This entry is from the module entitled Leading in a Group where we looked at how adults learn, the importance of having difficult conversations to give people real feedback, mentorship (the NTIP program), considering cross-curricular lesson planning and coming up with staff meeting agenda.
In this assignment we were asked to collaborate to develop a dialogue around a courageous conversation. My partner and I chose to make a dialogue between a teacher (who had not made necessary changes to assessment practices and was still relying on quizzes and tests) and an instructional coach. Creating this dialogue forces us to think about ways to have a courageous conversation in a way that made the teacher's experience valuable while finding out what they needed so that we could gauge how to move forward. We tried to phrase things in a way that asked for the teacher's input instead of making assumptions about what they needed to move forward in their practice.
I chose this assignment for my portfolio because I believe that having difficult conversations - confronting uncomfortable things - is the skill that needs the greatest improvement. It is something I have often avoided throughout my life, but I am working on it and felt that this portion of the course helped me to reflect on it in a more concrete way.
Our readings/videos suggested these steps for having courageous conversations (for giving feedback to an employee in a business):
1. Prepare them
2. Get to the point
3. Link to business
4. Agree on action
and I felt that in starting this dialogue that we knew:
1. The teacher was prepared because of past conversations with department members/head and knew they were meeting with the instructional coach and why
2. To get to the point quickly
3. To relate the work to the teachers own goals and ideas and give choice
4. To come up with a plan for follow through
Here is the conversation we developed: