The Vegas Rule and Relationship Building #IMMOOCB3

Q4. Share some of your best ideas for building relationships and a culture of trust in your position?

As an instructional coach, building relationships and a culture of trust is everything.  Some things that I have learned and implemented are:

  • Applying the Vegas Rule to coaching sessions (“what happens with EduTechAndy, stays with EduTechAndy”) unless we both agree to share out results or conversations outside of that meeting.  If so then it’s to the Twitter and Instaface to share out findings!
  • Be very careful with the language I use when talking about others so not to betray or misrepresent someone.
  • Follow the Cognitive Coaching approach model which focuses more on asking questions (to find what the need is and see if the person already has the answer/skills necessary), rephrasing (to clarify understanding for both of us) and summarize back to them what I am hearing as opposed to strict consulting.  It focuses on the person and their skills, knowledge and experiences more than how I can solve their problem.
  • Ask them about kids, hobbies, things in common and really listen and followup on it later.
  • Lift up people when they apply what we’ve talked about whether it succeeds or fails.
  • Smile.

School vs Learning #IMMOOCB2

Q2. What are your connections to the “School vs Learning image? What would you add or modify?

My biggest connection is to the idea that “school teaches us to obtain information from certain people and learning promotes that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner” and “school often isolates and learning is often social.”  I would modify the first to say that:

“School teaches us to obtain information and relationships from certain people and learning promotes that everyone is a teacher, a learner and worth having a relationship with.

School, when done incorrectly, can do great harm in respects to building relationships.  If a student believes that a) they cannot connect and build relationships with other teachers and students and b) they cannot learn from teachers and students then everyone suffers from it.  This applies to both the connected world and their physical school.  

School, when done correctly, can help individuals greatly if they believe they can and should connect with others.  Their ideas need to be shared, questioned, built-on, remixed, sharpened, stripped down and exposed to be made better by other individuals.  That is how passive information becomes powerful information.

In The Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis said

“By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes.”

We cannot starve our students of the information and relationships that they so desperately need to effect change in their  world today.