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While budgets are tight for training, sometime we need to look outside the box and closer to home to look at ways to inspire our practice.

You have heard of take your child to school day – so what about take your house staff to school day. What a scary thought! (for both boarders and ourselves). So, what do you mean coach?

On the other posts that I have written, we have looked at our maps of the world and how to understand other people.  The concept of a learning walk in boarding is an excellent idea. A learning walk is when you take time to follow a boarder for the day in school. By this I do not mean that you have to take part in maths or PE lessons, I mean to watch what happens during the school day with a view to looking at the care we provide. If any of your staff are non teaching, this is an excellent way to integrate them more fully into school life. For this to be effective you need to have a focus for the learning walk and all parties need to agree so there are no problems. Ask yourself some open questions – How? What? Where? Who? and Why? as you take part to help you make changes to your boarding practice. Take time to review your thoughts after the event and see what happens.

So here are some ideas to get you started.

Have you a new boarder that has a poor level of English?
How about taking time to go to school with them to see what happens during the day – how much do they understand? What can we put into boarding to help them gain success?

Are you curious about how the boarders integrate in their year group?
Offer to go on a school trip and use this as an exercise to watch what happens and think about other ways for them to integrate.

Do you aspire to become a senior leader?
How about asking to shadow the Head Of Boarding, Deputy Head or Housemistress for the day to see what happens.

The opportunities are endless. If this appeals to you, take steps to arrange it. If you try it, add a comment here to let other boarding staff know how it helped you.