Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice

Coaching for Equity: Conversations That Change Practice

by Elena Aguilar


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, April 14


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119592273
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 17,547
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

ELENA AGUILAR is the founder and president of Bright Morning Consulting, an international education, coaching, and consulting firm that brings new learning practices to organizations. Elena has extensive experience working in diverse school environments as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and leadership coach. She is the bestselling author of The Art of Coaching, The Art of Coaching Teams, and Onward.

Table of Contents

About the Author xi

Acknowledgments xiii


A Couple of Notes 4

On Bridge-Building 4

Defining Equity 5

What Is in This Book 10

Who You Are-The Readers 13

Who I Am-The Author 15

How to Get the Most from this Book 19

Before You Go … 22

Interlude: Compassion 23

1 Transformational Coaching: A Model for Change 25

Structures to Span Chasms 25

Assumptions behind Transformational Coaching 29

Transformational Coaching 32

The Three Components of Transformational Coaching 34

The Four Phases of Transformational Coaching 40

The Five Principles of Transformational Coaching 45

Before You Go … 46

Interlude: Curiosity 48

2 Jumping into Coaching for Equity 49

Building Relationships and Surfacing Strengths 51

Low Expectations and a Deficit Mindset 54

The Undulating Landscape of Emotions 60

Turning Inward 66

A Conversation about Crying 69

"Do You Think I'm Racist?" 72

Before You Go … 73

Interlude: Connection 75

3 How to Understand Race, Racism, and White Supremacy 77

What Is White Supremacy? 79

What Is Racism? 84

How Racism Manifests in Schools 88

The Power of Words and the Language of Oppression 92

It's Time to Take Action 96

Before You Go … 98

Interlude: Courage 100

4 How to Talk About Race 101

Recognizing What Is and What Could Be 103

Attending to Myself 110

A Time of Growth 113

The Path to Racial Healing 117

Why Calling People Out Doesn't Work 121

Ten Ways to Respond to the Question, "Am I Racist?" 125

Before You Go … 126

Interlude: Purpose 128

5 What You Need to Know about Adult Learners 129

The Gaps between Current Ability and Desired Ability 130

How to Sequence Adult Learning 137

The Coach as Learner 139

Before You Go … 141

Interlude: Compassion 142

6 How to Change Someone's Mind 143

Addressing Beliefs and Behavior at the Same Time 144

Six Conditions in Which Beliefs Change 148

How to Build Trust 160

What to Say When You Hear Racist Comments 163

For People of Color Doing this Work 168

Before You Go … 172

Interlude: Curiosity 174

7 What You Need to Know about Emotions 175

Toward an Appreciation of Emotions 176

Exploring and Embracing Our Needs 179

Responding to Resistance 186

The Connection between Emotions and Justice 193

Looking at Emotions through an Identity Lens 194

Before You Go … 196

Interlude: Connection 197

8 What You Need to Know about Identity 199

The Social Construction of Identity 200

How to Facilitate Reflection 201

Addressing Racial Differences 205

Before You Go … 209

Interlude: Courage 210

9 Surfacing Current Reality 211

A Prequel 211

Beginning a Coaching Relationship 214

Planning a Coaching Conversation 223

A First Classroom Visit 229

Before You Go … 231

Interlude: Purpose 233

10 Recognizing Impact 235

Debriefing an Observation 235

A Pause to Look Inward 241

Fostering Patience 243

Analyzing and Interpreting Data 243

Coaching a Way of Being: The Legacy Question 247

Determining Next Steps 248

When to Talk about Race 250

Before You Go … 254

Interlude: Compassion 256

11 Exploring Emotions 257

When Anger and Doubt Arise 257

Gathering Student Experience Data 260

Debriefing the Data 262

Confronting Bias 264

Before You Go … 273

Interlude: Courage 274

12 Creating New Practices 275

Developing New Behaviors 276

Scaffolding Learning for Adults 277

Data That Reveals Beliefs and Ways of Being 280

Practice, Practice, Practice 286

Role-Play Practice 287

Evidence of Deepening Will and Commitment 288

The Ups and Downs of Learning 291

Reflection 294

Celebrating Growth 295

Before You Go … 298

Interlude: Purpose 300

Conclusion: Towards Liberty and Justice for All 301

Compassionate 301

Curious 302

Connected 302

Courageous 303

Purposeful 303

Appendix A The Phases of Transformational Coaching 305

Appendix B The Equity Rubric 311

Appendix C Transformational Coaching Rubric (TCR) 2.0 335

Appendix D Advocating for Systems Change 353

Appendix E The Core Emotions 359

Appendix F Resources for Further Learning 363

Glossary 371

References 377

Index 383

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"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

Customer Reviews