June 2022 Newsletter – Coaching: What is Coaching?

According to the Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary from NAEYC and NACCRRA (Child Care Aware of America), coaching is:

“…a relationship-based process led by an expert with specialized and adult learning, knowledge and skills, who often serves in a different professional role than the recipient(s). Coaching is designed to build capacity for specific professional dispositions, skills, and behaviors and is focused on goal-setting and achievement for an individual or group.”

Sometimes, the term coaching is used as a synonym for mentoring, but in reality, there are differences between coaching and mentoring.  Mentoring is defined in the Glossary as:

“…a relationship-based process between colleagues in similar professional roles, with a more-experienced individual with adult learning knowledge and skills, the mentor, providing guidance and example to the less-experienced protégé or mentee. Mentoring is intended to increase an individual’s personal or professional capacity, resulting in greater professional effectiveness.”

Here is a chart that contains a comparison of the two processes:

Coaching Mentoring
Focuses on specific skills and practices. Focuses on overall professional growth.
Can be a one-time event or occur over multiple meetings. Occurs over an extended period of time.
Concludes once goals have been achieved. The relationship continues beyond the achievement of initial goals.
Can contribute to performance evaluations. Does not contribute to performance evaluations.
Coach is either self-selected or assigned by a supervisor. Typically, mentors are selected by mentees.

Both relationships are built on trust and include reflective work and feedback. Experts promote both coaching and mentoring as part of a larger professional development plan.


For the main article What is Coaching?, CLICK HERE

For the article Characteristics for Coaches and Coachees, CLICK HERE

For the article Structure of Coaching Sessions, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner: Coaching for Success, CLICK HERE