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.
Please sign up here to receive the Coaching Letter in your inbox.
Hello, I hope this finds you well. Amazingly, this newsletter now reaches people on every continent (except Antarctica), so it’s possible that where you are educators are not crazed, stressed or fried. But most of the people I talk to are all three—being an educator during this pandemic presents challenges greater than almost any of us has faced before. I am sorry that I can’t do more to make your lives easier.
This is a follow-up on the interplay […]
Good evening, I hope this find you well. It has been a very busy and tiring week—and I don’t even work in a school. My heart goes out to the educators who are working their tails off all day, many of them with their own small children at home, and then are working many additional hours in the evening, between getting dinner on the table and doing the laundry. It’s a lot, I know.
Hello, I hope you’re doing well. I know you’re busy, so I have held off sending out a Coaching Letter until I was sure I would be sending you something useful. This, I hope, is that letter. It’s about lots of things, actually—perceived self-efficacy, mental models, emotions, self-awareness—but let’s bundle those all together and generalize under the banner of emotional intelligence.
This letter was prompted by several conversations I’ve had recently with leaders who are a bit frustrated by […]
Hello, I hope the weather is good wherever you are, and that you are getting some time to rest and recover after what was, for almost all of you, a very tiring week. But I’m also aware that a sizeable number of readers of the Coaching Letter are on the West Coast, and badly affected by the fires that are devastating huge areas—who would have thought it was possible for so many crises to coincide. I am so […]
Hi, I hope this finds you well. This Coaching Letter is mostly a follow-up to Coaching Letter #122, about encouragement. But first I get to promote my own book! The Strategy Playbook for Educational Leaders, by Isobel Stevenson and Jennie Weiner, is now available for pre-order; Routledge has a back-to-school sale on at the moment, so now is the time to buy. When describing it to people, I find myself quoting Andy […]
Hello, I hope you’re well. The weather here in Connecticut has been glorious the last couple of days—I was going to say it was very far from the dog days of summer, thinking that that phrase meant something about ridiculous heat. But I looked it up and it turns out it has to do with the Greeks and constellations. Who knew?
I think many of you are taking a break this week or next—I certainly hope […]
Hello, I hope you are well, and I hope you have power and internet. Last week was challenging, because Isaias was deceptive—it didn’t seem like a big storm, so I wasn’t really prepared to be without internet for several days. To be fair, I’m not sure what more I could have done to prepare for being without internet. Luckily, I didn’t have to go too far to get it—the local Starbucks, or the parking lot of the Community […]
It’s been a grueling few months, hasn’t it? I hope you are doing OK. Many of the people reading this Coaching Letter have really had no break at all since we shuttered the schools in March. And now we have to gear up for whatever happens next, and that too will be a ton of work—is already a ton of work. I realized that things were getting heavy when one of my oldest and best friends—a woman whom […]
Hello, I hope you’re well. This Coaching Letter is about planning for the fall the right way—by paying attention to the research and by not getting trapped in a deficit mindset.
As part of my principal preparation program—I mean, the one I took as a student myself—I had to take two courses in the C & I department. (This, amazingly enough, is not required in all principal prep programs, many of which start from the premise that everyone entering […]
Hi there. I hope you’re doing well. I don’t know if the end of the school year has provided you any respite or not–I know things are still very busy. I hope you do get to breathe a bt. Here in Connecticut it’s been ridiculously hot and muggy, and I am grateful that we have air conditioning. This Coaching Letter is about formative assessment and acceleration not remediation.
I’ve presented on planning teaching and learning for the Re-opening School […]