Coaching For Equity: We Have to Have the Will

Coaching For Equity Webinar Hosts Jessie Cordova and Elena Aguilar

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, Jessie Cordova and Elena Aguilar engaged in a discussion focused on the ideas driving Elena’s book coming this fall – Coaching For Equity. 

The webinar kicked off with Elena sharing her desire to ground her forthcoming book (pre-order here or receive a free copy of Coaching For Equity when you attend the Art of Coaching Conference – click here) – and this webinar – in conversation and practice

The conversation was robust and invigorating and left us all looking forward to reading the book! In the meantime, below are some moments to explore further when reviewing the entire video.

“I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me ‘do you think I’m racist?’”

Elena noted the deep-seated interest people have in exploring their own identity development and Jessie and Elena discussed the need to really unpack what it means to coach from an equity lens with a commitment to racial equity. Elena shared, “I’ve always written about trust and listening and the connection between those two. Always being mindful of how much trust exists.”  Trust can break – but if it breaks, it CAN be repaired more strongly. 

What do you do when you are triggered? 

In a frank and inspiring moment, Jessie and Elena identified specific strategies when facing a triggering moment. 

  • Respond by reflexively saying, “give me a moment.” (This takes a LOT of practice) 
  • Actually take that moment to process! Write down the emotions you are feeling. Write down what was said in order to provide you space to respond.
  • Buy yourself time and space with “help me understand where that question/statement is coming from.” 
  • Take deep breaths and allow air to flow through your body

“These Kids Can’t” The Power of Language

When educators discuss children, a lot of it comes down to labeling and power. We need to reframe negative responses and subtly shift the paradigm. For example, when someone says “these kids can’t,” they might really be saying, “I don’t know how to.”

“We’re in this mess because we created it.”

Elena noted, “systems were created by people. And people can create new systems.” It’s important to not lose heart. There is a lot of will and interest in coaching for equity –  and having honest meaningful conversations that change practice. We need to have the will to do this. 

ONWARD! Pa’lante!

To Do: 

  • Register to attend the Coaching For Equity workshop here.  
  • Pre-order Elena’s book, Coaching For Equity, here
  • Come to the Art of Coaching Conference, which will have a special focus on equity this year.

To Read: