Palmina, many thanks because it is clear through the development of the course, she has a passion to inspire young minds and develop great teachers, which has changed the way I approach teaching today.