How exciting to be joining in on the MOOCEd for Coaching Digital Learners! There is so much awesomeness in Unit 1, it’s hard to know where to start (well, unless you decide to follow the outline!)

Source: Unit 1 – Stewarding the Future of Digital Learning & Teaching, Coaching Digital Learners

MyNotes

  1. An approach to professional learning in job-embedded support
  2. Should not be a part of the evaluative process
  3. Build trust and relationship
  4. Share your expertise
  5. IT Coaches share their competences in 3 distinct areas:
    1. Tech integration
    2. lesson design
    3. coaching
  6. Focus on pedagogy and the learning objectives…a really effective learning strategy.
  7. Need to rethink the redesign of lessons when using technology
  8. At the heart of good coaching is effective communication and collaboration skills
  9. These skills lead to trustful and open relationships
  10. Start with asking questions about current teaching and learning
  11. Active listening helps ensure those you coach that you hear and value them as a collaborative partner.
  12. Key questions:
    1. What are the dispositions and skills required to be an effective instructional technology “coach?”
    2. What is your current vision of and strengths for instructional technology coaching?
  13. IT coaches empower and prepare educators to be active, creative and knowledgeable when planning tech enhanced learning experiences.

Some of the resources shared include:

Les Foltos’ video

  1. Video: Insights Into Peer Coaching – Les Foltos
    My Take-Away: professional learning methodology to help colleagues improve the quality of their teaching. They help their coaches by completing learning activities with them, model/team teach, and spend some time observing their colleagues and providing feedback on what worked, what might work in some settings, etc. The most effective PD comes from collaborating with folks. Coaches emphasize inquiry over advocacy. Probing questions are designed to help teachers think deeply so they can come up with their own answers; lesson design: pair tech with active engaging strategies like project-based learning. Help teachers develop a deep understanding of how to enhance learning.  As learning activities are planned, they are routinely thinking about how to integrate technology. And, they are adopting strategies that help students develop creativity, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
  2. What Good Coaches Do – Jim Knight
    1. Identifying our principles is important because the way we act grows naturally out of what we believe. The partnership principles of equality, choice, voice, reflection, dialogue, praxis, and reciprocity provide a conceptual language that coaches can use to describe how they strive to work with teachers.
    2.  Coaches who act on the principle of equality have faith that the teachers they work with bring a lot to any interaction, and they listen with great attentiveness.
    3. Coaches who act on the principle of choice position teachers as the final decision makers, as partners who choose their coaching goals and decide which practices to adopt and how to interpret data.
    4. When coaches follow the principle of voice, teachers feel free to express their enthusiasms and concerns.
    5. We see a partnership coach as a thinking partner for teachers and coaching as a meeting of minds. When we watch videos of partnership coaches and teachers co-creating ideas during reflective conversations, we see two energized people who laugh, talk enthusiastically, and enjoy themselves.
    6. Because dialogue is only possible when we value the participants’ opinions, Freire suggests we enter into dialogue with humility. This often means that we temporarily withhold our opinion so we can hear others. Dialogue may also involve a kind of radical honesty. That is, rather than covering up the flaws in our argument or hiding our ignorance, in dialogue we display the gaps in our thinking for everyone to see. If we want to learn, we can’t hide behind a dishonest veneer of expertise.
    7. Praxis describes the act of applying new knowledge and skills. 
    8. Reciprocity is the belief that each learning interaction is an opportunity for everyone to learn—an embodiment of the saying, “When one teaches, two learn.” When we look at everyone else as a learner and a teacher, regardless of their credentials or years of experience, we’re often delightfully surprised by new ideas, concepts, strategies, and passions.
    9. When teachers are forced to work with a coach, they often see coaching as a punishment. However, when teachers are offered coaching as one of many ways in which they can conduct professional learning, they often see it as valuable. 
    10. Principals should suggest coaching as one option for professional learning when they talk with teachers after classroom observations.
    11. when coaches take the partnership approach, their efforts are guided by specific goals that teachers hold for their students. Partnership coaches start by gathering data with or for the teacher. They then collaborate with the teacher to identify a specific student goal. Student goals can be either academic (for example, 95 percent of students will demonstrate mastery of this concept on the next test); behavioral (students will be on task more than 90 percent of the time); or attitudinal (90 percent of students will ask to read a book for pleasure over the break). 
  3. It’s About the Questions – Ronald R. Bearwald
    1. When a mentor provides a solution or makes a decision for the mentee, the mentor unwittingly inhibits the reflection needed to identify desirable courses of action. When the mentee asks, “How can I develop a master schedule?,” the mentor should let questions such as “What essential information will you need?” and “What are the steps in your process?” and “Whom should you consult?” lead the way.
    2. Questions such as, “In what ways did your planning succeed or fail?” or “What 2 were some of your specific contributions to its success or failure?” will provide insights into your mentee’s thinking and progress
    3. Ask questions about essential issues and behavior.
    4. Ask precise and incisive questions. Questions that prompt probing and higher-level thinking will help you and your mentee identify issues that need to be addressed. The more precise the question, the greater the resulting clarity. “Do you feel that you are part of the team?” is a far less useful inquiry than, “In what specific ways are you contributing to the team’s success?” Precise questions lead to clarity that enables the mentee to identify and own the problem and develop a specific action plan.
    5. Ask questions that generate specific and relevant information. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with yes and no or similar one-word responses. Yes and no are dialogue dead ends. Rather than asking, “Do you think the staff respects you?” try asking, “What are some of the specific qualities for which the staff respects you?” Don’t confuse thought-provoking, open-ended questions with generalized questions that stifle meaningful reflection. Asking the mentee, “What do you want to talk about?” or “How are things going?” rarely provides useful data.
    6. Ask questions that connect the past, present, and future
    7. Ask questions that explore values.
    8. Occasionally, ask for permission. When interacting with a mentee over time, it’s important not to take things for granted as the partnership develops into a comfortable and sharing relationship. Take care of the process and the dynamic by checking in with questions that ask permission and check boundaries, such as “Would you like some feedback on what you just shared?” or “Are you comfortable continuing this analysis?” Questions of this nature help maintain a foundation of mutual respect.
    9. Avoid asking why.Coaches should develop skill in posing questions that elicit explanations without asking why. “Can you tell me more about the thinking process that led to your decision?” and “Help me understand your decision”
    10. The best coaching partnerships are voluntary.
    11. Information shared within the coaching partnership should remain confidential unless both parties agree to share with others outside that relationship. 
    12. Each participant, coach and mentee, is responsible to complete any work that both have deemed beneficial. 
    13. Coaching activities should seek to expand professional knowledge, develop skills, and explore best practices by promoting examination of the mentee’s competencies and experience as well as the school culture. 
    14. Coaching partnerships should promote growth, not mastery. We are all “works in progress,” and the focus of coaching must be on overall progress, not on the minutiae of day-to-day activities. 
    15. A coaching partnership focuses on the practical, not the abstract. Although education theories may be helpful, the coaching partnership should emphasize issues and goals arising from the immediate school culture. 



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