Coaching Parents For Mindset School Change

One of the critical challenges in embedding growth mindset is in translating the ideas for a growth mindset in a way that makes sense to parents and carers. We all want to raise attainment with our learners and for them to have higher aspirations. A big challenge is encouraging parents and carers to be aware of the importance of language at home and reinforce values to support children’s development — including modelling mindset; asking for help; valuing practice and effort and understanding mistakes are good. To address this, we have found parent coaching training to be highly effective.

Informal group work is key to parent coaching

The first step is recruiting parents. Getting the right people into the workshop involves the school working on targeted recruitment and promotion — to work hard to get the parents and carers who would most benefit from attending. We then run a workshop looking at communication skills; goal setting and growth mindset — all done in a fun, informal, friendly way. The sessions I deliver are designed to be highly experiential involving group work; role play and lots of discussions and fun too! We set a climate of trust with ground rules at the start to encourage honest conversation and sharing.

By billing the sessions as ‘coaching training’ — coaching is a life skill they can use themselves as well as helping their children at the same time, we have found the sessions to be highly popular.

We ran a session recently in St Winning’s Primary in Kilwinning, working with 14 parents from a wide range of backgrounds. During the workshop, parents coached each other through real goals. They also shared strategies and ideas for increasing challenge and aspiration with each other’s children. We had one parent applying to college; as a result to do a sign language course.

Transformative power of coaching

Coaching training allows real insight and change to occur by giving adults the time to reflect on their mindset; barriers; fears; anxieties and goals. Strong bonds were formed during the workshop with each other as the coached and supported each other; benefitting from increased confidence of role-playing giving and receiving coaching advice.