As a coach it is important that whatever I am asking educators to do is also something that I am willing to do myself. That is what this indicator means to me when I read it. How am I modeling for educators all the things that I am asking of them when it comes to integrating digital resources into their classrooms.
This school year more than others has made this even more important in some ways. Since we have asked all educators to pivot and teach and engage students remotely it was important that I was also modeling this during my interactions with educators. Things that I continually keep in mind when trying to plan and model this for educators are how am I making it relevant for educators and how do I model flexibility. I think technology can sometimes be tricky because not all educators feel comfortable with it and therefore sometimes have a hard time seeing the relevance or how they would use it. This is why I try to showcase different resources and means of engagement, letting educators know that they don’t have to use anything fancy, it just needs to support the learning goals. I also use this as a way to demonstrate flexibility and the fact that things are going to go wrong and that it is okay. This is how we model resilience with our students and let them know that it’s okay to not know everything but how we react, pivot, and adapt is what matters. Two other things that I have come to realize this year is that it is important to follow up with individuals. This can help keep folks engaged and sends a message that what they are doing is important since I took the time to reach out and follow up. It is also important to have fun. We want our students to have fun and therefore we should also have fun in our own learning journey. You can read more about some of my ideas around personalized professional learning in my blog post, 6 Takeaways for Providing Virtual PD that is Personalized and Differentiated. I have been putting these ideas into practice this year by intentionally building in moments during professional learning that provide opportunities to practice using technology and allow for fun. One example is how I have been using Jamboard with educators during professional learning. We have used it as a collaborative check-in space as well as a collaborative area for capturing ideas and learning that can be shared with the entire group. This has been well received as it provides an example that educators can then start to think about how they might use it in the classroom with their own students.
Another way that I have demonstrated evidence of my learning around this indicator can be found in my community engagement project, Supporting Learning with Project-Based Learning and Nearpod. For this project I designed a learning experience for educators that was centered around Project Based Learning (PBL) and it incorporated the digital resource Nearpod, since our district had recently purchased it for teachers. This was a personalized approach to professional learning as the design was teacher driven. There was a choice for the teachers in what aspects of Nearpod they wanted to explore and then how they were connecting it to their classroom. Teachers were asked to bring a lesson from their classroom and worked through the different elements of PBL and features in Nearpod in order to design a classroom experience for students. I modeled the use of Nearpod for teachers so that they could see it from both the teacher and student perspective. This allowed for us to have discussions around what supports they might need to incorporate for students or where their students might have questions when using the resource.
As I look to next school year and what it might bring for teachers I am thinking about all of the professional learning opportunities that come along with it. One thing that I am currently committed to doing is providing professional learning for our math support teachers throughout next year. I would like to be able to intentionally build in support for educators around thinking intentionally about technology integration and what that looks like in their classrooms. I plan on drafting a plan for the year that incorporates new instructional strategies and how I plan on modeling the technology integration for them so they can see it in action. I would also like to continue my own growth around the best ways to personalize instruction and learning for adults so that I can better put them into practice when working with educators.
Google Jamboard. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://jamboard.google.com/
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches
Nearpod: Make every lesson interactive. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2021, from http://nearpod.com