Group coaching builds connections

By Sandy Cameli
October 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person education in spring 2020, learning leaders urgently needed collaborative professional learning — to take deep breaths, reflect on how to shift their practices, and support one another emotionally and logistically to survive and eventually thrive in this unfamiliar learning environment. However, many traditional growth opportunities became impossible amid requirements for social distancing, remote teaching, and other health precautions. Some educators wondered if there was even space for professional collaboration during a pandemic while instructors prioritized students’ and families’ basic needs. If so, how might teachers and leaders carve out time from their overloaded days (and nights) to concentrate on a new skill set? Hawaii’s Na Kumu Alaka’i Teacher Leader Academy, a year-long professional learning experience for school- and district-level

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A-B-C protocol

A sharing protocol for peers

A is for audiences/alliances:

  • “Your targeted audience is …”
  • “The stakeholders who will benefit from this project are …”
  • “The individuals who will help support this idea include …”


B is for barriers/boundaries:

  • “Would _____ be considered a barrier or obstacle to your goals?”
  • “Are there limitations or boundaries for …?”
  • “What considerations have you made for roadblocks related to …?”


C is for compliments/celebrations:

  • “This is what really excites me about your project …”
  • “Your proposal provides a strong foundation for …”
  • “The identified goals will add value by …”


Source: Professional Development & Educational Research Institute, Hawaii Public Schools.



Cameli, S. (2020, February). A different kind of book club. The Learning Professional, 41(1), 48-51.

Conscious Leadership Group. (n.d.). Locating yourself: A key to conscious leadership [Video].

Dolcemascolo, M. & McKanders, C. (2014). Adaptive Schools Foundation Seminar learning guide (p. 14). Thinking Collaborative.

Garmston, R. & Wellman, B. (2009). The adaptive school: A sourcebook for developing collaborative groups (p. 103). Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Hawaii Board of Education. (2015, November 17). Update on the Leadership Institute.

National Network of State Teachers of the Year. (2017). Teacher Leader Model Standards.

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Sandy Cameli ( is an educational specialist for Na Kumu Alaka’i Teacher Leader Academy for the Hawaii Department of Education. 

The Learning Professional

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