PSD70 Learning Coach Program

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Soon the Garden will be Blooming

Learning In Action for All

Learning In Action

Just in my first year in the Learning Coach Role, I often reflect on my effectiveness and my ability to assist others to change their practice. Earlier this week, I was affirmed that I may be doing just that! As mentioned in my previous post, I am working with a grade three teacher with a student blogging project. I have modeled using the placemat strategy as a means to ensure all students are engaged, have a voice, and are able to assess their own learning, specifically to develop criteria and requirements for Powerful Blog Entries (yes Diane, we discussed the difference). Rather than speak about the actual lessons again, I would like to speak to the wonderful “aha” moment both the teacher and I had. After being away from the school for a week, I did a check in. She related a story about how she “just” about used the placemat strategy for another lesson, separate from our project. However, she was reluctant to “do it wrong” so she went back to a familiar, but less effective strategy. I was both excited and a little saddened by this. Excited, because she was looking for ways to incorporate the strategy into her practice and saddened, because I wondered if I hadn’t given her sufficient information, support, or something (?) so that she felt confident enough to go forth on her own. We spoke further about using this as a universal strategy and that she didn’t need my “permission” to expand on its use or worry about doing it “wrong”. This is a learning process for everyone! Imagine my delight when, later that day, I walked into a room in which she had been teaching to see this display (see picture above) on the board. Just like the Grinch, my heart grew bigger and my smile grew wider! She had taken initiative and used the strategy with a whole new group of kids to brainstorm for a writing assignment. Later that day, we had our second team teaching experience and I noticed her increased confidence and comfort level in using this teaching tool. She was effusive in her enthusiasm and its effectiveness to promote “thoughtful” thinking (is there such a beast?) in the classroom. We have plans to work on more Cooperative Learning Strategies in the New Year. I feel one small seed has been planted; I am looking forward to the garden blooming.

Category: Uncategorized
  • pwierstra says:

    Oh my gosh – I actually beamed through your complete post!!! I am so excited for you and found your post so motivating!!
    I too am finding the cooperative learning structures are really taking off this year and sometimes worry that my excitement is …less than exciting for staff :)LOL!! This week I had a staff member write ” I did it. It was noisy but student engagement was much higher than anything I have seen before. I need to get comfortable with this.” I almost screamed 🙂
    Have fun with this Lesley!!

    February 27, 2015 at 10:56 am
  • dlander says:

    And my heart just grew bigger, too, Lesley!
    What beautiful evidence that your work is having a positive impact on teacher growth and student learning!

    December 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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