As we know, teachers often struggle with Instructional Support—and the focus of their professional development often lands here. While Instructional Support is worth improving, it's also important to remember that ALL interactions can affect child outcomes.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a Sunday at the NHSAFall Leadership Institute conference in Arlington, Virginia. During a full-day session on deepening understanding of the CLASS system, we took a close look at the Instructional Support domain, while considering strategies to help increase the effectiveness of teacher-child interactions.
Long before my time developing online professional development for teachers, in my first year of teaching middle school, I received a gift I would never get again. My principal gave me one day and three rules:
Imagine classrooms filled with children who are comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and working cooperatively with their peers. Can this become the norm in classrooms across the nation? Yes, because this is what consistent and effective Teacher Sensitivity (TS) cultivates in the classroom. Research tells us that teachers who are aware of and respond to each child, supportively facilitate the ability of all children in the classroom to explore actively and learn.
Our video bloggers are back to continue their discussion about Instructional Support (did you catch the first video?). This time, Sarah and Mary-Margaret drill down into a common classroom activity—children playing at a water table—to discuss some of the many learning moments that can take place with a teacher's facilitation.
If you’ve been hearing a lot about teacher leadership lately, consider yourself privy to a very relevant educational topic. All the buzz right now is focused on well-deserving teachers who are leading the way in their schools. Now more than ever, we are seeing a trend of teachers moving into leadership roles, such as coaching other teachers and participating in planning committees. Because these shifting roles and responsibilities were previously correlated with administrators, longstanding staff, or even tenured faculty, they may cause indeterminate or converging relational/organizational patterns. As a result, educators need innovative approaches to facilitating their new leadership systems and models in education.
“Show. Don’t tell,” said every writing teacher ever. And just as common was students’ response: “Why?” Whether describing a setting sun or explaining Feedback Loops, I’ve always found it easier to just tell. But I’ve never found it as effective as showing. That’s why I was especially excited to get to spend an hour talking with folks who support teachers’ growth about how to interact with teachers in ways that help show them the kinds of effective interactions we want them to have with kids. We call this kind of showing parallel process. Watch the recording of our webinar to hear more of our conversation.
The lens through which you look is key, because your mentee will feel where you are coming from – whether you state your perspective or not. Whenever I coach, I observe, get a base line, and from there we start to build skills. My frame of reference is that each person is expanding. A while back, Cheri Moring wrote in her blog about a metaphor we have used which says that every teacher has a tool belt and our goal is to put more tools in that tool belt. One teacher may start with 5 tools, another may start with 20, but we are continually building skills, never judging the tool belt for the number of tools it has.
In my last post, I discussed a few misconceptions around strengths-based coaching approaches and borrowed a term coined by the expert coaches on our professional development team here at Teachstone: a “spark” moment. In this post, I’ll interview one of our coaching experts, Rebecca Freedman, to dig into this concept and what it’s all about.