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About Elena Aguilar
Elena has trained thousands of educators across the United States and abroad in transformational coaching and team development. She is a regular contributor for Edutopia and EdWeek Teacher and has published two highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching (2013) and The Art of Coaching Teams (2016) with an upcoming book titled Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators anticipated to release in May 2018.
Elena’s expertise derives from twenty years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and leadership coach working in diverse school environments. In her role as a consultant, she has partnered with leaders in public and private organizations across the United States and abroad. She holds a B.A. in history and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her teaching credential from California State University, Hayward, and she also holds an administrative services credential. Elena lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, son, and two cats. When she’s not coaching or writing she enjoys traveling abroad, photographing birds, hiking, drinking coffee and reading fiction.
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Books By Elena Aguilar
In The PD Book, bestselling author Elena Aguilar and co-author Lori Cohen offer seven habits—and a wealth of practical tools—that help you transform professional development. In this book, you'll learn how to inspire adult learners, the importance of having clear purpose, and how to navigate power dynamics in a group. You'll also learn a new way to plan PD that allows you to attend to details and be a responsive facilitator. The dozens of tips and tricks, anecdotes and research, and tools and resources will enable you to create the optimal conditions for learning.
- Craft effective outcomes for your adult students and design an agenda that aligns with adult learning principles
- Use storytelling as a tool for effective workshops and trainings
- Plan backwards from evaluations and outcomes to create powerful and lasting educational experiences
Ideal for educational leaders and administrators, professional development facilitators, coaches, and positional leaders in both K-12 and higher education, The PD Book is an incisive resource offering concrete strategies for educators at all levels.
The Art of Coaching Teams is the manual you never received when you signed on to lead a team. Being a great teacher is one thing, but leading a team, or team development, is an entirely different dynamic. Your successes are public, but so are your failures—and there's no specific rubric or curriculum to give you direction. Team development is an art form, and this book is your how-to guide to doing it effectively. You'll learn the administrative tasks that keep your team on track, and you'll gain access to a wealth of downloadable tools that simplify the "getting organized" process. Just as importantly, you'll explore what it means to be the kind of leader that can bring people together to accomplish difficult tasks. You'll find practical suggestions, tools, and clear instructions for the logistics of team development as well as for building trust, developing healthy communication, and managing conflict.
Inside these pages you'll find concrete guidance on:
- Designing agendas, making decisions, establishing effective protocols, and more
- Boosting your resilience, understanding and managing your emotions, and meeting your goals
- Cultivating your team's emotional intelligence and dealing with cynicism
- Utilizing practical tools to create a customized framework for developing highly effective teams
There is no universal formula for building a great team, because every team is different. Different skills, abilities, personalities, and goals make a one-size-fits-all approach ineffective at best. Instead, The Art of Coaching Teams provides a practical framework to help you develop your group as a whole, and keep the team moving toward their common goals.
An empowering journey that keeps great teachers in the classroom
The Onward Workbook is a collection of tools and strategies that help teachers banish the burnout and cultivate true resilience. Keyed to the framework presented in Onward, this companion piece augments the text with practical exercises, coaching, and step-by-step walkthroughs of beneficial practices. Deep introspection allows you to verbalize your feelings, name your challenges, and identify the tools you have and the tools you need—from there, you’ll explore each of the 12 Key Habits and learn how to put them into practice every day.
In cultivating resilience within yourself and your teaching practice, you improve your health, your outlook, and your relationships while building an environment in which every child succeeds. This workbook takes you on a journey of specific self-discovery that changes your perspective, renews your confidence, and empowers you to make the much-needed changes that allow you to continue inspiring young minds.
- Dig deeper within to discover what you’re truly made of
- Decode complex emotions, body language, and nonverbal communications
- Challenge your beliefs, build community, and navigate difficult interactions
- Learn more, feel more, play more, and practice effective self-care
Resiliency is an underrated skill—one that can make all the difference in our schools. Challenges will always arise, but it is your response that dictates the outcome. Can you think of a more important lesson for your students? When some 70 percent of teachers quit within their first five years, it is clear that changes must be made. The Onward Workbook equips you to make the changes that you can, and flourish into the future.
While this book can be used by individuals, it is also designed so that groups, teams, departments, or an entire staff can take up the learning together. There are specific suggestions in the workbook for using this with a group, and educators will reap even more reward from discussing the practices and experiences with colleagues.
