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Powerful Communication Skills for Coaches - COHORT 4


Powerful Communication Skills for Coaches

Led by expert coaches Joellen Killion and Sharron Helmke, participants will engage in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning and coaching practices to enhance their critical coaching skills of self-awareness, listening, questioning, and supporting the critical thinking of others.   

Participants will meet virtually for live, facilitated sessions, and will engage in synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences and collaborate between sessions in Learning Forward’s new online learning community.   

Both new and experienced coaches will practice critical coaching interactions with support from their colleagues and expert coaches.   

Course begins August 7, 2021. Register here. 

Course outcomes 

  • Examine coach presence as a critical factor in building effective coaching relationships. 
  • Acquire skillfulness to listen at multiple levels and in remote and in-person environments to assess and support teacher needs. 
  • Acquire and practice questioning skills to facilitate teachers’ critical and creative thinking while addressing assumptions, needs, and problems of practice. 
  • Apply a framework that reflects the three phases of a coaching conversation (initiating, conducting, and closing). 
  • Apply coaching interaction skills in authentic situations to facilitate growth. 


Course activities will begin on August 7, 2021. Participants' last day of access is October 5, 2021.

Each live session will feature direct instruction from facilitators Killion and Helmke followed by collaborative coaching practice to implement new learning with feedback.    

Live sessions will occur on the following dates: 

Tuesday, August 17, 3-5 p.m. ET 

 Tuesday, August 31, 3-5 p.m. ET 

 Tuesday, September 14, 3-5 p.m. ET 

 Tuesday, September 28, 3-5 p.m. ET  

Note that participants will engage in and complete learning tasks during asynchronous weeks. 

Participants will have access to the online platform for ten days after the last live session, giving attendees an online learning environment to review their learning, extend conversations, and reflect on their continued integration and implementation of new knowledge and practice.    

Who is this for?  

Anyone who wishes to extend and deepen their use of coaching conversational skills in supporting the self-efficacy, intentionality, and critical thinking of others. 

  • Novice coaches  
  • Administrators and teacher leaders who apply coaching skills as part of their interactions with peers and staff 
  • Veteran coaches  
  • Coaching advocates and those who plan professional learning for coaches

Course facilitators

Joellen Killion is a senior advisor to Learning Forward and previously served as the organization’s deputy executive director. She supports school systems, schools, regional, state, and national agencies within the U.S. and abroad as a consultant and learning facilitator. Killion has over 30 years of experience in planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of professional learning at the school, system, and state/provincial levels.

Sharron Helmke is a senior consultant for Learning Forward and an International Coaching Federation-certified professional coach. She authors the Coaches Corner column in The Learning Professional and is a lead designer of Learning Forward’s Mentor Teacher Academy and Content-Based Coaching Program, and a lead facilitator of Learning Forward’s Coaches Academy. Formerly she served as a coordinator of instructional coaching, a K-12 ELA program coordinator, a campus based instructional coach, and a high school English teacher.

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