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COACHES CORNER

To coach for equity, start by looking within

By Sharron Helmke
June 2021
As coaches, we spend our days actively supporting the professional growth of others, but we’re also tasked with modeling lifelong learning through our own continued inquiry and reflection. Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to antiracism. But knowing where or how to start can feel overwhelming. In my own journey as a white educator and coach, I learned the only place I could start this work with integrity was with myself. By engaging in deep — and sometimes painful — self-inquiry and reflection, I’ve undertaken an ongoing journey of personal change. So when I contemplated what I could offer on the topic of antiracism, I realized I needed to forgo writing about how we coach others and instead focus on how I

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Vice President for Professional Services at Learning Forward | + posts

Sharron Helmke is vice president for professional services at Learning Forward. She designs and manages the organization’s consulting service programs that support state, regional, and local organizations in translating their improvement and learning goals into custom-designed high-quality professional learning programs that result in scalable and sustainable change. During her twenty-plus years in education she has served in a variety of roles at the campus and district levels, including teacher, instructional coach, and district-based program administrator. She is an international coaching federation certified professional coach, a Gestalt professional coach, and a trauma-informed care provider, all of which inform her approach to supporting educators. She is the author of numerous professional articles, including “To make a difference for every student, give every new teacher a mentor” in the August 2022 issue of The Learning Journal.


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