The Coaching Letter is written by Center staff member Isobel Stevenson, who has extensive experience as both a leader and a coach. The Coaching Letter’s perspective is that leaders could be a bit more successful if they thought and acted more like coaches, and coaches could be a bit more successful if they thought and acted more like leaders. Isobel draws on research and theory in organizational development, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics, as well as her own experience, to suggest to leaders and coaches ways to think about their work that push them a little bit beyond their current mental models. The Coaching Letter is rich, thoughtful, personal, and funny.
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Hi, I hope this finds you well! The contents of these coaching letters are a mix of things I’ve wanted to say for a long time, things I feel like I say all the time, and things that I’m just now learning and thinking about. This letter represents a mix of all three. I know it’s a bit out of sequence, because I have so much to say about the last Coaching Letter, #105, given all the […]
Hello, I hope your weekend has been enjoyable. Here in Connecticut the temperature has been in the 60s, which in previous years would have felt like a miraculous respite from the winter weather, but in the context of the fires in Australia, seems merely ominous.
Every time I speak or write lately, I seem to gravitate back to the topic of small cycles of continuous improvement. This week I was going to write about the role of leadership in […]
Happy New Year! Lang may your lum reek—or, in American English, may there always be a fire in your fireplace. New Year is a big holiday in my tradition, and I wish you all the best for 2020.
This Coaching Letter is your encouragement to join with Center staff, colleagues across Connecticut and friends around the world in a conversation about the Center’s latest Reading for Leading book club selection, How to Be An Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi. […]
Hello, I hope this finds you well. Most schools in Connecticut have had three or four snow days already, so I hope you are warm and dry wherever you are. The last Coaching Letter, #102, was about small cycles of continuous improvement, and so is this one. It also connects to Coaching Letter #94, in which I tried to make the link between strategic planning and small cycles of continuous improvement, and to that end quoted […]
Hello, and welcome back after Thanksgiving. I always feel like it’s the hardest holiday to come back from—somehow it’s not long enough to deal with all the over-consumption—gastronomic and otherwise—that happens. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself. But it is long enough to get some serious reading done, especially when you tag on a couple of snow days, so I spent some time chasing down some ideas that I’ve been curious about. And what started as an attempt […]
Friends, two years ago at Thanksgiving I sent out Coaching Letter #14 about the science of gratitude. People still bring it up to me as a message that meant a lot to them; I am glad for that. Interestingly, my life got a lot more difficult and complicated after I wrote it, but I feel the same way, and I am grateful for all the people who have been encouraging and supportive. So here’s what I’ve been […]
Friends, thank you for all the encouragement I have received lately, on a variety of projects. And a big shout-out to all the coaches I have worked with lately in a variety of contexts—thank you for all the work you do to support other educators. I know it’s harder than it looks. And also, it was great to have so many conversations at #CABECAPSS2019. I talked to so many people who had lovely things to say about […]
Good morning! I find it interesting that the one thing I get asked about the most is adult learning. It is also the hardest thing for me to respond to, because the field is so vast and there are so many approaches. So tackling adult learning as a discrete topic in a Coaching Letter is daunting. Not to mention: there are recipients of this Coaching Letter who know an awful lot more about the field than I do. […]
Today is Day One of the Center’s fourth annual Equity Institute, which I have written about (and tweeted about—check out #equitableclassrooms) before. Our approach to talking about equity is to use the power of story and the power of art to take people into a third space where it is possible to have deep conversations about the meaning, impact, and obligations of inequity, and the power we have to propel us towards equitable schools and classrooms. We […]
I hope you’re doing well. In my part of New England we are at the peak of fall, and it’s gorgeous outside. This Coaching Letter is about communication, because it’s been a theme in the work I’ve been doing with several districts lately. Leadership teams have a lot of figuring out to do, a lot of meaning making for themselves, and so it’s another layer of cognitive challenge to think about what others need to know. But it’s […]