Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ISTE Coaching Academy Series - Course 5 Reflection

Time for another ISTE Coaching Academy Course Reflection!
I just finished working through the fifth course, entitled:"Coaching Skills for Lesson Improvement".  

See my previous notes & reflections at the following links: 

Course 1 Reflections 
Course 2 Reflections,
Course 3 Reflections
Course 4 Reflections

This course focused on the ISTE Standards for Coaches 2.a,b,c,d,f,g, which state:

Nets-C Standard:  Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
a. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences addressing content standards and student technology standards
b. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using a variety of research-based, learner-centered instructional strategies and assessment tools to address the diverse needs and interests of all students
c. Coach teachers in and model engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles,research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience
d. Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences emphasizing creativity, higher-order thinking skills and processes,and mental habits of mind (e.g., critical thinking, meta-cognition, and self-regulation)
f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

g. Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to continuously assess student learning and technology literacy by applying a rich variety of formative and summative assessments aligned with content and student technology standards

While Course 4 focused on Lesson Design Skills that coaches need, this course focused on the Communication and Collaboration Skills that coaches need to develop in order to make the coaching successful.

Here are some key thoughts I wanted to share:

Effective Feedback must be:
  • timely - as soon after the event/process as possible
  • specific - lay out suggested action plans / changes
  • phrased appropriately - needs to come across as positive and encouraging (think sandwich method) so the receiver doesn't shut down and disregard what you have to say
  • asked for - nobody wants to listen to unsolicited advice

Learning Activity Checklist / Norm for Effective Learning
  • See excerpt from Les Foltos' book Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration here. Start on page 109 and read through page 118. I don't want to restate what is said in the chapter, but it's really good :)
  • Check out the Peer Coaching Training Resources here. This is quite expansive and talks through a lot of things in Courses 1-5, but it's a great resource to have if you are a coach or are interested in being a coach.
  • I spent a lot of time during this course thinking through the processes I go through as a coach at the beginning of the year (and some I can implement as we "launch" again for the second semester in a couple of weeks. Here are some of the documents I've been working on.
    • Coaching Cycle and Getting Started - The links within this document should be viewable to anyone with the link (let me know if there is one that is not). This is an organizational tool for myself (I think it would be overwhelming to show this to the teachers I work with, at least at the beginning). There are some items on the "Beginning of Year" section that I am going to revisit (or visit for the first time) this next semester, namely the coaching norms, tech proficiencies, effective learning norms, and measuring lesson effectiveness. (Make sure to zoom in so you can actually see the drawing... there are two halves to it :) ).

Review of Coaching Communication Skills:
  • Active Listening - Make sure to focus on the speaker, block out competing thoughts, lean forward and nod.
  • Paraphrasing - Use this to check for understanding and clarify what was heard by summarizing.
  • Clarifying Questions - Use this to lead to a clearer picture or understanding of the topic / idea and to gather information.
  • Probing Questions - Use these to provoke deeper thinking; make sure they are open ended and that you don't have an answer already in mind when phrasing the question.
I did a lot more reading and research on probing questions in this course, as it is an area I want to continue to grow in.

Here are some times when probing questions are useful (Source: Leading Governance)
  • Expanding the topic after a closed-ended question
  • Encouraging a fellow to expand their response
  • Encouraging a fellow to think through the experience
  • Getting to what is not being said
  • Helping to provide more detail
  • Focusing more closely on one element of an answer to an open-ended question.
Attributes of Probing Questions (Source: Coaches Guide to Probing Questions)
  • (see link for complete list)
  • Deepen and expand thinking
  • Keep learning at the center
  • Elicit a slow, reflective response
  • Are non-judgmental; neutral
  • Are not suggestive (not trying to elicit a specific response)
Sample Probing Questions - I searched online and gathered a bunch of question starters that can be used for probing questions. You can see what I've gathered here.

Some great articles that I found to share: (these are Diigo links so they might show my highlights)

Why integrate technology? https://diigo.com/076kyl
Technology in Schools https://diigo.com/076kyu
The secret to great coaching https://diigo.com/076l4q
ICT Peer Coaching Manual https://diigo.com/077369 (*Page 10 characteristics of an effective coach & teacher readiness to become a "coachee")

I am gathering notes from all the different articles, resources, and books I am reading on coaching and putting them together in different documents in a Google Drive folder.  It's not ready to share publicly at this point, but if you are interested, please let me know and I can share it directly with you.  I'm still adding a lot to it, but would love to share and collaborate as I bring together all the learning from so many different sources.

Until Course 6...

See all of my ISTE Coaching Academy Course Reflections here:
Course 1 Reflections 
Course 2 Reflections,
Course 3 Reflections
Course 4 Reflections

Course 5 Reflections

Course 6 Reflections

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