Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Coaching: How to continue to support teachers in a multi-year process

This post is Part 5 of my year-end series on Coaching
Many people have asked me, “What happens to the teachers after you work with them for a year?”  A year is a long time, but at the same time, it’s a very short time.  Different teachers progress at different rates, because they come in with different skill sets and mindsets.  There are a few fellows who are just flying and I’m so excited to see them continue to soar “on their own” (knowing that I’m just a text/email away if they want to collaborate and reflect on anything).  There are others who are begging to have a second year of full-on weekly coaching. 
Because our goal is to reach more teachers, very few teachers get chosen as “second year fellows”.  We knew that we needed to have a structure in place that would continue to support them in their growth and learning. 
Goals & Monthly Meetings:
For next year, I will be meeting with each of my Year 1 fellows once a month to check in with them, collaborate, and reflect.   Each of them set between 2-4 specific goals for themselves during our final month together that will help keep them focused and give me specific items to check in with them on and to provide support in.
The goals that have been set are:
  •  Use laptops more effectively and more often (at least once per week per course) to get more feedback from students, not just as a replacement for a powerpoint or notes.  (Tools like Peardeck, Desmos/Padlet, Google Form)
  • Next year, I will use Google Docs at least once to have students provide immediate feedback to one another on an FRQ (not waiting for an “autopsy” for the assignment).  This will provide students with immediate feedback on their writing, rather than have the students waiting on my grading of their writing.  It will open a dialogue as a class to discuss concerns about the responses.
  • Create instructional videos using the document camera for modeling annotation, going over rubrics / expectations, MLA format, essay structure, etc so students are able to go back and review them at any point and able to learn it asynchronously.
  • Utilize Socratic Seminar at least once per unit (near end if only used once) before a final test.  Use Google Docs for students to annotate and make notes/questions ahead of time.  Time period: 3 days per seminar (2 days for prep & 1 day for discussion)
  • Utilize Doctopus as a document management system to push out Google Docs (text sections, journal entries, essays) to students.  This is an efficient way to manage and hold students accountable for their work.
  • Student presentations connected with novel/play units on connecting literary analysis with quotations.  Student use Google Docs for annotation (collaborative) and then Google Slides or Drawings to present their information to the class.
  • Develop a clear and consistent structure for students to be able to access the instructional content and units throughout the year.  The main tool for this will be Haiku, on which I plan to provide the schedules, learning objectives, lesson content, resource material, and access to daily assignments (and links to assignments) for each unit. Reorganize the Haiku page so that each unit of instruction is fully accessible in order by each course. Each unit should have its own page with tabs for homework, extra resources, activities, links to lessons (office mix, etc).
  • Use a google sheet to record daily/weekly homework points so as to eliminate extra paper and to allow students to see their cumulative homework points via a link to view the google sheet.  I plan to use student numbers in the google sheet to protect privacy.  Students will be able to access homework records via a link on Haiku.
  • Use Google Docs/ Doctopus to push out a Unit Assessment/Reflection Form for students to answer questions regarding learning objectives before/during/after we are working with each content unit.
  • Daily Warm Up Using Google Forms to establish a daily expectation for students’ engagement, use of laptops, feedback or input regarding content, and my sanity!
  • Use OneNote to have a virtual space for ALL my curriculum units.  This will create 1 location documenting my Units of study; I would like to share with my grade level.
  • Have students self­assess more of their work. I want to embed more time to practice writing, but not overwhelm myself w/ grading. I want them comfortable w/ the rubrics, so they can assess themselves. At beginning of the year, use rubrics (Response to Lit, Argumentative) with past papers.
  • Haiku wikiproject for student work.  Page created by lit circle (students will create when access the first time) as a  “class” wikiproject; new wikiproject for each quarter.  Their first assignment is students doing an introductory block w/ picture,about me, etc. There will be subpages for each project/assignment under the lit circle master page
  • Bring more activities that involve deeper thinking, collaboration, 21st century skills into teaching and learning.  Tools like Desmos or possibly Geogebra for exploration / conceptualization as well as activities I find on teacher blogs.
  • Become more efficient and create formative assessments that are auto­graded by using tools such as Haiku Quizzes, Socrative, GoFormative, and Peardeck.  Utilize these throughout class to drive and adjust instruction.
  • Go Formative and/or Socrative: To gauge mastery and points of struggle,then to use that information to pair students up in collaboration to meet each learner’s needs.  Remember collaboration instructions: “Don’t hold their pencil”  ,  “Don’t tell them the answer ­ ask them questions”,  WHOEVER IS DOING THE THINKING IS DOING THE LEARNING 
  •  Google Form Survey to be used to obtain feedback from the students about the class. In addition, the format may open communication lines with students that may need to talk to a trusted adult.
  •  I want to explore more online assessment, such as Kahoot, Socrative, and Haiku assessments with listening examples.  This would open up up entirely new ways of making sure students understand the musical environment we are studying.

Sharing & Learning Events
In addition to the monthly meetings, we are going to try and have 2-3 “events” for them to come together and continue to share and learn, possibly “EdCamp” or "TeachMeet" style.  We haven’t figured that all out, but it’s on the table.
Lastly, I started something called “Fellow Meetups” where once a month all fellows are invited to an after school, “meet at an outdoor coffee shop”, informal chat / share / learn with other fellows.  A Coach (this year, it was myself) facilitates the conversation and helps to ensure that everyone gets a chance to share and reflect.  Sometimes it was just “sit around and chat” whereas other times we had a little more structure with specific questions to reflect and share on.  We had fairly good success with it this year and are excited to spread it to involve more of the other coach’s fellows.  (Because I was the organizer, 90% of the attendees were my fellows.)  “Former” fellows will be invited to these meetups so they can continue to connect and collaborate with others.

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