Sunday, March 27, 2016

Learning, recording and sharing

As we continue to learn and reflect on having Instructional Coaches within our district, one tool to make our learning deeper is recording one another in coaching cycles.  

GrantWood AEA has conducted Instructional Coaching training for schools involved in teacher leadership and this year, we have been fortunate enough to participate in training based on Jim Knight's work.  During these training days we learned from @jimknight99 and Ann Hoffman.  Both of them were outstanding in their knowledge and ability to share tools with us on making Instructional Coaching be impactful within a school system.

Our last training session @GrantWoodAEA was on the use of recording during Instructional Coaching.  

Ann shared with us that recording one another has the incredible potential to:
  • improve instruction
  • be a game changer 
  • and help us set a goal for student learning after watching video
Other benefits of recording are:
  • it's very easy to do
  • it's an effective tool
  • and we don’t know what it looks like when we do what we do

Ann says, "We do not have a choice on getting better -- we all need to get better as students and educators, but we do have a choice on how we get better!" Recording during coaching is like opening a door for teachers to observe their own classrooms to get better.  

Ann taught us that when reviewing recordings of yourself, or with someone you have helped record, the list of reflective questions below may help increase the amount of take-a-ways from this experience. One other important tip is remembering psychological safety of the participants in the video. Sharing video for some is a scary thing. This is partially important because our identity may be interwoven with our professional practice.  Ann also told us to remember, the teacher always has the final say over the recording and how and when to use the recording.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how close is the lesson to your ideal
    What would have to change to make it closer to a 10?
  2. What would you see your students doing differently?
  3. Describe what that would look like.
  4. How could we measure that?
  5. Do you want that to be your goal?
  6. If you could reach that goal would it really matter to you?
  7. What teaching strategy would you like to try to achieve your goals? Or collaborate with teacher to identify strategies
  8. What do you notice about….. voice level, tone, clarity
  9. Anything surprise you?
  10. What do you want to take forward to other lessons?

One teacher I marvel at in her transparency and sharing of her practice is Sarah Brown Wessling.  Sarah shared in a video on the Teaching Channel on how she records herself to improve her practice.  

Sarah Brown Wessling Teaching Channel Video

This brings us to our latest #BCTLT recording to share. Alex Olson, one of our MS/HS Instructional Coaches recorded himself during an instructional coaching cycle (with permission of the teacher) and shared it with the rest of the #BCTLT to learn with.  After watching and processing the recording, we decided it fit really well with one of our goals of sharing what Instructional Coaching is at BC with our school board.  

We turned Alex's recording (with permission from the teacher & Alex) into a presentation for our school board and want to share it with others to demonstrate the focus on data in coaching cycles and in making instructional decisions.

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