Your Guide to Creating Equitable Schools
If we hope to interrupt educational inequities and create schools in which every child thrives, we must open our hearts to purposeful conversation and hone our skills to make those conversations effective. With characteristic honesty and wisdom, Elena Aguilar inspires us to commit to transforming our classrooms, lays bare the hidden obstacles to equity, and helps us see how to overcome these obstacles, one conversation at a time.
Coaching for Equity is packed with the resources necessary to implement Transformational Coaching in any organization. In addition to an updated coaching framework and corresponding rubrics, a comprehensive set of coaching tools puts success in every coach’s hands. Extensive personal narratives demonstrate what coaching for equity looks like and help us see how we can make every conversation count towards building a more just and equitable world.
Coaching for Equity covers critical topics in the larger conversation about racial equity, and helps readers develop the knowledge, dispositions and skills to be able to:
- Talk productively about race,
- Build trust to support vulnerability,
- Unpack mental models and change someone’s mind,
- Observe classrooms and collect data to support equitable outcomes,
- Inspire others and deepen commitment,
- Evaluate and celebrate growth.
Perfect for teachers, teacher leaders, coaches and administrators, Coaching for Equity offers extensive strategies for talking about race, power, and systems of oppression. In framing the rationale for transformational conversations, Coaching for Equity gives us the context we need to enter into this work. In laying out the strategies, tools and models for critical conversations, it gives us the way forward.
Comprehensive, concrete, and deeply human, Coaching for Equity is the guide for those who choose to accept responsibility for interrupting inequities in schools. It is for all educators who know there is a better way.
A practical framework to avoid burnout and keep great teachers teaching
Onward tackles the problem of educator stress, and provides a practical framework for taking the burnout out of teaching. Stress is part of the job, but when 70 percent of teachers quit within their first five years because the stress is making them physically and mentally ill, things have gone too far. Unsurprisingly, these effects are highest in difficult-to-fill positions such as math, science, and foreign languages, and in urban areas and secondary classrooms—places where we need our teachers to be especially motivated and engaged. This book offers a path to resiliency to help teachers weather the storms and bounce back—and work toward banishing the rain for good.
This actionable framework gives you concrete steps toward rediscovering yourself, your energy, and your passion for teaching. You’ll learn how a simple shift in mindset can affect your outlook, and how taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is one of the most important things you can do. The companion workbook helps you put the framework into action, streamlining your way toward renewal and strength.
- Cultivate resilience with a four-part framework based on 12 key habits
- Uncover your true self, understand emotions, and use your energy where it counts
- Adopt a mindful, story-telling approach to communication and community building
- Keep learning, playing, and creating to create an environment of collective celebration
By cultivating resilience in schools, we help ensure that we are working in, teaching in, and leading organizations where every child thrives, and where the potential of every child is recognized and nurtured. Onward provides a step-by-step plan for reigniting that spark.
This practical resource offers the foundational skills and tools needed by new coaching educators, as well as presenting an overview of the knowledge and theory base behind the practice. Established coaches will find numerous ways to deepen and refine their coaching practice. Principals and others who incorporate coaching strategies into their work will also find a wealth of resources.
Aguilar offers a model for transformational coaching which could be implemented as professional development in schools or districts anywhere. Although she addresses the needs of adult learners, her model maintains a student-centered focus, with a specific lens on addressing equity issues in schools.
- Offers a practical resource for school coaches, principals, district leaders, and other administrators
- Presents a transformational coaching model which addresses systems change
- Pays explicit attention to surfacing and interrupting inequities in schools
The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation offers a compendium of school coaching ideas, the book's explicit, user-friendly structure enhances the ability to access the information.
A practical guide for getting the most out of The Art of Coaching
The Art of Coaching Workbook is the resource you’ve been waiting for to accompany Elena Aguilar’s The Art of Coaching. Ideal for new and novice coaches, as well as for those who have years of coaching under their belt, this workbook will help you improve your coaching skills.
This vital companion text includes:
- Dozens of activities to help you internalize the concepts described in The Art of Coaching
- Exercises to guide you in identifying your own coaching beliefs, style, and practices
- Short and lengthy transcripts of coaching conversations
- Additional examples of key concepts in The Art of Coaching, including the Ladder of Inference and the Coaching Lenses
- New ideas and information that build on those in The Art of Coaching
This workbook is also for those who lead and manage coaches. An entire chapter is dedicated to structures, routines, and practices that are easy to implement in professional development sessions. In addition, a new Transformational Coaching Rubric and other tools for assessment and reflection are included. If you aspire to provide meaningful learning for coaches, and you already have The Art of Coaching, this workbook is all you’ll need.