This is BLOG 3 of the Director’s Opinion series, originally published on LinkedIn.

In the last two posts, I’ve been talking about the power of remote teacher training, especially in the current situation where schools are looking to minimise the number of people who are coming into their buildings. You can read my articles on the importance of virtual teacher training and the opportunities to engage former teachers from around the world.

But what is remote coaching really like? Can it really replace the relationships that are created between a teacher and a mentor when they meet? While face-to-face relationships are important, our work at ONVU Learning shows that professional respect, time to establish mutual trust and a shared language for lesson reflection are three important factors in successful remote coaching – not distance!

  • Trust comes from schools and teachers that are secure in their passion for teaching and the ambition to develop their teachers, not to constantly assess or grade them. To ensure this, schools and trainee teachers need to be clear about the goals of any remote coaching and how it can complement the formal processes that are needed to meet the required standards of the course they are on.
  • Respect comes from teachers and mentors understanding that all of their goals and their challenges are similar, wherever in the world they are – engaging young people and helping them to grow and understand new ideas. This means finding the right people to be remote coaches – those with significant classroom experience but who are still aware of the challenges that face those new to a full teaching timetable and those happy to work to create small changes over time.
  • And the shared language is vital – there are many different ways of approaching this, but they all require practical expertise. I’m proud to be working at ONVU Learning with Dr Sean Warren, his focus on self-reflection and, as he puts it, ‘telling teachers where to look but not telling them what to see’ has led to incredible feedback from the schools that we have partnered with and the resultant case studies.

You can read more about our work with Hereford Academy in the UK and the Doon School in India on ONVU Learning’s School Case Study page.

Join us for an exclusive webinar:

Lesson Observation – Innovating in the New Normal

ONVU Learning is hosting a webinar for those responsible for teacher training and development that will bring together school leaders, teachers, expert coaches and technologists to discuss these issues.

Date to be announced soon – FREE to attend.

Register your interest now!