Category Archives: 1. Visionary leadership

Trust: How to Build a Strong Coaching Relationship

This quarter, as part of my journey through Seattle Pacific University’s Digital Education Leadership program, we are investigating ISTE coaching standards. For this blog post I will be focusing my research on ISTE coaching standard 1: Visionary Leadership.

ITSE Standards for Coaches 1: Visionary Leadership: Technology coaches inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment.

Indicator: d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms.

Background

Within my graduate program we have been discussing what it means to be an instructional and/or digital coach in schools. Through these discussions I noticed that many of the aspects of coaching are relative to building a strong relationship with another person. I began thinking of what exactly makes relationships so strong and what determines if the relationship ends up being long lasting? I also thought about myself and my own relationships I have with others and what aspects to the relationship made it a priority in my life. After pondering these questions I believe the answer comes down to one word, trust. I believe the ability to trust others and be trusted by others is a key ingredient to a healthy and strong relationship whether personal or professional.

After establishing that trust is an essential component to building strong relationships, I then had to think about how I would establish trust within an opportunity I will be having this quarter with a fellow colleague. This quarter I will be coaching a fellow peer within my school on how to implement technology into one of her lessons. This peer has had past coaches and has requested help from others before, but has expressed the concern of not wanting someone to simply come in and do it for her as much as she wants a learning experience in order for her to grow her own set of skills. With this knowledge at hand I came up with the following question to lead my investigation for this ISTE standard: What are the best practices and/or strategies to help build trust within a coaching relationship?

Defining Trust & Trustworthy Traits

For this investigation I have chosen to use Stephen M. R. Covey’s definition of trust as being, “the feeling of confidence we have in another’s character and competence.” (Covey, 2008) I think an example of trust would be feeling confident that if you told someone something in confidence that they wouldn’t go and share that information without your consent. Another example of trust would be feeling confident that the employees you hired to fix the plumbing in your home are competent enough to handle the situation within the agreed upon time.

Jim Knight, author of the book, Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected, goes deeper into analyzing trust by evaluating character traits people have that are either trustworthy or untrustworthy. (Knight, 2015)

Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. Chapter 9

As you can see above, Jim provides different traits that help determine the amount of trustworthiness a person shows through their words and/or actions. (Knight, 2015) I felt this was a very powerful chart as it made me reflect on my own personal traits and analyze the traits of others around me.

Laying the Foundation

Within Jim Knight’s book, Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected, you can also find a diagram he has made that helps introduce you to what he calls the, “five trust factors”. (Knight, 2015)

Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. Chapter 9.

The Five Trust Factors

Character

“We trust someone when we know they won’t do us harm. So, to build trust, we must be honest and transparent. When we hold back information or we lie, we demonstrate that we can’t be trusted.” (Knight, 2015)

Reliability

“People trust us when we do what we said we would do when we said we would do it. For that reason, we have to be careful not to over-commit. We can keep enough time to do what we need to do reliably by under-promising and over-delivering, saying no, and using organizational rituals.” (Knight, 2015)

Competence

“Promises don’t mean much unless we can deliver, and trust develops or is diminished depending on how well we do the work that we do. We can increase our competence by developing skills, gaining knowledge, or by being credible.” (Knight, 2015)

Warmth

“Another way to encourage others to feel safe and trust us is through personal warmth. We can show warmth in the authentic way we listen, demonstrate empathy, share positive information, and be vulnerable.” (Knight, 2015)

Stewardship

“The more people are focused on themselves, the less we trust them. However, the more people are committed to serving others, the more we trust them. Stewardship is embodied in a genuine focus on others, the way we communicate, the way we give credit to others, and the simple fact that we care.” (Knight, 2015)

Building Trust

“Without trust there can be no coaching” (Aguilar, 2013)

While reading The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation written by Elena Aguilar, I found the ten different steps/strategies she provides to build trust very insightful. I provided an overview of the first four steps she provides readers which I found relative to my first meeting with my coachee.

Step 1: Plan and Prepare

Essentially this step is all about being prepared for your first meeting with your coachee. What outcomes are you hoping for and what information do you need to have by the end of the meeting? Do you have questions ready? If not, here are a few from the book that I found helpful:

Background Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • What do you enjoy about your position?
  • What is challenging about it?
  • What do you think are your strengths?
  • What do you think are your areas for growth?

Relationship Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • How would you describe your relationship with your colleagues?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your students?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your students’ parents?
  • Do you have colleagues (on-site or off-site) that you trust? That you feel good about collaborating with?

Professional Development Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • How do you feel that you learn best? Can you tell me about a powerful learning experience you’ve had over your time as an educator?
  • What is your understanding of what coaching is? Of my role?
  • What are your hopes and fears for our work?
  • What do you need from me as a coach?
  • Is there anything I should know that would help me in my work with you? That would make our work together more effective?
  • Is there anything you’d like to know about me that would help make our work more effective?
  • What do you anticipate might be a challenge or get in the way of our working together?
  • How can I support you when those challenges arise?

Advice from Elena Aguilar: “It’s imperative that you feel confident, clear, and prepared. Your client will be watching you and listening to you very, very carefully. She/he will be looking for indicators of your competence, credibility, integrity, and character.”

Step 2: Cautiously Gather Background Information

This step warns us coaches to be careful of the information you gather about your coachee before meeting them. Even though you want to know them better in order to help them, sometimes asking others of their knowledge can lead to unhelpful opinions and impressions of the person you will be working with. It is better to build trust by starting off on a clean slate and getting to know each other by asking questions directly with one another. To sum it up, try not to gather background knowledge unless you know the person you are asking is unbiased and a trusted individual. (Aguilar, 2013)

Step 3: Establish Confidentiality

From the beginning of the relationship you should make sure you are establishing confidentiality with your coachee. You will likely need to remind them of the confidentiality agreement you are providing them with multiple times within your first meetings. One way to phrase this would be, “Before we get started, I want to return to what I shared in my e-mail about the confidentiality of our conversations. Our conversations are absolutely confidential. I will not discuss what we talk about with your supervisor or anyone else. If I ever need to e-mail your principal or supervisor about something we talked about, I will CC you on it. I would speak to him or her in person about you only if you are present.” (Aguilar, 2013)

Some of you may be wondering what happens when a principal or director asks about how the coaching is going and how you provide them with an answer and continue to keep the trust you are establishing within your coaching relationship. Elena Aguilar suggests making the coachee aware that you will only share what she calls the four T’s with their supervisor.

