The GCI Coaching in Education podcast series is now exclusively devoted to sharing stories from the field! Educators from the full range of educational settings worldwide share their coaching journeys including their starting points, what’s worked, what’s been challenging, and how they have adapted approaches to suit their contexts. It’s where theory and good intentions meet reality, and consequently, these stories offer lots of insights about implementing coaching in educational settings.

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Ian Dickinson - Pigeon Mountain Primary School

In this episode I'm in conversation with Ian Dickinson, Principal of Pigeon Mountain Primary School in Auckland, New Zealand. Listen in as Ian shares many of the wins as well as some of the barriers he has experienced over recent years developing a coaching culture. Join me as I learn how video peer coaching has provided a wonderful vehicle for improving the quality of conversations as the school aims to provide an 'Education with a Heart'.


Janice Lenarduzzi - MacGregor State School

In this episode I have packed up my microphone, left Auckland, New Zealand and headed across to Queensland in Australia to chat with Janice Lenarduzzi, Deputy Principal at MacGregor State School. Janice shares with us the successes and challenges of introducing a coaching culture in a large state school of over 50 staff and 1300 pupils. Starting out with only two coaches Janice invests time and energy in unpacking what coaching is, succeeds in convincing 50% of the staff to take a risk and sign up and then shares with us the impact coaching has on both teaching practice and pupil outcomes. This story is well worth a listen.


Alison Spence - Kohia Terrace School

In this episode I talk to Alison Spence, Principal of Kohia Terrace School in Auckland, New Zealand. Alison shares the highs (and lows) of establishing a coaching culture in her school. From a challenging first few years Alison has successfully developed coaching to a level where the majority of her staff are now trained coaches, an amazing sixty students have been trained as coaches and she herself spends time coaching leaders from neighbouring schools in the Kohia community. In Alison's own words Coaching is something we live and breathe at Kohia School. Join us for a truly inspirational story.


GCI Coaching in Education Podcast Re-Launch Episode

In this ‘re-launch’ episode of the Coaching in Education podcast, GCI Managing Director Chris Munro introduces our new podcast host Richard Reid and interviews him about his own coaching journey. As you will hear, Richard is a school leader who has experienced and witnessed the benefits of coaching in school settings. Richard continues to work as a Principal in County Down, Northern Ireland and is a podcasting enthusiast in his ‘spare’ time. He brings the warm and humble perspective of teacher, Principal, coach and mentor to his new role hosting our podcast series.


Solution Focus coaching

Meet Annette Gray, Director of Strategy and Development with GCI, who has a passion for Solution Focus (SF) coaching. This extends beyond her own coaching and facilitation of the Solution Focused Masterclass to a high level of involvement with SF communities of practice globally. Annette shares some of her expertise with us in this podcast where she elaborates on the distinguishing features of SF coaching, emerging trends in the field internationally, and gives some tips for school leaders wanting to introduce more of an SF approach into their workplace conversations


The School as a Conversational Community

In this podcast, Leigh talks to John Campbell, GCI Executive Director, on the topic of schools as conversational communities. John talks about conversational contexts in schools and where the coaching style conversation could make a difference.


Students as Peer Coaches

Do students have the emotional intelligence to coach their peers? And what would some of the other key considerations be for schools interested in implementing a student peer coaching program.
In this short interview, we talk to Ben Calleja, Co-Director at GCI WA, SA & NT, who explains what others have found in this exciting new area of coaching.


Case Study - Laing O'Rourke

Over the last 18 months GCI Director, Annette Gray, helped initiate and embed a coaching culture to improve safety at Laing O’Rourke, a multinational construction company. Laing O’Rourke is a quite a different setting to the education sector that GCI mostly works in. But in this conversation, Rob and Suzy share a lot of transferrable insights for educators. Listen to how taking a different approach to safety and changing the conversation to be more solution-focussed has helped Laing O’Rourke.

In this podcast, Rob Mitchell, Coaching Lead at Laing O’Rourke and Suzy Ivy, Training Coordinator at Laing O’Rourke share the impact coaching has had on their organisation.


An interview with Dr Jim Knight
New Partnership - GCI and ICG

Growth Coaching International (GCI) is excited to announce a new partnership with Dr Jim Knight and the Instructional Coaching Group (ICG). This partnership will enable GCI to deliver the world-leading instructional coaching programs to educators in Australia and New Zealand.

