Peer Coaching & Collegial Supervision

What is it?

Peer coaching and collegial supervision are ways of developing teaching competencies using partnerships between colleagues. It aims at giving the teachers involved new input to their teaching by way of communicating and observing each other teaching. The term peer in coaching refers to the relation between the two teachers. They are peers or partners. This makes the communication more symmetric than for example mere instruction from one person to the other. It is rather important in general that the conversation is carried out with empathy and curiosity; that has to do with a wish to develop as teachers; that personal appearance and behaviour is not in focus – rather, the teacher´s efforts in trying to strengthen the relation between student and topic should be in focus. 

The underlying assumption in peer coaching and supervision is that teachers are very potent carriers of teaching experiences and knowledge. Combining this with the bank of documented evidence in the field of teaching and learning makes it even more powerful. Why not use this knowledge in clear agreement between two or more teachers?



Peer coaching can be done in a variety of ways and some develop their own method. The important thing is to use a described, structured, well defined process, so that expectations and roles are clear. An important feature of coaching is that it gets better with practice. Especially practice active listening and questioning skills to not bring your own experience in focus is important if coaching is to work.

One method that works well with a group of teachers is peer coaching. The method works really well if used as intended. This means not skipping any of the phases and being relatively true to the set-up at least the first couple of times. 

If you would like to try to supervise or to be supervised by a colleague, collegial supervision is a method that works. Again it is important that you do not skip any phases and that you try to be true to the intended process.
6 JUNE 2020