T– The teacher’s name that is receiving the coaching.

T-How much time is spent with the coachee each week or month.

T– The topics that are being worked on. (Example, “Mrs. Brown and I are looking at formative assessment strategies for academic vocabulary.“)

T– The tasks that she is doing with the coachee. (Example, “I am observing Mrs. Brown and offering feedback. We read an article together.”)

Step Four: Listen

Listening is a core component to building trust. Coachees will be watching to see if your engaged and interested in what they have to say. For the first few meetings Elena suggests using active listening where you paraphrase or restate what the coachee just finished saying to ensure you are both on the same page on what is being shared. (Aguilar, 2013) Elena also suggests to make sure you are always using deep listening when working with coachees and not being distracted by what happened before the meeting or what you have going on after the meeting.

Suggestions

To end this blog post I decided to share three personal suggestions that I have learned from my own experience that has helped me build trust with my peers at work. I hope they can also help guide you in your adventures!

  • Remember that actions speak louder than words. Your coachee will be looking for those trustworthy traits I discussed earlier and will be determining how much they share with you based on how you make them feel.
  • Remember that relating to your coachee is a great way to build trust. It is okay to show that you are not perfect, in fact allowing your coachee to hear about stories of your failures may help build the bond and allow them to open up even further.
  • Remember to smile and look approachable to others even when you think they are not watching, because they are. If you look and sound friendly then more people are likely to be willing to ask for your assistance then if you look busy and unapproachable.

Resources

Aguilar, Elena. (2013). The Art of Coaching, Effective Strategies for School Transformation. San Francisco, CA. Jossy-Bass.

Covey, Stephen M. R The Speed of Trust . New York: Free Press, 2008.

Knight, Jim. (2016). Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. London, UK. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Supporting Technology Integration Within Schools

This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 course, I investigated the question: “How can I support technology integration in my school and assist teachers in using technology to engage, explore, create, and communicate in their classrooms?”

My goal is to find information and resources on strategies to support teachers on integrating technology into their classrooms. Currently my school is incorporating more technology and has asked if I will take the position of technology lead to assist teachers who may be struggling with the new technology and need guidance on how to integrate technology into their classrooms. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

2E: Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment based on student readiness levels, learning styles, interests and personal goals.

2h: Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to systematically collect and analyze student achievement data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.

Models for Integrating Technology

The TPACK Model

The SAMR Model

Barriers You May Face

While researching about digital integration in schools I found a chapter written by Michael Phillips that makes aware of two types of barriers teachers have been having when integrating technology within their schools.

First-Order Barriers

The Extrinsic Barriers to Effective Integration

  • Lack of access to computers and software
  • Insufficient time to plan instruction
  • Inadequate technical and administrative support

Second-Order Barriers

The Personal Barriers to Effective Integration

  • Beliefs about teaching
  • Beliefs about computers
  • Established classroom practices

The Think, Feel, Care Protocol

When integrating technology it is easy to focus solely on your own thinking, but Beth Holland introduces a new “protocol” that will help allow technology supporters to look at the situation from the receivers point of view. This protocol is called the “Think, Feel, Care Protocol” and incorporates the following questions:

Think: How does this person understand their position in the school and their role within it?

Feel: What is this person’s emotional response to the change/technology/idea and how it affects their position?

Care: What are this person’s values, priorities, or motivations? What is important to this person?

This strategy helps others consider the “different and diverse perspectives held by the various people who interact within a particular system.” (Harvard, 2015)

“The goal of this routine is to help others understand that the variety of people who participate in a system think, feel, and care differently about things based on their positions in the system. ” (Harvard, 2015)

Some questions you may need to reflect on before attempting to assist teachers who may be reluctant to implement technology:

1.”What is the greater purpose of the technology? ” (Holland, 2018)

In other words where would technology fit within their instruction. Many teachers may feel they are to busy to implement technology into every lesson, but may be more open to using technology as a response tool for assessments or a communication tool for parents.

2. What are the teacher’s concerns? (Holland, 2018)

This questions refers back to the “Think, Feel, Care Protocol” I mentioned earlier. It is important to figure out what it is that is causing the teacher to feel uneasy with integrating technology in their classroom. This could be a multutitude of reason including,

  • They may not feel they have the time for technology.
  • They may not know how to use technology effectively.
  • They may feel overwhelmed with the use of technology.

3. How can the teacher make a gradual shift to technology? (Holland, 2018)

Keep in mind that when implementing technology we should encourage a gradual shift to others who are more reluctant. More often then not it is better to begin with one or two new programs or uses of technology in the classroom and be patient to see if and when the teacher is ready to implement more.

Resources

Common Sense Education. (2016, July 12). What is the TPACK Model?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMQiHJsePOM

Holland, Beth. (2018, October 8). A Better Way to Integrate Edtech. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/better-way-integrate-edtech

Philips, Michael. (2015, June 10). Digital Technology Integration. Retrieved from http://newmediaresearch.educ.monash.edu.au/lnm/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Ch25-Phillips-Digital-technology-integration_p318-331.pdf

Spencer, John. (2015, November 3). What is the SAMR Model and what does it look like in schools?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC5ARwUkVQg

Meaningful Book Reports

Every year we ask students to create book reports that reflect their learning of comprehension skills and demonstrates their public speaking abilities. In the past I have seen students freeze in the spotlight or bring in a poster in which they didn’t understand what was being displayed on it. They are unable to share with their peers what they have learned, and in turn, have wasted time and resources trying to complete what is now a meaningless task. In my Kindergarten class I sought to find a way to change this routine; a way to bring empowerment and creativity to my young students. To help guide my research I came up with the following question:

Q: Using technology, how can students create meaningful student-centered book reports to show understanding and competency of comprehension skills?