In this interview, we talk with Jim about his work and what he’s discovered in over twenty years’ of studying professional learning.


Case Study Santa Maria College WA

Staff and students at Santa Maria College in Western Australia are encouraged to focus on growth.

In this interview, Anthony Phillips and Shani Andrews share practical implementation tips and discuss the significant benefits of the Teacher Growth and Development Framework (GROW) program, a program designed to develop a culture of improvement with coaching and feedback in education.


Building Capacity, Cooperation and Confidence through Coaching

Peter Macbeth is passionate about building belief in young people. At the core of this drive to meet the needs of young people in their context is the focus on building relationships and on good communication, something which can be challenging in the far-flung areas of the Far West of New South Wales, Australia.

In this interview, Peter explains how coaching has become a key strategy in the way in which they build the capacity, cooperation and confidence in the Far West.


Impactful Transformation Begins With Small Steps

Change happens from very small steps - those small steps can make a huge impact. This is a follow-up interview with Elena Joli, a science teacher who went to Antarctica to help make an impact on climate change and in the process discovered a new, more personal understanding of the concept of ‘leadership’.

You will hear how Elena, with the encouragement of coach Annette Gray, dared to step out of her comfort zone and explore her own resourcefulness, taking her transformation beyond the experience of the journey itself.


Using a Coaching Approach to Grow the Capacity of Beginning Teachers

Exposing graduate teachers to models of good practice involves navigating along the conversational continuum between mentoring and coaching. This is a school-based story about how using a blended approach to mentoring and coaching, as needed, supports beginning teachers.

In this interview, Sue Richards, a former school leader with 40 years’ experience and current GCI coach, explains how she changed her default approach from mentoring beginning teachers to coaching them, allowing them to take greater ownership of their practice development and maintain their energy and enthusiasm for their important role.


Case Study - Woonona High School NSW

A coaching approach underpins the Woonona High School approach to professional learning, resulting in significant improvements in student learning outcomes.

In this interview, Belinda Wall, former Principal at Woonona and, since 2018, a Director with NSW public schools, describes how staff embraced coaching as a way to engage in a rich dialogue around their professional practice, and how students are being supported in a way that encourages them to accept responsibility for their learning goals.


How your Professional Conversations can Lead to New Learning

Learning how to effectively conduct professional conversations can achieve real change. Since the release of an important publication from AITSL, written by Professor Helen Timperley and focusing on professional conversations and improvement focused feedback, a lot of people are thinking more deeply about the term ‘professional conversations’ and what this means.

Dr Kristine Needham, Emeritus Consultant to GCI, believes it's important to get some clarity on these terms and what they mean to schools.


Case Study - Hale School Perth WA

Schools are complex environments faced with unique issues. In order for staff and students to flourish, relationships within the school need to be really highly connected. Hale School in Perth WA has embraced coaching as a platform to enable people to connect more deeply, to talk about professional practice and to be able to rely on one another's opinions when challenged with complex issues.

In this interview, Richard Goater, Director of Staff Development, explains how Hale uses a coaching approach to enable a platform for trust, development and growth.


Performance Development Conversations

Performance Development conversations are usually ‘cascading conversations’ which can set the direction for Peer Coaching conversations.

In this interview, we talk to Grant O’Sullivan about how a coaching approach is useful in these types of conversations and we explore how, and why, effective schools establish a viable link between Performance Development conversations and the Peer Coaching conversations.


How Coaching is Helping a Science Teacher Achieve her Antarctica Dream

As a child, Italian science teacher and physicist Elena Joli (Ph.D) dreamed about visiting Antarctica. In this inspiring interview, Elena, and her coach Annette Gray, explain how she has finally been able to achieve this goal as she heads off on the adventure of a lifetime with a ground-breaking year-long Women in Leadership program which is developed by Homeward Bound and aims to empower women in STEMM to influence climate change.

You’ll hear how Elena came to be involved in this project and how working with a coach has been invaluable in helping her to prepare for her role on board, giving her the best chance of a successful journey.


Using a Strengths-Based Approach in Education and at Home

As teachers and parents, how can we put the new scientific insights into using a strength-based approach into practise to help build resilience and optimism in children and teens?

In this inspiring interview, Professor Lea Waters shares practical tips on how we can identify, grow and call forward strengths in real-life situations at school and at home.


Case Study Churchlands Senior High School WA

Kate Grayson feels fortunate to have been coached by some wonderfully supportive people very early in her school career. Going through that process inspired her become a champion of coaching in her role as Deputy Principal at Churchlands Senior High School in WA.

