Mentor Coach Initiative Headlines New CDL Professional Development Programs

As one of several new professional development programs established by the CDC this fall, the Mentor Coach Initiative offers rigorous on-site support and training for coaches across the league. This opportunity is one of the many ways the CDC is making professional development more diversified, effective, and leader-driven.

As part of the CDC’s revised Professional Development Training System, the Mentor Coach Initiative employs a cadre of the most experienced and successful coaches in the Chicago Debate League to work with other coaches across the League through site visits. Six of the CDL’s most experienced coaches will serve as mentors in the initiative’s inaugural season: Bill Colson of Morgan Park H.S., Scott Dodsworth of Thomas Kelly H.S., Bob Edwards of Phoenix Military Academy, Joanne Lerman of Noble Street H.S., Curt Manslaka of Lane Tech, and Cathy Yackee of Brooks H.S.

Any CDL coach can register to be matched with a mentor coach. Most of the requests thus far have been from coaches with three or fewer years of experience in the CDL.

When a mentor coach is matched with an inexperienced coach, they conduct on-site training, with specific, approved training objectives. After the visit, the mentor coach submits a report to the CDC outlining the content coverage and offers a recommended “next step” in the mentees professional development. The mentee coach receives PD credit toward his or her professional development standard for the season.

The Mentor Coaching Initiative is one of many new professional development programs being implemented this season. Other new professional development initiatives include: coach training courses, tournament coach meetings, group meetings, CDC site visits, and online training.

The CDC’s Professional Development Training System requires every coach to participate in twenty hours of professional development during the year, ten hours per semester. External coaches, ones who are not teachers at their school, are required to participate in ten hours of professional development during the year, five hours per semester.