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Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice Paperback – Aug. 11 2020
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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.
From the Publisher
Every Child, Every Day
Educational equity means that every child receives whatever she/he/they need to develop his/her/their full academic and social potential and to thrive, every day. By thrive, I mean academically as well as social-emotionally. Every child has a right to feel loved and cared for and to feel that they belong to a community. Emotional well-being is as important as academic success in this definition of educational equity.
Educational equity means there is no predictability of success or failure that correlates with any social or cultural factor—a child's education experiences or outcomes are not predictable because of their race, ethnicity, linguistic background, economic class, religion, gender, orientation, physical and cognitive ability, or any other socio-political identity marker.
Beyond the predictability of success and failure, educational equity means that every child is seen for who they truly are, and their unique interests and gifts are surfaced and cultivated. For every child to cultivate their unique gifts, they need access to an extensive range of learning opportunities, activities, and material. This means when Prentis Jr. discovers in first grade that his love and skill for drawing surmounts all others, he has the opportunity and encouragement to pursue this passion. This means that in fourth grade, when Thui's verbal abilities are recognized, her public speaking skills are developed. Education is a vehicle to self-realization and freedom.
Educational equity means every child, every day. Period.
And yes, this is a high bar: Every child.
And it is an attainable goal.
Discover the Abilities Required to Coach for Equity
"This book is for every teacher leader, coach, and educational practitioner who seeks to interrupt educational inequities. Elena shares her vulnerability and insights, embraces the power of emotions, and deepens our understanding so we can expand our skillsets―helping us to put relationship before task and keep equity at the core."
―Tamisha Williams, Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion, Lick-Wilmerding High School
“Coaching for Equity is an extremely accessible and terrifically useful book for educators at all levels. Elena's authentic and caring voice comes through as she combines personal narrative seamlessly with concrete strategy to help all readers develop their conversational skills around issues of inequity. I recommend her books again and again.”
―Jennifer Abrams, Communications Consultant and author of Having Hard Conversations and Swimming in the Deep End
“Finally! – a unique and deeply needed guide to creating equity and shifting hearts, minds, and classrooms using tools of compassion and curiosity instead of tools of force, superiority, and judgment.”
―Laura Brewer, How To Make Love
“Elena insightfully offers leaders the essential mindsets, practice frameworks, and explicit tools to create equitable school conditions for every student, every day. This book should be essential reading for all school leaders committed to ensuring students reach their full potential and schools deliver on their promise to disrupt barriers that disproportionately and negatively impact the academic and socio-emotional experiences of black and brown students.”
―Alexandrea Creer Kahn, former Chief Academic Officer at Leadership Public Schools and co-author of Identity Safe Classrooms: Pathways to Belonging and Learning
“Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice takes the courageous step of explicitly naming and addressing the social, political, and historical nature of white supremacy and colonialism in American schooling. I’ve had the privilege of learning from Elena over the last eight years and her brilliance in coaching radiates in person and on the pages. Read and study this text to develop your praxis and your commitment to justice and liberatory education.”
―Javier Cabra Walteros, Chief Academic Officer at Envision Education
“Finally! Elena Aguilar’s Coaching for Equity is an accessible guidebook that pushes us beyond platitudes of equity to the essential ground of creating complex learning environments that demonstrate―every day―what it takes for all children to receive the educational experiences they deserve. Coaching for Equity is for all of us who have been hungry for guidance about how to gather our people, get past our fragility, and “journey towards justice and liberation” as we work in service to all children.”
―Kimberly N. Parker, Ph.D., Shady Hill School and co-founder of #DisruptTexts
“Elena Aguilar, once again, delivers an illuminating resource for educators. Through personal experiences, a historical perspective, proven educational methods, and clear direction―teacher leaders will gain tools and strategies necessary for doing the challenging yet essential work of transforming their schools into welcoming, inclusive and equitable environments for learning. I certainly did.”
