It has been a while since I have written anything here, but I am still here and starting Year 2 of the course. My situation has changed and I am on target to achieving my goals, which is really very exciting.
So what has changed? I have started tutoring privately in maths which is one to one. I have also got a new job (zero hour contract unfortunately) as a support assistant with the adult services with the council. I think this will give me a great position to help those that need extra support and to watch a teacher at work in the sector I am interested in teaching in.
So what does this mean for my PGCE? I think this means I can start to understand how my teaching can be applied in different situations. In particular it gives me an interesting view on that old question of "Coaching verses Teaching", which is where I started.
Today I went in to meet the new Year 1s and give them some hints and tips for their first year based on my experience. As I was talking to them I realised how much I have enjoyed the journey so far and how pleased I am with where I am now. I might not remember every quote, author and complete details of the things I have learned, but I know I am already a better teacher. My confidence has grown. I really did enjoy writing my essays, because the thinking behind them has helped me move forward.
This leads me onto the next challenge which is my research project. On Friday I was thinking along the lines of how I adapt my "coaching" techniques to teaching maths, as I feel that I am doing the same kind of thing as I do when teaching canoeing or canoe education for that matter. Having discussed the issue of an actual research question, which I still haven't completely formulated, I do know have an idea going forward.
1. What is coaching? When I think of it I have a concept in my head based on my own experience, but I am fully aware that people who teach have a view too, so I know there are differences between coaching and teaching. Thus I need to Define Coaching - that is the background reading I need. Perhaps others have tried to fit coaching into teaching maths and so on, so perhaps I am not doing anything that new.
2. Once I can define coaching I should be able to draw out some key points and compare with what I actually do, and then look at variations to help learning. After all learning is key to all of this. The student should be central and their progress is important.

One suggestion has been to look at goal setting as a tool to learning, which I gather is part of coaching. Let me read some stuff and get back to you on that. Books I have collected from the library today are:

Stevens, N. (2005) Learn to Coach The skills you need to coach for personal and professional development. Oxford: How to Books Ltd.

Parsloe, E. & Wray, M. (2000) Coaching and Mentoring practical methods to improve learning. London: Koan Page Ltd (reprinted 2008)

Rogers, J. (2007) Adults Learning. 5th ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Clutterbuck, D. (2001) Everyone needs a mentor Fostering Talent at Work. 3rd ed. Towbridge: The Cromwell Press

I am hoping by reading the sections relevant in these books and a bit of web surfing I will fnd a few definitions, some coaching tools and models which will make for a great Literature Review and lay the foundations for my introduction.

I am hoping that the process of the research will help me put into context what I actually do when I teach or coach or facilitate with my students, as well as being able to pass my PGCE!

Any thoughts or pointers would be welcome.

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