We can make professional development more engaging by personalizing the learning and empowering our staff. As educators, we seek out ways to provide our students with opportunities to take a more active role in their learning. As coaches, we should do the same. Let your staff take ownership of their own professional development and decide what they want to learn. Personalize your coaching style to accommodate their needs and synergize your efforts.
In order to do this, you must know your staff. You must understand their goals, their triumphs, and their challenges. One way that I’ve accomplished this with my staff is by using a SWOT Analysis and Action Plan. (For more information regarding a SWOT Analysis, click here). It’s a great self-reflection tool that opens many opportunities for discussing your staff’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats to their development. To keep it more focused, I’ve always asked my staff about their short term and long term goals before having them complete a SWOT Analysis. This helps keeps their thinking to areas of the analysis that pertain most to achieving their goals.