Meaningful & Student Centered

At first my journey lead me to focus on the meaningful and student-centered part of my question. My goal was to allow students to center their book report on a book/story that was meaningful to them. This could represent books that incorporated a hobby or interest that the child may have such as trains or soccer. However, the book could also be meaningful in a different way such as their favorite bedtime story or a story their grandparents read them while growing up. Through my own experience, I always felt more empowered when I was able to learn something that I was passionate about rather than being assigned to read a book that didn’t spark my interest. As an educator it was important for me to allow my students to have a voice in this project; to allow them to have a choice in what type of book they wanted to do the report on.

After reading the article, “The Top 5 Reasons We Love Giving Students Choice in Reading” I knew I was headed in the right direction. The article provides multiple reasons on the importance of allowing students to choose the types of books they read. One reason the article provides, is that allowing students this choice empowers them and makes them feel that their voice is important. (Skeeters, 2016) The article states, “Empowering students to choose in these early experiences sets them up for success as lifelong readers.” (Skeeters, 2016) After reading this article and doing more research on how to encourage empowerment in the classroom, I also came across this engaging video that shows you “7 things that can happen when your students own their learning” (Spencer, 2017):

Showing Understanding & Competency

Once I answered the “why” portion of my question, my next step was to look at the “how”. I knew why it was important for me to make these book reports meaningful, but how to do it took me more time to try to figure out. I sorted this section into two different parts: “How do I make sure they are showing understanding of comprehension skills?”, and “How do they use technology to present their information?”.

  • Q: How do I make sure they are showing understanding of comprehension skills?

A: Each book report would ask the students to focus on one to two comprehension skills. For example, one book report might ask students to focus on the main characters in the story. To show competency, students could pretend to interview one of the characters or possibly retell the story from another character’s point of view. (Lexia, 2016) Through this process, students would have a goal, take actions to achieve/ show understanding of the goal, and receive goal-related feedback from me to help guide them on the right track. (Wiggins, 2012)

  • Q: How do they use technology to present this information?

A: There are many answers to this question. I have gathered a variety of apps/technologies that students could use to video their reports, but many are aimed at grade levels 2nd and above. One article provided me with an idea on making book trailers and allowing students to have a “Viewing Day” where they are able to view one another’s book trailers and reflect on their work. (Ferrell, 2014) I liked this idea and the article provided me with several digital tools, but it seemed a bit intimidating with my young group of students. My goal is to test some of these apps out with my students to see their capabilities and do a possible pilot in class before assigning this as a take home assignment.

Digital Tools Suggested/Found: iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, flickerCC, Popplet, Stop Motion, ChatterPix Kids, Adobe Spark

ISTE Standards

After doing research, I feel the following ISTE student standards fit with my idea of creating digital book reports:

1b: Build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

By allowing students to view one another’s book reports, I am building a classroom community/network within my school. By allowing choices and encouraging empowerment within my classroom, I am customizing an environment of trust and creativity. I am also supporting the learning process by providing effective feedback to my students to help scaffold their learning.

1c: Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

By providing my students with goal referenced feedback, I am supporting their learning needs in a personal and customized way. I am able to see where they need assistance and help guide them on the right track to showing competency in comprehension skills. Students will also get to meet with me one-on-one to discuss ways/ideas they have to demonstrate competency with specific comprehension skills.

References:

Ferrell, Keith. (2014, December 8th). A Book Report Your Students Will Love. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=233&category=In-the-classroom&article=

Creative Alternatives to Book Reports (2016, November 10th) Retrieved from https://www.lexialearning.com/blog/creative-alternatives-book-reports

Skeeters “et al”. (2016, February) The Top Five Reasons We Love Giving Students Choice In Reading. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/ELQ/0383-feb2016/ELQ0383Top.pdf

Spencer, John [John Spencer]. (2017, June 17th). 7 Things That Happen When Students Own Their Learning. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7S9kyk-odA

Wiggins, Grant (2012, September) 7 Keys to Effective Feedback. Educational Leadership. Pp. 11-16

Digital Education Leadership Mission Statement

My mission as a digital education leader is to:

 ♦  Share the joy and promise I find in using technology with educators and students.

 ♦  Promote equal access to digital tools and rich use of technology to help build lifelong skills of independent learning, critical thinking, creative problem solving and collaboration.

 ♦  Deeply understand the needs and concerns of teachers and students so that their digital tools will work for them and not against them.

 ♦  Encourage thoughtful use of technology in a way that reflects the tenants of good citizenship.

Being adept with digital technology is more than knowing how to use hardware and software. It also includes wisely navigating the online world and using technology to enhance human abilities and interests.  To address this, the International Society for Technical Education (ISTE) has developed a set of standards for educational leaders, teachers, students, and technology coaches. Digital Citizenship is a key component of each of these standards and for technology coaches includes:

Standard 5.a.  The promotion of equitable access to technology and the modeling of educational technology best practices

Standard 5.b. Safe, healthy, ethical and legal use of digital tools and information

Standard 5.c.  The application of technical tools for furthering cultural understanding and global communication

(ISTE Standards for Coaches, 2011).


 Guiding Principles

1.  Equitable access to technology increases opportunity.

Providing students with equal access to technology consists of many moving parts, including procuring devices, software, highspeed internet, and ongoing instructional, technical and financial support (Jones and Bridges, 2016). But the aspect of equal access that will create the greatest opportunity is learning to use technology to help develop lifelong skills: independent learning, creativity, communication, problem solving, and working well with others.

Seismic societal change caused by technology is nothing new in human history, but the speed at which our current society is changing is unprecedented.  Within 25 years, the percentage of the global population that is online went from 0.25% in 1993 to 55% in 2018 (“Current World Population,” 2018;  Ritchie, H. and Roser, M., 2018).  Basic aspects of daily living now require some level of digital literacy, from applying for a job, to navigating the healthcare system to mapping out a local bus route.  Technology is also changing the nature of work, and the job market that today’s students will face when they graduate will look very different than it does today. Up to 30% of global workers could be replaced by automation by 2030, pointing to the need for workers to constantly reinvent themselves by learning new skills and switching careers (Manyika, J., Chui, M., Bughin, J., Woetzel, J., Batra, P., Ko, R. & Sanghvi, S., 2017, Table: Impact of adoption by 2030).