―Ellen Shulman, Principal, Minneapolis Public Schools
“Elena Aguilar writes, leads and coaches from compassion, curiosity and a deep commitment to honest conversations about systemic inequities. In this book, Aguilar provides clear, actionable and compassionate tools and resources to ensure that every single child has access to an equitable education.”
―Kendra Lee, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Learning for Comcast
"Elena Aguilar writes with a humility and power that pulls you in like a warm, engrossing fire. She has a way of unapologetically telling the truth while also meeting you where you are with profound respect for your journey as an educator at any point in your career and as a complete human being. Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice is a book of wisdom that can only be birthed after decades of firsthand experience and deep reflections on making the unconscious conscious in order to have educational equity for every child, every day."
―Daisy Han, CEO of Embracing Equity
“I believe a majority of people want to create and contribute to a more equitable society, and we are too often frozen in our good intentions because we cannot address inequities we do not see, we don’t know how to address the inequities we do see, we fear the pain of the process, and we fear the potential to do more harm. Elena Aguilar offers us a road map to activate our agency and begin the work of dismantling the systems of oppression that hurt us all. She offers a set of tools to begin building the healing human connections we crave.”
―Grace Losada, EdD, leadership coach and former vice president of Fusion Education
“Elena has a brilliant approach to providing practical tools, methods, and strategies to examine the behaviors of educators that contribute to creating and sustaining an equitable educational experience that every student, regardless of identity and lifestyle, deserves. As teachers and educational leaders look to refine our practices to best meet the needs of all our students, we will benefit from Coaching for Equity by thinking about things in ways that we should have all along.”
―Dr. Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Brentwood School, Los Angeles
“Elena Aguilar has built a compelling equity-coaching model. Her transformational approach evolves from her core values and 30 years of coaching and experience with diverse cultures. Through story telling she presents strategies that support systemic change; she offers implementation guidelines, and tools. Coaching for Equity is a timely, professional resource that supports an invaluable approach.”
―Virginia McHugh Goodwin-Wildflower Foundation Coach
“As we long to re-imagine schooling during our time of worldwide trauma, Elena Aguilar brings her expertise about emotional resilience and helps us craft the skillful conversations needed to create equitable classrooms, schools, and districts that honor the needs of all the learners, both children and adults. This book will refill your reservoir of hope; it will provide you with the blueprint for building an environment where compassion and academic excellence go hand-in-hand.”
―Cheryl Beeson, retired school and district administrator
From the Inside Flap
Your Guide to Creating Equitable Schools
If we are going to interrupt educational inequities and create schools in which every child thrives, we must refine our conversation skills. Coaching for Equity offers extensive strategies for talking about race, power, and systems of oppression, strategies which lead to changes in a teacher's practice. This book is for teachers, leaders, and coaches who accept responsibility for interrupting inequities in schools and who want to build the knowledge and skills to coach for equity.
Coaching for Equity contains an updated Transformational Coaching framework and the tools and rubrics that are necessary to implement this model of coaching. In addition, 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.
"This book is for every teacher, leader, coach, and educational practitioner who seeks to interrupt educational inequities. Elena shares her vulnerability and insights, embraces the power of emotions, and deepens our understanding so we can expand our skillsetshelping us to put relationship before task and keep equity at the core."
Tamisha Williams, Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion, Lick-Wilmerding High School
"Finally! Elena Aguilar's Coaching for Equity is an accessible guidebook that pushes us beyond platitudes of equity to the essential ground of creating complex learning environments that demonstrateevery daywhat it takes for all children to receive the educational experiences they deserve. Coaching for Equity is for all of us who have been hungry for guidance about how to gather our people, get past our fragility, and 'journey towards justice and liberation' as we work in service to all children."
Kimberly N. Parker, PhD, Shady Hill School and co-founder of #DisruptTexts
"All coaching should be about equity, but coaches need tools and maps to guide them through emotionally complex conversations about race and justice. This book provides coaches with those tools and maps. Any coach who is concerned about equity, which should be every coach, will greatly benefit from reading this book."
