Coaches, who are teachers or parents, play an important role in our program. Coaches are the point of contact between us at the Tech Girls Movement Foundation and the team, and the team and their mentor. We will send all communications via the team coach.
Coaches do not need to know how to complete all elements of the program. We encourage you to learn alongside your students, guided by your passionate mentor, and by us at the TGMF who will provide the curriculum and the technical support you need.
Here are some tips for coaches:
Provide Leadership: Be active rather than passive. Some coaches feel nervous at first about guiding and keeping the girls on task, but this is necessary to ensure that teams have a successful experience.
Manage team dynamics: One of the most challenging things about being a Techgirls coach is working with a diverse group of students—some may be very shy, others may be talkative. Try to establish the “Three-then-me” rule where each time a person talks she has to wait until three other people have spoken before speaking again. This ensures that everyone’s voices are heard. Encourage shy students to speak up, even if you have to put them on the spot. Help everyone feel involved and they will become more comfortable and confident.
Stay neutral: At times you may find that your girls argue with one another or there is a disagreement in the group. Try to manage conflicts if they occur and help each girl share her concerns and feel heard, without taking sides. While girls are brainstorming app ideas or deciding on colours and fonts, try to let them make their own decisions whenever possible.
Provide 1:1 interaction: One of the most important things you can do as a coach is to get to know each girl on your team individually. Start a conversation with the shy student who is not very talkative, ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, what her favourite classes are and why. Get to know each girl so she feels connected to you and supported by you.