Fortunately, technology provides many effective tools for building knowledge, including online degree and certification programs. To take advantage of these opportunities, however, people need to know how to use digital tools creatively, critically, and collaboratively. These are among the very skills that employers will be looking for in the years to come (Manyika, et al., 2017).

The World Economic Forum predicts that the jobs that will show the most growth across all industries will be in data analysis, science, software development, ecommerce and social media “…all of which…are significantly based on or enhanced by technology” (“Machines will do more tasks than humans…” Para 7).

Though technology is causing a shift in the skill sets required for future jobs, it also offers educational opportunities to build those skills through:

    • Online collaboration on projects
    • Positive interaction through social media
    • Access to rich scientific and historical research and exposure to industry and academic thought leaders and open educational resources (Jones and Bridges, 2016)
    • An array of digital tools for creating various types of artifacts (text, graphics, video, music, virtual and mixed reality, 3D printed objects).

For this to occur equitably, all teachers need professional development to keep up to date on best practices for creatively incorporating technology into their daily teaching. Funding is needed to pay for this training and for technology such as 3D printers and software that goes beyond basic office-suite functionality. In addition, Computer Science should be included as a required subject starting in elementary school.

Educators will continue to prepare their students for the future in the way they always have, by modeling a love of learning and encouraging critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration. These skills are independent of technology. However, technology used effectively can let students explore and express these skills in new and personal ways.

(References ISTE Coaching Standard 5a)

2.  Technology in the Classroom should be Meaningful, Engaging and Culturally Sensitive.  

Equitable access to technology devices, software, internet access and quality instruction is essential. But the next layer of accessibility is providing digital tools that are flexible enough to enhance different learning styles and appeal to diverse cultural identities. The potential is there: technology offers many ways of customizing instruction for students, either through language, types of media, or self-paced curriculum.  Students can access artifacts, ideas, and people of similar backgrounds and/or interests through globally available content and social media. Ideally, students should never feel isolated or disregarded by the technology they use, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Robbin Chapman says, “The learner’s experience of a technology will be influenced by whatever cultural assumptions influenced the design of that technology” (2016, p. 289).  The developers of today’s digital technology are not a very diverse group, and as a result produce designs that reflect their own cultural bias.  As one example of the lack of diversity in tech, a report published by the National Center for Women and Informational Technology showed that only 25% of computing occupations were held by women, of which 16% were white, 5% were Asian, 3% were African American, and 1% were Latina/Hispanic (Ashcroft, C., McLain, B., Eger, E., 2016).  This lack of diversity in tech can contribute to several negative effects: students who don’t see themselves reflected in the digital media they use (through pictures, text, dialogue, video, or cultural situations) don’t connect as well with the material being taught. They also receive the subtle or not so subtle message that “people like me” don’t develop technology products, continuing the cycle of not enough diversity in tech.  A personal example includes an online Lego Robotics certification course I took this summer for teachers.  It included a nicely done video that explained the engineering process. Initially, I thought it would be helpful to show to students but then realized that there was only one African American man and no women in any of the crowded engineering classroom photos shown in the video.

Tech companies and universities are working to improve diversity in the industry, but it will take time.  Meanwhile, it is important that educators do what they can to select technology tools that can be customized and are culturally sensitive.  It is also important for teachers, curriculum specialists, and technology coaches at all grade levels to give feedback to product developers if they notice features or content that are off-putting or insensitive to their students.

Finally, though it should be a given, the technology chosen for classrooms should be based on the expressed needs of teachers and students. Digital education tools should never be irrelevant or a burden to learn or to use. I view the role of a technology coach as similar to my past role as a product manager: understand the goals, desires, and problems teachers and students face in their daily work and provide them with digital tools to help them meet their needs and solve their problems.

(References ISTE Coaching Standard 5a and 5c)

3.  Mindfulness and Digital Citizenship should be applied to all technology use.

Viewed historically, digital technology has come to monopolize human lives in a relatively short period of time – as mentioned earlier, most of us have only been online 25 years or less.  The combined speed with which the change has happened and the subtly with which new aspects of tech steal our attention has left us with very little objectivity or resistance to it.  This is partially by design: tech companies have monetized our attention and do everything they can to keep us coming back for more (“Silicon Valley renegades take on tech obsession,” 2018).  Many users feel bewildered, guilty and powerless at being “sucked in” by technology (Ticona and Wellmon, 2015).  The good news is that as a society we are starting to become aware of the need to step back and think about how we spend our time online and the importance of explicitly teaching students to do the same.

In his book Net Smart, Howard Rheingold advises that we apply mindfulness techniques to our online use.  This includes using metacognition – thinking about thinking – to become aware of how we are using our time online. Are we mindlessly scrolling through a newsfeed or social media? Is this what we really need to be doing right now?  Just taking the simple step of having a plan before going online and checking in with ourselves periodically to see if we are following the plan can make a difference. Rheingold also recommends using the breath to bring our minds back to the present moment and our own bodies during online use (Rheingold, 2014).

Another effect of rapid technology adoption is that we have difficulty recognizing that the online and offline worlds are inextricably linked.  In her book Disconnected, Carrie James describes teens and young adults as unaware or uncaring that certain behavior could harm others online.  James links this to the fact that as humans, we are more accustomed to interacting on a local level. It is easier for us to imagine the effects of our actions on our families, friends, or nearby communities, and this usually regulates our behavior.  In contrast, we have difficulty seeing the global online community as anything but a faceless, anonymous enigma.  James suggests we need to learn (and teach) an expanded ethical framework for living online that considers the needs of “…distant unknown individuals and the integrity of larger communities” (p. 7).

Fortunately, we have a model that already works for us in the real world – good citizenship – that can help us build James’ ethical framework for online living (Fingal, 2017; Ribble and Miller, 2013).  As good digital citizens we should:

    • Understand our roles and responsibilities for protecting our own data, privacy, and content ownership, as well as that of others.
    • Expand the empathy and protectiveness we feel for our local community to our global online community by treating others with kindness and respect.
    • Selectively consume and conscientiously produce online content.
    • Be conscious of our own health and that of our community regarding online use. Recognize that our actions affect others, and that in the ecosystem of the internet they can have far-reaching and unforeseen effects.