Jim Knight, Senior Partner, Instructional Coaching Group
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (Aug. 11 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1119592275
- ISBN-13 : 978-1119592273
- Item weight : 590 g
- Dimensions : 18.73 x 2.39 x 23.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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According to Aguilar, coaching is an effective vehicle for building equitable schools because teaching in ways that disrupt patterns of inequity requires learning, and coaching is a structure that supports teacher learning. She states that coaches should have coaching conversations about equity as frequently as possible and says, “Coaching for equity requires that we manage our discomfort around discussing race and class and identity differences. As we normalize these conversations, we normalize discomfort, which makes these conversations more comfortable” (p. 207).
Aguilar tells two extended coaching stories to illustrate how coaching for equity looks and sounds. She shows us how, when we coach for equity, we must coach for both behavior and belief change simultaneously. Coaching for belief change builds teachers’ capacity to think and act from an equity mindset in novel situations they will face when the coach is out of the picture. Coaching for behavior change builds self-efficacy and agency.
Aguilar demonstrates that equity-focused coaching requires that we navigate emotions; this is new but necessary territory for many coaches and teachers. She includes helpful supports for recognizing and engaging with emotions that are likely to surface in coaching conversations related to equity. Aguilar shows how addressing emotions is critical to altering racist beliefs and building empathy. She explains, “Systems of oppression rely on us disconnecting from our own emotions (including guilt or regret) so that we don’t feel the emotions of other people” (p. 193).
The practical strategies and tools offered throughout the book (e.g., What to Say When You Hear Racist Comments; Responding to Resistance) will be much appreciated by coaches as they engage in the important work of promoting equity in classrooms and schools. Appendices offer even more tools including a comprehensive equity rubric and an extensive list of resources for learning more.
Aguilar is candid about the difficulty of the work ahead of us, but she also helps us see why this work is critical. “Schools,” she states, “can be places of healing and liberation. They can be a microcosm for a more just and equitable society, a place where adults and children learn to be together in healthy community, a place where we learn about ourselves and others” (p. 27). I know already I will reach for this book again and again for guidance and inspiration in my own learning journey and my support of others.
That said, as an Educational Coach, Elena says to make 5 positive comments for every negative, so I will do the same.
1) Anyone who has received coaching or started teaching would want a coach like Elena, making you look inward and find answers for yourself.
2) I agree that teachers have implicit bias and the use of video with her clients helps everyone recognize that.
3) You can relate to her clients and root for them. They remind you that we are all still growing and learning.
4) Coaching for Equity is a great concept because we make sure that we do not let any kids slip through the cracks.
5) Her adult learners get defensive and sad, as new teachers do, but Elena uses that to her advantage. She also knows when emotions reach outside of her purview into a therapist's territory.
6) There are a ton of typos in this book, none that interfere with comprehension, but enough that it will distract frequent readers that are used to heavy editing. There are probably typos in this post, but I am not getting paid
7) As a teacher, I will now acknowledge how things are making me feel and that should help with how I react. Why do I flip out on kids and from where does the frustration originate?
8) Acknowledging identity shows you who you want to be as a teacher and why. Recognizing your identity will give you the skills to know who your students truly are.
9) My first mentor always led with questions and it shows me how good I had it. If you focus on you, the kids get on your nerves less and you feel equipped for anything.
10) When I was a younger, better teacher, I asked kids for feedback. Aguilar shows you how powerful this tool is and inspires you to do it again.
11) I now understand the importance of restorative practices and recognize their benefits to both students and teachers.
12) The book focuses so much of what is wrong that it doesn't tell you how to prevent problems proactively. For example, how to we decrease suspensions and keep a safe school? I agree that suspensions don't work, but what does? Aguilar explains this by telling you to read one of her other books, which is a quick way to assure that I will not read your other books. Also, her impression of SROs leading the school to prison pipeline fails to see how the presence of officers can increase trust in the police force.
It's amazing, and I think all coaches can benefit from it!