In this interview, you will hear how Kate uses a coaching approach to inspire the development of others so that they can confidently meet the demands of their rapidly growing school community.


Getting Started With Coaching in Your Schools

You’ve completed your coach training and are keen to start implementing coaching in your school. But where to start?

In this short interview, Chris Munro, Growth Coaching Senior Consultant, gives us some practical tips on what happens after the workshop – moving from learning about coaching and how to do it, to actually enacting it in your local context.


Using a Solutions Focus Coaching Approach in School Improvement Strategies

Maria Serafim is a Director with NSW public schools where she has worked for more than a decade and currently supports 32 Principals. Maria is well-known to many in the field of education leadership, in particular for her application of a ‘Solutions Focused’ coaching approach to strategy and planning.

Maria’s story is an important one in terms of engaging, learning and growing for impact and improvement in education.


The Solutions Focus Approach to Finding Answers and Achieving Faster Personal and Organisational Progress

A Solutions Focused (SF) approach offers a way of managing change that leads to faster progress. It’s about finding what works and doing more of it.

In this interview Annette Gray, Director of Strategy and Development at GCI, shares the story of the success of the SF approach and gives a demonstration to show how adopting a Solutions Focused approach in conversations can lead to quick insights.


Making Conversations Count in Schools

The fundamental element of any sort of organisation is not necessarily a human being, it's a relationship. It’s conversations that build, grow, and sustain those relationships.

In this interview Jason Pascoe, Director at Growth Coaching International, explains the importance of each of the interactions within a school’s complex relational environment.


Case Study – Hercules Road Primary School QLD

Stephen Auer’s message is one of continued development for everyone - with coaching as a supported and confidential way of doing that.

As Principal at Hercules Road Primary School in Queensland, Stephen has implemented coaching not only as a way to build teacher capacity but also as a way to give every child at the school a better chance of improving.


Case Study - Killara High School NSW

Together with six other schools and Method Lecturers from Macquarie University, Killara High School teaching staff have embraced Peer Coaching in a way that is constructive, sustainable and which links teaching goals to strategic directions and standard descriptors from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

In this interview, Alison Gambino explains how coaching underpins their professional learning and supports teaching practice improvement.


Case Study - Casuarina Street Primary School, NT

Developing teachers and students in the Northern Territory is John Cleary’s passion. He believes the coaching process supports people to move from proficient to highly accomplished and lead in their practice, and that those standards really talk about what impact one can have on others.

In this interview, you will hear about the impact John, Principal at Casuarina Street, is making – from improving the staff retention rates to the significant improvements in reading, writing and numeracy achievement for students at his school.


Case Study - Stella Maris Catholic School Point Cook

Some leaders perceive ‘crucial conversations’ as potentially negative - but not Steve Harrison, Principal of the Stella Maris Catholic Primary School at Point Cook in Victoria. Steve embraces a coaching culture, freeing him, and his team, to talk about what really matters in a constructive way, so that conversations are shared and partnerships built and learning happens.

In this interview, you’ll hear how Steve embodies a coaching way of being. His passion will inspire you.


The Interplay between theory, research and practice in Coaching in Education

Back in 2012, Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh wrote the book Coaching in Education: Getting Better Results for Students, Educators and Parents. He understands that ultimately that’s what interests us all: getting the best results for everyone in our school community.

Since then, there has been more research into this area and in this interview Prof van Nieuwerburgh delves into the interplay between theory, research and practice and looks at coaching as an applied intervention.


Better Conversations with Dr Jim Knight and Gray Ryan

“Effective communication is an essential skill for a fulfilled life, and we can’t teach it to students if we don’t know how to do it ourselves.”

In this podcast, Leigh Hatcher interviews Dr Jim Knight about his new book, Better Conversations
Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected.
He is joined by Gray Ryan, our Senior Consultant based in Victoria.

Jim explores the beliefs and habits that are necessary to promote better communication leading to positive change. Gray talks about the benefits of better communication and how our new program, Better Conversations, is based on this book.


Chris Munro TER Podcast with Steven Kolber 2020

Chris Munro discussing teacher autonomy, professional learning and coaching with Steven Kolber for Teachers Education Review (TER) podcast. We would like to thank Cameron Malcher and Steven Kolber from TER for permission to edit and reproduce this recording.


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