My friend, Diego Arrancibia runs an organization dedicated to improving the delivery of “Technical Assistance” (what we used to call ‘teacher training’ back in the good ol’ days) to Out-of-School-Time (OST) programs in California. Although his entire program/rubric is fantastic and amazing in its sweep and scope, the one thing I come back to is his “Four Foundational Competencies” for those who train OST Professionals.
I’ve hinted at these four competencies in a previous post, but I wanted to lay them all out and tie them together with the Inner Game concept to create a new idea in how we think about how we teach.
First off, let me say that the four Foundational Competencies don’t just apply to OST Trainers. I think they work rather well as the foundational competencies for anyone involved in teaching at any level.
The four competencies are:
- Knowledge – Yep, ya gotta know your stuff. If you’re teaching a college chemistry class, you better know chemistry. If you’re a preschool teacher, there’s a reason you went through all those Child Development classes. Knowledge is your base, your core.
- Interpersonal Communication – You are teaching other people. You have to interact with people associated with the people you teach (parents, co-teachers, etc.). To do this effectively, you have to know how to communicate – across ages, across gender, across social and cultural spectra.
- Professionalism – To be effective, you must be accountable for showing up, doing your best, modeling ongoing learning, and acting within a code of ethics.
- Evaluation of Student Needs – Closely related to communication, you must be able to perceive and translate the specific needs of your students into appropriate curricula and teaching methods. With standardized everything, this is where public schools are slipping.
So, with these four Foundational Competencies, you have the base for delivery of excellent education.
But What Drives These Competencies?
And here’s the rub: the level at which you operate within these competencies just doesn’t “happen”. It is driven, shaped, and molded by your Inner Game. Your Inner Game is the fuel on which these competencies run. Good fuel = peak performance. Bad fuel = less than optimal performance.
Just as you can’t run your car by putting molasses in your fuel tank, you can’t expect to hit all four cylinders of these competencies without showing up in the world in a positive and and powerful way.
Through the Three Pillars applied to each of the Foundational Competencies, who you are being creates how you show up in the world… and how you show up in the world creates a fabric of “being-ness” that is the foundation of your classroom / teaching style.
In another post, I’ll talk more about the “Fabric“… but for now, understand that it is created by how your Inner Game interacts with your Foundational Competencies. The “Fabric” is the background, the pulse, the almost subconscious consistency through which everything else you do as a teacher is woven.
If something isn’t going as well as you’d like it to… take a look at the “Fabric“… and then unweave it… examine how you’re showing up in the world based on the Three Pillars (presence, responsibility, and personal power) and how they inform your basic Foundational Competencies (knowledge/skill, communication, professionalism, and evaluation acumen).