We sat down with Mr. Eli Dailey who recently participated in a virtual Edge Coaching Training. As a part of the training, Mr. Dailey learned about coaching techniques, participated in live demos, and completed an at-home coaching assignment to give his new skills a try. He was a superstar! Check out what he had to say about his training experience.
Please introduce yourself for our viewers.
I’m Eli Dailey, all my students call me “Mr. D.” I teach in the Laurel School District in Mississippi. I teach Pre-K through 3rd grade music, and I also assist the high school band.
How was your Edge Training experience overall?
Since everything has been going on, and with school shutting down and everything, it’s been hard for me to get my brain back into the “let’s get into teacher mode” type of thing. So, at first I was just like “OK, another [professional development]” but then when I logged in the first day I was like “wow I actually enjoyed this a lot…” It’s kind of doing things that I’m already pretty good at. I enjoy talking to people, and I enjoy trying to help people as best I can even if it’s not just through teaching or through music, so for me it was very enjoyable. It’s something that people of all different kinds of backgrounds should consider. I think anyone could gain from being taught how to be a coach.
What’s one thing you took away from the training?
One thing I learned is that we probably all coach someone without even realizing it. If we show an interest in them and allow them to just really vent and talk…that’s one thing I took away. I also took away that it’s important to be in each moment because you never get that moment back. So if you be in that moment as much as you possibly can, I think that makes it more valuable…it helps you to remember it better.
Also, the use of open-ended questions. If you’re coaching, or just want to help someone open up and feel comfortable, and you ask those questions, then a lot of times they’ll just start going without you having to do much else.
How will you apply what you learned to the upcoming school year?
With me, I think that it will be case-by-case. I remember last year, it was my first year, but I found myself trying to help students and intervene with them when they weren’t making the best decisions, so I think these tactics will help with that. Not just with the student or students I’ll be coaching, but helping kids to understand why what they’re doing may not be the best, what they can do to better themselves, and what I think will help them. So I think just helping those kids that may not be making the best decisions to think about what they’re doing before they do it.
Whom did you coach for the at-home practice? How did it go?
Yes, I coached a teenager from my church. Her mom is over the AV team that I’m on at the church, so I coached her. It was quite interesting because I thought I knew her pretty well, but after I got done I realized that she is kind of the shy one of the family. It was interesting because even though she is kind of shy and we know each other and are familiar with each other, it was still kind of hard at some points with my trying not to offer my help. That’s my biggest issue with the coaching – I always want to be like “try this” or “have you tried this” but that’s not the purpose of this. So I just tried to ask those open-ended questions that lead to her getting her own solution. It was also cool because there were a few moments where she lit up! She had those moments where she got excited about whatever she was talking about, so that made me feel like I had done at least one thing right. I remember when I did it with Edwin [head trainer] and everyone, I had a lot of those moments and he would talk about how that’s important because that shows that they are getting more open, they’re talking about what they want to talk about, and they’re excited about it so it will make the experience better for them. It’s more about the client, and not so much about the coach.