Published by
Wiley (2020-08-11)
Current material
Paperback / softback
Original language
Educational strategies & policy

Coaching for Equity

Conversations That Change Practice

by Elena Aguilar

Your Guide to Creating Equitable Schools

If we are going to interrupt educational inequities and create schools in which every child thrives, we must refine our conversation skills. Coaching for Equity offers extensive strategies for talking about race, power, and systems of oppression, strategies which lead to changes in a teacher's practice. This book is for teachers, leaders, and coaches who accept responsibility for interrupting inequities in schools and who want to build the knowledge and skills to coach for equity.

Coaching for Equity contains an updated Transformational Coaching framework and the tools and rubrics that are necessary to implement this model of coaching. In addition, personal narratives demonstrate what coaching for equity looks like and help us see how we can make every conversation count towards building a more just and equitable world.

"This book is for every teacher, leader, coach, and educational practitioner who seeks to interrupt educational inequities. Elena shares her vulnerability and insights, embraces the power of emotions, and deepens our understanding so we can expand our skillsets—helping us to put relationship before task and keep equity at the core."
Tamisha Williams, Dean of Adult Equity & Inclusion, Lick-Wilmerding High School

"Finally! Elena Aguilar's Coaching for Equity is an accessible guidebook that pushes us beyond platitudes of equity to the essential ground of creating complex learning environments that demonstrate—every day—what it takes for all children to receive the educational experiences they deserve. Coaching for Equity is for all of us who have been hungry for guidance about how to gather our people, get past our fragility, and 'journey towards justice and liberation' as we work in service to all children."
Kimberly N. Parker, PhD, Shady Hill School and co-founder of #DisruptTexts

"All coaching should be about equity, but coaches need tools and maps to guide them through emotionally complex conversations about race and justice. This book provides coaches with those tools and maps. Any coach who is concerned about equity, which should be every coach, will greatly benefit from reading this book."
Jim Knight, Senior Partner, Instructional Coaching Group


ELENA AGUILAR is the founder and president of Bright Morning Consulting, an international education, coaching, and consulting firm that brings new learning practices to organizations. Elena has extensive experience working in diverse school environments as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and leadership coach. She is the bestselling author of The Art of Coaching, The Art of Coaching Teams, and Onward.




-              On Bridge Building

-              Defining Equity

-              The Contents and Organization of this Book

-              Who You Are—the Readers

-              Who I Am—the Author

-              How To Get the Most from this Book

-              Interlude: Compassion

Chapter 1: Transformational Coaching: A Model for Change

-              Structures to Span Chasms

-              Assumptions Behind Transformational Coaching 

-              Transformational Coaching

-              The Three Components of Transformational Coaching

-              The Four Phases of Transformational Coaching

-              The Five Principles of Transformational Coaching 

-              Interlude: Curiosity

Chapter 2: Jumping into Coaching for Equity

-              Building Relationships and Surfacing Strengths

-              Low Expectations and a Deficit Mindset

-              The Undulating Landscape of Emotions

-              Turning Inward

-              A Conversation about Crying

-              Interlude: Connection

Chapter 3: What You Need to Know about Race, Racism and White Supremacy

-              What Is White Supremacy?

-              What is Racism?

-              How Racism Manifests in Schools

-              The Power of Words and The Language of Oppression

-              It’s Time to Take Action

-              Interlude: Courage

Chapter 4: How to Talk about Race

-              Recognizing What Is and What Could Be

-              Attending to Myself

-              A Time of Growth

-              The Path to Racial Healing

-              Why Calling People Out Doesn’t Work

-              Ten Ways to Respond to the Question, “Am I Racist?”

-              Interlude: Purpose

Chapter 5: What You Need to Know about Adult Learners

-              The Gaps Between Current Ability and Desired Ability

-              How to Sequence Adult Learning

-              The Coach as Learner

-              Interlude: Compassion

Chapter 6: How to Change Someone’s Mind

-              Addressing Beliefs and Behavior at the Same Time

-              Six Conditions in Which Beliefs Change

-              How to Build Trust

-              What to Say When…

-              For People of Color Doing this Work

-              Interlude: Curiosity

Chapter 7: What You Need to Know about Emotions

-              Towards an Appreciation of Emotions

-              Exploring and Embracing our Needs

-              Responding to Resistance

-              The Connection Between Emotions and Justice

-              A Transformational Coach’s Way of Being

-              Next Steps in this Learning

-              Interlude: Connection

Chapter 8: What You Need to Know about Identity

-              The Social Construction of Identity

-              How to Facilitate Reflection

-              Addressing Racial Differences

-              Interlude: Courage

Chapter 9: Surfacing Current Reality

-              A Prequel

-              Building Trust with Khai

-              Planning a Coaching Conversation

-              A First Classroom Visit

-              Interlude: Purpose

Chapter 10: Recognizing Impact

-              Debriefing an Observation

-              A Pause to Look Inward

-              Analyzing and Interpreting Data

-              Coaching a Way of Being: The Legacy Question 

-              When to Talk about Race

-              Interlude: Compassion

Chapter 11: Exploring Emotions

-              When Anger and Doubt Arise

-              The Power of Student Experience Data

-              Confronting Bias

-              Interlude: Courage  

Chapter 12: Creating New Practices

-              Developing New Behaviors

-              Data that Reveals Beliefs and Ways of Being

-              Practice, Practice, Practice

-              Evidence of Deepening Will and Commitment

-              The Ups and Downs of Learning

-              Celebrating Growth

-              Interlude: Purpose

Conclusion: Towards Liberty and Justice for All

Appendix A: The Phases of Transformational Coaching

Appendix B: The Equity Rubric

Appendix C: Transformational Coaching Rubric 2.0

Appendix D: Advocating for Systems Change

Appendix E: The Core Emotions

Appendix F: Resources for Further Learning

Appendix G: Glossary


About the Author



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