    From Carrie James’ research and our own experience, we know that it takes a conscious effort to connect real-world good citizenship skills to our online use. We can’t expect young people to know how to act online without being taught.  Interestingly, several of the most sought-after skills for future employment as described in my first guiding principle are the same skills we need to be good digital citizens: the ability to educate ourselves, think critically and work well with others.  As Ribble and Miller said, “Times and technologies have changed, but the need for basic skills in humanity are important no matter how people connect with others.” (p.139, 2013)

    (References ISTE Coaching Standard 5b.)

    Last Word

    Technology may present us with challenges, but like other human creations, it can also be inspiring and joyful.  Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent time in classrooms that were participating in the Hour of Code. This year’s showcase lesson is “Dance Party,” where kids (and yes, adults too) can create an onscreen dance party with effects, different animated characters, and songs by top musicians.  The students were having so much fun – dancing at their desks, sharing what they created with their friends – it was a powerful and happy reminder of the good that tech can bring to our lives.

    References

    Ashcroft, C., McLain, B., Eger, E. (2016). Women in tech: The facts.  National Center for Women and Informational Technology.  Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/WITI_Report

    Current World Population.  WorldoMeters.  Retrieved 12/2/18 from: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

    ISTE Standards for coaches. ISTE. Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches.

    Fingal, D. (2017). Infographic: citizenship in the digital age. ISTE. Retrieved October 8, 2018 from https://www.iste.org/

    Global Digital Population as of October 2018.  Statista. Retrieved on 12/5/18 from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

    James, C. (2014). Disconnected: Youth, the new media, and the ethics gap.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

    Jones, M., & Bridges, R. (2016). Equity, access, and the digital divide in learning technologies: Historical antecedents, current issues, and future trends. In N.J. Rushby & D.W. Surry (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of learning technology (pp. 327-347). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

    Machines will do more tasks than humans by 2025 but robot revolution will still create 58 million net new jobs in next five years. (2018).  World Economic Forum.  Retrieved from http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2018/press-releases/.

    Manyika, J., Chui, M., Bughin, J., Woetzel, J., Batra, P., Ko, R. & Sanghvi, S. (November 2017).  Jobs lost, jobs gained: What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages.  McKinsey Global Institute Report.  McKinsey and Company.  Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/jobs-lost-jobs-gained-what-the-future-of-work-will-mean-for-jobs-skills-and-wages#part4

    Rheingold. H. (2014). Net Smart. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Ribble, M. and Miller, T.N. (2013). Educational leadership in an online world: Connecting students to technology responsibly, safely, and ethically.  Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17:1, 137 – 145.

    Ritchie, H. and Roser, M. (2018). Technology diffusion & adoption. Retrieved October 27, 2018, from: https://ourworldindata.org/technology-adoption [World Bank – World Development Indicators; International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and Database].

    Silicon Valley renegades take on tech obsession. (2018, June 29). WSJ Video. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/video/silicon-valley-renegades-take-on-tech-obsession/2D3A120C-C88F-4C81-A005-1439E464A507.html

    Ticona, J. and Wellmon, C. (2015).  Uneasy in digital Zion.  The Hedgehog Review 17:1, 58-71. Retrieved from: https://chadwellmon.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/ticonawellmon_hi.pdf

Staying Informed as a Coach

This weeks module was centered around the question of “What additional professional learning do you need to become a more effective coach?” With this in mind and focusing on ISTE Coaching Standard 6: Content Knowledge and Professional Growth b. Engage in continuous learning to deepen professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions in organizational change and leadership, project management, and adult learning to improve professional practice and 6c. Regularly evaluate and reflect on their professional practice and dispositions to improve and strengthen their ability to effectively model and facilitate technology-enhanced learning experiences, I wanted to find resources for coaches to continue to learn.

I found two resources that I believe will help coaches continue their learning. The first resource is an article from McGraw-Hill Education titled “Resources for EdTech Coaches. McGraw-Hill stated “The role for a coach is always evolving and will continue to evolve as various digital learning environments take shape. They fill a vital space that has emerged in the era of personalized and digital learning” To help with the constant change they developed a list of five resources for tech coaches.

#1. ISTE Connect EdTech Coaches Network: The Edtech Coaches Network promotes the development and collaboration of educational technology coaches who support the professional growth of teachers as they use technology to enhance learning. This online resource offers an extensive discussion board where its nearly five thousand members can engage in meaningful conversation surround EdTech topics. There is also a library full of additional resources that members can use and where they can upload their own materials. Finally, another neat feature of this network that they list events around the United States to attend. The only downside to this network is that it isn’t free and the yearly membership could be a little on the higher side for some coaches.

#2 Understanding District Digital Transformations: Each district/community have different digital learning plans and technology integration from a district-wide perspective. Think about how you can gather a better understanding of your district’s digital transformation plan if you don’t already know, and in what areas your experience and expertise might help district leaders to develop an even stronger plan because a good district digital transformation plan is always evolving

#3 Future Ready Schools Groups and Events: A planning and resource hub for personalized, digital learning, Future Ready Schools hosts events across the country for district leaders and EdTech stakeholders to spend time collaborating and planning a digital learning strategy. Lauren Borrero from my cohort wrote a wonderful blog about future ready schools where she goes into detail about future ready schools and how they provide collaborative leadership. Check out her blog here.

#4 Approaches to Personalized Learning: The learner and the teacher collaborate to drive learning and determine needs, plan, and learning design. With personalized learning it can be helpful to take a step back and seek out a refresher, McGraw-Hill has a great article that outlines personalized learning.

#5 EdTech Podcasts: Podcasts are a great way for teachers to learn information that is created by Educators for Educators. Bam Radio Network has podcasts about instructional technology, teacher innovation, and creating a meaningful classroom environment.  TED Talks Education is, of course, another great audio resource.

