Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar

Show Title: Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar
Power Quote: “To normalize growth, we must normalize making mistakes.”
Before we get started, I need to give a shout out to Dr. Pam Buskey. Today is our anniversary and though the years have flown by too quickly, every one of them has been filled with special moments, big and small. Marriage is a partnership and I am so tankful and blessed to be walking this journey with you. Okay, now we can get started. Today we continue my conversation with Elena Aguilar. We will briefly discuss transformative coaching and then talk about how we change the narrative of coaching from being something for struggling teachers to something that we should all be craving.
Guest Bio:
Elena Aguilar is a writer, leader, teacher, coach and podcaster. She is the author of eight highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching (2013), The Art of Coaching Teams (2016), Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (2018), The Onward Workbook (2018), Coaching or Equity (2020), The Art of Coaching Workbook (2020), The PD Book: 7 Habits that Transform Professional Development (2022), and the forthcoming Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching (August 2024). She has also been a frequent contributor to Edutopia, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, and EdWeek Teacher. Elena is the founder and CEO of Bright Morning Consulting, an organization committed tohelping individuals and organizations create the conditions for transformation. She has taughttens of thousands of folks how to have conversations that build a more just and equitable world. Elena can be heard demonstrating these conversations on The Bright Morning Podcast.
Warmup questions:
●      We always like to start with a celebration. What are you celebrating today?
●      Is there a story that will help listeners understand why you are doing what you do?
Part 2: Developing a coaching culture 

●      I come from an athletic coaching background. I have this dream that teachers would have access to highly targeted and technical coaching, just like the world’s premier athletes. Yet, many teachers don’t see coaching as an important tool in growing. What happened? Is there a way to flip the narrative? 
●      Do you see unique needs among teachers at different career stages that should inform how leaders engage in coaching with a given group of teachers?
●      Is there such thing as a “culture of coaching”? Does it make sense and is it possible to build a school around the idea that teacher growth is the priority and that coaching is the core way we help teacher perfect their craft?
●      How has your understanding of coaching grown in the past ten years from the release of The Art of Coaching in 2013 to your revised volume this year?

Closing questions:
●      What part of your own leadership are you still trying to get better at?
●      If listeners could take just one thing away from today’s podcast, what would it be?
●      Before we go, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners?
●      Where can people learn more about you and your work…
·      Begin cultivating a culture of learning by making your learning goals, and you work on them, transparent. Model the way of being you want your teachers to embrace. If you have a coach (and you should), brag about it and explain to teachers the link between what you are learning and what you are doing.
·      Remember, coaching is only one tool we have for helping teachers to grow, but it is a powerful one.
·      We need to align teacher and student needs in our coaching
·      And I love this one: Know how the 8-year old you is powering who you are today. The better you know yourself, the better coach you will be.
·      We will wrap this with a personal note related to knowing yourself…
●     Leadership is a journey and thank you for choosing to walk some of this magical path with me.
●     You can find links to all sorts of stuff in the show notes, including my website
●     I love hearing from you so consider email me at or connecting with me on LinkedIn.
●     My new book, A School Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose, is now available on Amazon. You can find links to it, as well as free book study materials on my website at
●     Please remember to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast.
●     Have a great rest of the week, be present for others and, more importantly, take time to reflect and recover so you can continue to live and lead better.
●     Cheers!
I want to thank IXL for sponsoring this podcast…
Everyone talks about the power of data-driven instruction. But what does that actually look like? Look no further than IXL, the ultimate online learning and teaching platform for K to 12. IXL gives you meaningful insights that drive real progress, and research can prove it. Studies across 45 states show that schools who use IXL outperform other schools on state tests. Educators who use IXL love that they can easily see how their school is performing in real-time to make better instructional decisions. 
And IXL doesn’t stop at just data. IXL also brings an entire ecosystem of resources for your teachers, with a complete curriculum, personalized learning plans, and so much more. 
It’s no wonder that IXL is used in 95 of the top 100 school districts. Ready to join them? Visit to get started.
Elena’s links:
Specials for listeners:  Pre-Order Bonuses 
Frederick’s Links:
The Strategic Leader’s Guide to Reclaiming Purpose:
Coaching and a Culture of Learning with Elena Aguilar
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