Considering Differences

Team B

CUR 540

Instr. Sara Mattson

March 14, 2016

Important Considerations for Coaches

When it comes to coaching teachers, there are a few important aspects that must be considered in order to be effective. These include gender, culture, and generational differences.

  • Men and women think and react differently because they are innately different and their brains are wired differently. This must be considered when finding the best way to coach teachers from each gender.
  • Cultural differences are an important consideration as well. A person's culture can influence their attitudes, expectations, and behaviors.
  • Finally, coaching across different generations can be very challenging. There are many stereotypes that go along with these different generations and should be avoided. It is important to respect the experience of one generation while avoiding another generation feeling attacked, to be straightforward and to the point quickly with one generation while another wants all the nuts and bolts and extras to be included.

Gender

Men's brains and women's brains are different.


"Men’s brains are made up of little boxes and we have a box for everything. And the rule is the boxes do not touch. A woman’s brain is made up of a big ball of wire and everything is connected to everything…It’s like the Internet super highway, and it’s all driven by energy that we call emotion" (Gungor, 2016).



  • Women will usually take all the help they can get while men are hesitant because they think it makes them look weak (Sweeney, 2011).
  • When coaching men, be straightforward and logical, use action words such as "increasing student achievement", with women, connect to emotion by discussing what the work should accomplish and how it will affect others (Sweeney, 2011).
  • Avoid interrupting men, listen and address only the needs they state. However, with women, interrupting tends to be seen as a sign the other person is listening and understanding (Sweeney, 2011).
  • Get straight to the point and avoid fluff with men. Allow women the time needed to process the information (Sweeney, 2011).
  • Face to face communication is best when dealing with women but can be uncomfortable for men and seem confrontational, so other means of communication may be better (Sweeney, 2011).

Culture

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The culture of members in a mentoring/coaching relationship is also one that should be taken into consideration. Mentors need not have the same cultural or social background as their mentees. But they must pay close attention to the implications of the differences (Crutcher, 2007).


Just as the mentor and mentee each bring their own knowledge and teaching experiences to the table, they also bring their own cultural values. A persons culture can a great influence on:


  • Attitudes
  • Expectations
  • Behaviors


The mentor and mentee must both keep this in mind told avoid unnecessary conflict. Mentors may use this cultural awareness to build relationships with their mentee. Some of our attitudes towards people of other cultures may be biased. There are steps a mentor can take to determine their own biases and increase your cultural awareness.


Osula and Irvin (2009) state that "the constructs of cultural sensitivity, empathy, mindfulness, and competence with their respective nuances reveal the multifaceted character of cultural awareness" (p.6).

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Video

Generations

"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."

---George Orwell


Generational Groups

Traditionalist
  • Born before1945
  • 75 million people
Baby Boomers
  • Born between 1946 and1964
  • 80 million people

Generation X

  • Born between 1965 and 1980
  • 46 million people

Millennials

  • Born after 1980
  • 76 million people
In conclusion, there are several aspects to take into account when starting a coaching relationship. While each group of people may have their own beliefs, values or ways of doing things, the coach must still find ways to help them improve their instructional practice. The coach can do this by becoming aware or the differences between groups and knowing some of the challenges associated with various groups. By understanding these challenges, the coach can focus on ways harness these differences into a learning experience that benefits both the teacher and the coach.

References

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Video. (2013, February 7). Retrieved March 14, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Is7BumsNAQ


Crutcher, B. N. (2007). Mentoring across Cultures. Academe, 93(4).


Gungor, M. (2016). Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. Retrieved from http://www.laughyourway.com/video-library/Mens-Brains-vs-Womens-Brains/.


Sweeney, D. (2011). Student-Centered Coaching: A Guide for K-8 Coaches and Principals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.


Osula, B., & Irvin, S. (2009). Cultural Awareness in Intercultural Mentoring: A Model for Enhancing Mentoring Relationships. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(1).