Conclusion: With the constant change happening with educational technology resources for EdTech coaches are valuable. These resources are available for indivdial learning such as podcasts and for community learning like the ISTE Connect. Using these such tools can help coaches keep up in their ever evolving field.

Helping Teachers Feel Comfortable with Coaching

As a teacher working with a coach might be nerve-racking and something you might not feel comfortable participating in, however as a coach there are ways to help teachers feel comfortable. With this Modules triggering the question of “What skills, resources, and processes will you use to help peers co-plan learning activities they want to improve?” I reflected back on when I had a coach in my first year at my current school district and how it can be hard to open up to someone regarding the work you are doing in the classroom. A lot of times teachers (including myself) want to appear that we have it all together. Or we want people to think our lessons are awesome 100% of the time. While a lot of the time we do have it together and our lessons are great there is always room for improvement and letting someone in on the imperfections can be scary. Since we are taking a look at how our peers are teaching an activity and helping them improve it I wanted to focus my post on how coaches can help teachers feel more comfortable with the coaching process.

Pennsylvania Institue for Instructional Coaching put out an article for coaches with 5 tips to working with reluctant teachers. As a coach, I think it good to have these 5 tips when working with any teacher regardless if they are hesitant or not.

Start with a Relationship
The coach-teacher relationship is one of the most important aspects of gaining and keeping the trust of reluctant teachers. Start small, sell yourself, and be authentic. Ask for permission to see a lesson or collect some data for one of the teachers in your building. Talk to your peer about how you can help them gain insights into student achievement in their classes. Most importantly, be yourself. Remember, instructional coaching is all about helping teachers to improve practice.

Get Support from Other Teachers
Successful instructional coaching programs must be cultivated. Be sure to develop positive associations around teacher participation in instructional coaching. It is very common for instructional coaching to be associated with struggling teachers. You must be sure to counter any negative preconceived notions associated with receiving, needing, and/or accepting instructional coaching. One way to counter negative perceptions of instructional coaching is to ask the teachers that you work with to share success stories. This is one instance where you would ask a teacher that you are working with to share some of what you are doing in your one-on-one work together

Make the Conversation Confidential
Reluctant teachers often have an array of fears and anxieties towards coaching. These fears and anxieties may stem from a lack of trust toward leadership. Therefore, it is crucial to have the support of your organization’s administration. Make the conversation confidential by gaining the support of the administrators in your school/district. The support provided by the administrative leadership must be public and supported by your procedures and policies as an instructional coach. For example, it is good practice to acquire permission from your teachers before you collect data. Asking for permission and reassuring teachers of the confidential nature of the teacher-coach relationship affirms that instructional coaching is about teacher support.

Make the Conversation Student Centered
Teachers may feel that a coach is there to judge their teaching capability and that may be nerve-racking for a teacher.  Coaches are there to be a support system to the teacher, but teachers may not view coaches in that manner. Begin your before the session by making your conversations with reluctant teachers student-centered.  For example, how do you think the students will react to this new teaching method?  Have your students used this method before?  What skills will your students need in order to accomplish this task?  By making the conversation about the students, the teacher may feel less pressure on them and their practice.

Use Data to Drive the Conversation
Some teachers may not believe they can benefit from working with a coach.  They may believe their classroom runs efficiently and there is not room for growth within their practice. However, you may want to ask those teachers if they use data to drive their instruction. By looking at data, coaches can help teachers that feel they will not benefit from working with a coach see areas where they can grow.

 

My Take Away

Based on my personal experience and information from the article from Pennslyvania Insitute for Instructional Coaching I believe that to have successful coaching experiences we should always keep in mind how a teacher might be feeling. Building relationships and making the coaching experience centered around students stuck out as the most important part of the 5 tips. With this information, I am going to make sure my peer coaching project really centers on students rather than critiquing my peers teaching style. With this as my focus, I still can’t forget about relationships for this project. I am lucky to have a great relationship with peers before starting this work, but practicing these skills will make sure these relationships are tarnished and continue to grow.

Teaching 21st Century Learners

For our current module, we were asked to define 21st-century learning skills and how we might use that definition in coaching. This is as my triggering questions and with ISTE Coaching Standard 1d “Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms” and ISTE Coaching Standard 2f “Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences” I wanted to know how we as coaches can help teachers implement 21st century learning skills with technology. 

To help answer this question I first needed to explore what is meant by 21st-century learning. P12 (Partnership for 21st Century Learning) developed a framework to help define what this learning looks like. According to P12, “today’s students face higher expectations in both school and the workforce, 21st Century Skills help to prepare students for what they will need to know and be able to do in school and college, at work and throughout all aspects of personal and civic life. Students can build these skills by applying them as they learn regular school subjects. And we know that pointing out these skills will actually increase students’ grasp of what they’re learning, as well their overall engagement in their own education”. 21st Century Skills are a set of academic building blocks—abilities and ways of thinking—that can help kids thrive as 21st-century citizens. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning identifies these skills (or the 4Cs as they are often called) as Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and Innovation.

Helping Teachers Implement

New 21st century learners are highly relational and demand quick access to new knowledge. More than that, they are capable of engaging in learning at a whole new level. With the world literally at their fingertips, today’s students need teachers and administrators to re-envision the role of technology in the classroom. As students develop the four C’s, we have discovered that effective application of these vital skills in a technology-infused life and workplace requires acquiring them in a technology-infused learning environment. This environment calls for two elements: We must increasingly put technology into the hands of students and must trust them with more progressive technology use.

Shifting Roles: Using 21st-century learning skills teachers should make the shift from being the focal point of the classroom with presentations using technology to students being the focal point as explorers and designers of their learning. Teachers should spend less time creating presentations and more time crafting powerful learning activities. According to NAESP article Technolgy Integration for the 21st Century Learner by Nancye Blair “they will find that material is covered with more depth and retention the first time around, saving them time and energy in the long run”. Allowing students to be explorers and designers shows that we as teachers believe in our students’ abilities.

Discovery and Exploration: In technology-infused discovery activities, Internet research, virtual manipulatives, and multimedia resources allow students to explore unanswered questions. Blair also stated, “discovery activities give students real-world, problem-solving experience and ownership over their learning, as well as allow them to bring their observations into the subsequent lesson, discussion, or creation activity as prior knowledge.”

