An Untitled Document
One of the challenges I have had as a learning coach is in understanding and communicating to teachers exactly what I can offer in terms of support for their teaching practice, and in turn how we as a school can help improve student learning.
As the role of the learning coach evolves over time, I thought it may be useful to have a few tools to refer to. Through interactions with colleagues, administration, and fellow learning coaches I have created this document that I have found value in using as a tool for working with teachers. This has helped me provide a “menu” in which teachers can identify an area for growth or expertise. If the teacher identifies an area for growth I can lend my time, experience, and energy to ensure the teacher gains greater knowledge and expertise. If this is an identified area of expertise, I will leverage this to increase the capacity in our building for the whole staff.
If we are operating with a growth mindset, the goal would be for teachers to identify BOTH an area of expertise and an area for growth.
I believe that every teacher, every year, and with every class must start at the bottom of this model. Creating a culture of learning and high expectation in your classroom must be intentional, thought out, and practiced consistently. Effective teachers take care of this in a short period of time, yet continue to reflect upon how they are creating culture. They will make subtle changes when needed, and provide consistency within the environment.
As this culture is being created, educators are able to move up the model to meet the goals of their department, the school, and the school division. With all of these aspects, the continual process of plan, teach, and reflect will allow for growth and learning as indicated at the top of the model. In general terms, it certainly helps for teachers to have a comfort level with the lower tiers of the model as they work towards the next level. An example of this would be that teachers need to effectively communicate with students as a base. Teachers can then understand student needs and then be able to differentiate instruction.
Obviously, a simple document like this does not encapsulate the entire teaching process, and may still have significant gaps. I would ask you to consider these three questions to help make this document more meaningful.
- What would you add/delete/clarify?
- I call this post the “An Untitled Document” as that is what my google form named it when I did not capture a title. Please help me “name” this model! One suggestion so far as been to call it the “Art of Teaching”, and I am sure there are other great titles out there!
- How do you see this being implemented in the learning coach process?
I look forward to hearing from you.