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Teaching Coaching in Turkey

I’ve just spent a week in Turkey teaching Part 2 of the Adler Certificate Program to a group of teachers and administrators from the Issikent School located in Izmir Turkey, about an hour by air south of Istanbul.

As I sit here waiting for my next flight connection (I’m going from Izmir to Istanbul to Frankurt to Toronto) and hoping that my luggage somehow miraculously makes the same connections, I’ve got some time to reflect on the past week.

Ishmir is an idyllic seaside town of 5 million yet a world away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. People here are more relaxed, more polite and not in such a big hurry.

Everyone here works on Turkish time (which I think I’m finally getting used to). Turkish time represents a fairly loose approach to schedules. If the course is scheduled to start at 9 AM for example, this could mean anywhere from 8:59 or so to 9:20 AM or thereabouts. Also a 5 PM finishing time might be 5:30 depending on what still needs to be said. I initially felt this loose approach to time was disrespectful but now understand that it is simply their culture and that they get every bit as much accomplished regardless.

I had an amazing time co-leading Part 2 of the Adler Program with Vedat Erol which we delivered in English and Turkish, much to the delight of the students.

Our decision to take the time to translate various aspects of the course on the fly turned out to be a very astute decision. The learning was significantly enhanced because they got to talk, discuss, converse and practise in their native tongue.

Although it was after the end of the school year in Turkey, the teachers found the energy (they are usually now on holiday) to be active participants in this very tool intense program. We got great feedback and they are ready to move on to Part 3 of the course (enjoy Adria and Vedat).

This program was particularly exciting because the teachers at Issikent school are pioneers – taking coaching into the school system and designing how they will use coaching skills with students parents and administrators. They are well aware of the challenges they face which were illuminated by the exercise…

  • what excites you about taking coaching into an education system
  • what concerns you about taking coaching into an education system

They began to see themselves as a learning system and are eager to try their new skills.

So to all you teachers out there who are reading this blog, I challenge you to think how you might be able to take coaching into your classrooms, your school or your administration (we also had administrators in the room). Just imagine the shift that will happen!

PS: feel free to call me at 905-815-8469 to hear more.

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