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Going with the Goers?

May 13, 2010

Workplace coaches are often advised to “go with the goers” when deciding with whom they might partner. The idea is that those who are eager to collaborate with coaches are going to be the ones who make the best coaching partners.

Everyone deserves and benefits from a coach, and this is true of the “goers” as well as others. However, educational coaches who start out with those teachers most eager to collaborate often find it difficult to move beyond that group and connect with others.

I suspect the reason for this is that the goers are seen by their colleagues as the ones who always volunteer, who are always eager, who are working with a level of zest that most people in any profession just don’t muster. And therefore, those goers are seen as different, unlike most, and therefore the fact that goers have connected with a coach means nothing to the rest of the teaching staff.

I have written elsewhere, including here in other blogs at this site, about working with the school leadership team to identify a pool of teachers who will be the priority partners for coaches. I do think that is the wisest approach in most cases. However, for coaches who, for whatever reason, do not use this approach, then I suggest identifying the teachers who are hubs.

In understanding the concept of hub, you might think about airports that are hubs. If your local airport is a regional airport – Grand Rapids, Spokane, or Pensacola, for instance – you likely fly to a larger hub on most all of your airline travels. Those hubs – Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, O’Hare in Chicago, LAX in Las Angeles, for instance – are the places that many airlines fly to and from. They form significant links in the complex network of flights around the United States and beyond.

In a similar manner, some people are hubs in their workplaces. They are the ones who seem to know news first, the people others turn to for the details of new initiatives, the colleagues that one trusts to be in-the-know. Such human hubs are influential.

When coaches partner with teachers who serve as hubs in their schools, others take note. Such teachers are the ones who will tell their colleagues about the benefits of coaching partnerships and will get those colleagues to consider coaching partnerships for themselves.

Connect with the hubs and you will expand your influence as a coach!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ann permalink
    October 6, 2010 5:11 pm

    I totally agree with the idea of building a relationship with teachers who are hubs, but what if the “hub” is a power player who is full of ineffective strategies and “old school” thinking and part of the “good ol boys (girls) club. Some “hubs” want you to be working with the students in a pullout model because that’s what she and most of the others feel is effective. Add to that an administrator who won’t stand up to them or challenge their thinking.

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