Another educator who is learning to be a coach asked me- “So am I still a classroom teacher? It’s like I don’t fit in like I use to. “
I explained that I know exactly how she feels and that I struggle with this everyday. I’m no longer viewed as a classroom teacher, a leader, or part of a team. Although, I view building the capacity of others is a form of leadership. Others have also recently shared that by being out of the classroom, I should be concerned about my credibility. I wonder who determines your credibility?
Working independently as a professional learning coach, confidentiality is a vital component. And yet, I’m very much a collaborator. I can work on my own but my best work and ideas comes from bouncing ideas off others. I can push myself out of my comfort zone but I much prefer to contribute to a team and grow and learn together. I enjoy working with people and receiving real time feedback. As an extravert, my energy and edu-mojo comes from interacting with others. The one part of my role I really wrestle with is the isolation. The one-on-one conversations provide an opportunity to contribute and build the capacity of others. Coaching relies on trust and I would never share a coaching conversation. That, in itself is isolating. Moving from a learning environment where you share, seek second opinions, and gain others' point of view, to the world of coaching, takes some adjustment. I'm fortunate to have a network of coaches from other schools and even other countries.
So coach, you're not alone... I know exactly how you feel.