Creation and Design: Creation activities provide students the ability to develop creativity and problem-solving skills by displaying their mastery in profound and meaningful ways. Through creation activities, students design products that make them active partners in constructing learning experiences in the classroom and beyond. In demonstrating their skills and knowledge, they become more confident in their own abilities and their own voices

What We Can Do As Coaches Conclusion

Knowing the information above we as coaches can help teachers implement these changes in their lessons. Informing teachers of what 21st century learning looks like in the classroom is a good first step in effectively implementing this skills for all learners. One of my colleagues in my cohort for our Master’s program wrote a great post about self-reflection for 21st learning skills for teachers or coaches to use (read her post here). All of the evaluation tools are great for teachers to see how they are currently implementing 21st-century learning skills. With the information gathered from self-reflections and from understanding how to integration technology into the classroom with the support from coaches will help teachers successfully teach 21st century learners.

 

Effective Collaboration

For this week’s module on Developing Coaching Skills, we looked at two standards from ISTE. The first was 1D from Visionary Leadership “Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms” and the second was 2f from Teaching, Learning, and Assessment “Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences”. With these standards and using the guiding question of what roles communication and collaboration play in successful coaching, I wanted to learn more about effective collaboration skills. This leads me to ask ” What are effective collaboration tips for successful peer coaching?”

According to Merriam-Webster, collaboration is “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor”. Knowing what collaboration is the first part of making it successful. In an article published on Scholastic by Kriscia Cabral “In collaborative working environments, teachers have the potential to create professional development schools, teacher study groups, teacher-researcher partnerships, professional learning communities, peer-coaching, collaborative problem-solving, and teacher-mentoring.” This statement brought me back to my original question of what are effective collaboration tips? Plus what can we do to create a collaborative working environment?

Creating a Collaborative Work Environment

Kriscia Cabral who wrote Strategies for Effective Collaboration developed some tips for teachers and coaches to create effective collaboration environments.

Creating a Working Agreement– This is created in a collaborative setting where every voice shares expectations and then as a team four to seven expectations are agreed upon. These agreements are powerful in that they are created as a group and created with the group in mind.  It reminds everyone all of what is expected of others and ourselves when meetings take place. Below is an example of what a working agreement might look like. This is what my Kindergarten team and I review each year.

Have an Agenda– Before starting a meeting, set an agenda that can realistically be followed. Again, have this posted on a whiteboard or poster paper. The agenda is a guide for the time you have together as a team. It is a visual reminder of what is planned for discussion and decision-making. The agenda also helps to keep the time spent together somewhat guided and on topic. The screenshot below is an example of an agenda. This is the agenda my team and I use each week for our meetings. To make it easy for all members to contribute topics or ideas it lives on our OneNote where we collaborate together.  Cabral stated in her article that her team uses a “parking lot” system to keep track of ideas and questions that they would like to discuss at any given point. These items might not be immediate issues but it’s a good way to keep track so those thoughts can be revisited.

Communicate– One curial part of successful collaboration is communication and how to communicate well.  Have trust in your team and be willing to share your thoughts often. Actively listen as colleagues share their ideas. Come up with a system that works for your team when it is time to make a consensus. One strategy from Cabral’s article is the “Fist to Five” strategy. Team members show a five all the way to a fist to show how strongly they feel on the given topic. This is a strategy that can be used among peers, as long as it has been agreed upon by the entire group.

Find Other Ways to Connect– There is so much to be said about nurturing strong relationships and how that helps us accomplish goals. If possible, plan a more social gathering with your colleagues. Try and connect outside of the workplace and gain an understanding of where others come from. Not only is it nice to get out and talk about something else besides work, but it also gives you and your colleagues an opportunity to build upon the already established relationship.

Conclusion

For effective collaboration to take place coaches and peers need to work together to build relationships and trust. This can take place by having open communication, norms, and agenda based around a topic the peer wants to work on.  This inspires peers to deepen their thinking.

Sustaining Technology After PD

With new technology rolling into schools constantly it can be easy for a teacher to become overwhelmed. As coaches, I think we can help teachers become more comfortable using technology. According to Standard 1d from ISTE coaches “Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms”. Looking deeper into this substandard I wanted to know strategies to help teachers feel less overwhelmed with new technology innovations.

The Struggles

With districts and schools being different across the nation there are different struggles teachers can have when implementing technology regardless of the grade level. Brendon Hyndman, a Senior Lecturer and Course Director at Charles Sturt University wrote the article “Ten Reasons teachers can struggle to use technology in the classroom” to help give an insight to what might be happening with technology use in the classroom. In the article, Hyndman stated the following ten reasons

  1. Introduced technology is not always preferred
  2. Differing device capabilities and instructions
  3. It’s easy for students to be distracted
  4. Technology can affect lesson time and flow
  5. Teachers need more professional development
  6. Not everyone has technology at home
  7. Teachers need to protect students
  8. Not all teachers “believe” in using technology
  9. Lack of adequate support, infrastructure, or time
  10. Tensions between students and teachers

While these struggles might not apply to every teacher its good for coaches to know that these struggles are happening. With this information, coaches can focus on ways to help alleviate these issues.

How Can Coaches Help Teachers

To bring education into the digital age, we must give teachers the skills they need to adapt their classrooms. And teachers can’t do it alone – they need district and state leaders to invest in meaningful professional development opportunities that let them explore new teaching practices, but what does solid professional development look like? A NWEA article by Hugh Fournier lists the following seven things to consider in teacher professional development.

