Interview Esprit Academy
Four questions to Nynke Hondius, teacher of group 5 at AICS and supervisor of newly qualified teachers, about the course ‘Coaching skills’
1. Why did you choose this training?
Nynke: “It was recommended by the school because we are currently deciding on new roles with a number of colleagues where these skills will be especially relevant. I myself have 13 years of classroom teaching experience, but that is very different to coaching adults in their professional development. I had the feeling that I could improve my skills, that’s why I said ‘yes’.”
2. What have you learned?
“Our trainer Natasja Maas takes the sessions with such enthusiasm that I look forward to each session and have so much more energy afterwards. She also has experience in coaching crash-course candidates and lateral-entry teachers, which allows her to relate closely to real-life situations. An eye opener for me was that sometimes you think you’re listening carefully to someone, but at the same time you unconsciously ‘fill in’ a particular answer and build on that. In this training session I’ve learned better to ask open questions with the aim of getting more information and forming a clearer picture.”
3. How does it benefit you in your work?
“After the first session I quickly realised that I converse with my coaches differently now. I don’t steer the conversation so much and ask in a more open-minded way how they experience and deal with a particular situation. I can also base my coaching on theoretical knowledge rather than feeling. Giving feedback is most effective in a safe environment, so that an individual’s self-confidence remains intact and he or she can grow further. This is also true, by the way, if you yourself are learning. That’s why I’m pleased that I’m taking this course with my own colleagues. We have agreed to celebrate each other’s successes and point out our blind spots, but that’s only possible if everyone feels safe.”
4. What do you think about the Esprit Academy?
“Our school has signed up the group for this training session. I also logged in and looked at some examples. It looks great, but in order to familiarise myself with it I need to study it in more depth, but there’s little time to do that at the moment. I’d previously taken the course for workplace supervisors in preparation for my role as a school trainer. This is also given in English. It would be good if more courses could eventually be given in English.”
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