  1. Align professional development to instructional goals. Armed with a good understanding of student learning goals, Jean says, “Look for synergies between assessment data, curricula, and other instructional resources.” When good information goes into a development program, good results will follow.
  2. Identify learning outcomes. While a good number of objectives will suit all teachers, there are certain teams that will need different goals and outcomes – intervention specialists, as an example. Depending on the learning outcomes needed for each team or group of teachers, different professional development needs may apply.
  3. Review existing professional development options. Many school districts likely have access to existing professional development tools. Are they right for your current needs or goals? That’s the key question that needs to be asked and discussed before settling on the professional development program that will bring the success your school is looking for.
  4. Give the gift of time. Good teacher professional development does not happen in one sitting (with or without a clown nose). It’s necessary to carve out time for teachers to meet regularly, so it’s important to dedicate time and resources accordingly.
  5. Make professional learning relevant. When designing or selecting your teacher professional development program, be sure to make sure that it can be applied in the classroom right away. It should possess insights and strategies that align with what teachers are doing in their daily classroom work.
  6. Measure success with metrics. By building evaluation metrics into the professional development program, teachers and staff will be able to measure the effectiveness of the program. In this way, adjustments can be made to ensure the overall success of the program.
  7. Keep staff engaged. Teachers and administrators need to be engaged throughout the program – during the collaboration time as well as in the classroom.

Tips For When PD is Over

After professional develop concludes teachers might still feel overwhelmed with all of the information they just received. One of my classmates mentioned that she has heard time and time again from teachers about PD and coaching is that they want tips, tools, and strategies that they can implement immediately without a ton of extra work.

Tips, tools, and strategies should be easily accessible to teachers. Paper handouts, a bulletin board, or an online site should be available. At my own district, all technology information including tips and tools is located in our staff KIT (Knowledgebase for Integrating Technology). On this site, teachers can find technical information about curriculum, integration, troubleshooting, etc. If there is ever a need for further assistance our helpdesk is just an email or phone call away.

Conclusion

Although professional development is a strong way to initiate technology for teachers hopefully, we can implement some tips, tools, and strategies to make the job of teaching less stressful. By working to ensure that teachers aren’t overwhelmed with technology integration we can have successful use in the classroom.

 

Sources:

Fournier, Hugh. “7 Things to Consider in a #Teacher Professional Development Program | #Edchat #TeacherPD.” Teach. Learn. Grow., 11 July 2017, www.nwea.org/blog/2017/seven-things-consider-teacher-professional-development-program/.

Hyndman, Brendon. “Ten Reasons Teachers Can Struggle to Use Technology in the Classroom.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 24 Sept. 2018, theconversation.com/ten-reasons-teachers-can-struggle-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom-101114.

Iste.org. (2017). ISTE Standards For Coaches. [online] Available at: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].

 

EDTC 6105: What Defines a 21st-Century Classroom?

Continuing in my Digital Education Leadership program, I’ve been asked to consider the role of three ISTE Coaching Standards and how they can be utilized to support others.

These standards led me to question what traits define a 21st-century classroom. How could I share these traits with others? If I walk into a classroom to observe a lesson, what evidence would I look for? Two images of classrooms came to mind, the past and the present.

Classroom Design

Thinking of a traditional classroom, the desks were in rows, the students worked independently at their seats, and the teacher typically remained in the front of the room. Mary Wade’s infographic (click to enlarge) shares what many classrooms resemble today. Immediately, her infographic reminded me of several classrooms in my building.  Students sit in table groups, have a common meeting place on the carpet/rug, comfortable seating options for independent reading, a semi-circle table for small groups, and utilizes wall space.

What stood out to me though was the fact many of the teachers would not describe themselves as tech savvy, innovative, or 21st-century teachers. If we want to support more tech integration in our schools that foster 21st-century learning, then we must first give teachers credit for the amazing things they already do. For example, a peer coach could photograph a teacher’s classroom then ask the teacher to use the above graphic to identify their own 21st-century practices.

Student Learning Opportunities

Once teachers understand conducive classroom configurations, the next step is to set goals for student learning. Defining 21st-century learning varies depending on the source.  In 2010, Elizabeth Rich asked eleven educational experts from around the country, “How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning?” and she received eleven different answers.  Reading various perspectives, a few important facts kept reappearing.  In particular, the need to teach history and literature from the past that can help shape students views on the current world they live in. A big shift from previous generations entails preparing students for multiple careers in their lifetime, not just becoming an expert in one field.  Therefore, both content and skills come into play and that is where technology can be a tool to help meet the needs of diverse learners. Perhaps one of the biggest shifts in learning has been to make student learning more personalized, global, and collaborative. 

A 21st-Century Teacher

What traits then define a 21st-century teacher? How do we guide teachers to see themselves as providing 21st-century learning? Tsisana Palmer’s post 15 Characteristics of a 21st Century Teacher  suggests a list of characteristics that can both elevate the teacher’s expertise as well as student learning.

Palmer gives great evidence to support these characteristics.  However, if there is one thing I’ve learned this quarter so far, it is to start small with goal setting. As a “coach-in-training”, my advice to teachers wanting to create a 21st-century classroom, is to first recognize what is already happening, then set SMART goals to gradually strive for the environment you desire. For example, this year my district adopted a new literacy curriculum.  Looking at the list above, collaboration is built-in to the curriculum.  Therefore, teachers can check that off their list and choose something else they’d like to focus on.  Perhaps they are studying erosion in Science and visit a local watershed.  What if they are able to then connect with another classroom in another region.  Teachers can collaborate online to provide students opportunities to share and compare their findings.

Coaching Support

So how can peer coaches support teachers in this process? First, identify what is already happening in the classroom and what the teacher feels is working well. Then question what shifts the teacher is hoping to make. Providing options that may exist in other classrooms in the building or nearby schools can provide observational opportunities and collaboration with someone not traditionally connected to the teacher. Coaches can provide suggestions based on the teachers questions, but should not simply hand over resources. In addition, remember to start small. The goal is not for teachers to demonstrate everything on the list, but to begin looking at how to implement 21st-century learning opportunities to enhance student learning.  Once teachers determine the characteristics they’d like to implement and feel supported, it’s time to collaborate on how to make it a reality.

References

Foltos, L. (2013). Peer Coaching: Unlocking the power of collaboration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Palmer, T. (2015, June 20). 15 Characteristics of a 21st-Century Teacher. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/15-characteristics-21st-century-teacher

Rich, E. (2010, October 11). How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning? Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2010/10/12/01panel.h04.html

Wade, M. (2016, March 29). Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/visualizing-21st-century-classroom-design-mary-wade