This week we learned some great tips from Katie Biggs and Hanna Schramm on building relationships, diversifying your toolkit, and empowering educators as an IC! Read our feature and then learn more about the importance of teacher choice in their professional learning, a template for planning remote PD sessions, and more!
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"We encounter a wide range of expectations and needs, and it's up to us to equip each educator with a coaching plan tailored to their needs. . . . Whether it's increasing meta-cognitive skills through critical writing, building conceptual understanding using differentiated centers, or increasing inquiry through questioning stems, our teachers must feel they have autonomy and the capacity to take risks and advocate for what is best for their students."
"Teachers' schedules may look different this year, they may be teaching fully virtual or on a hybrid schedule, so finding the opportunities to attend full day professional development may be slim to none. I have seen a few quick tip PD videos or stories on Instagram before and thought it was a great way to share a strategy or idea without a flooding of information, so I created 1 minute PD videos and house them through youtube. Each of these videos is in the one minute range, maybe up to 1 min and 30 seconds, and shares a strategy that can be used in both a virtual and in person setting."
"Teaching has never been a more stressful profession. And ongoing stress has serious consequences, affecting the area of our brain responsible for memory and learning. . . . Talking about stressful situations to a calm listener relieves, relaxes, and creates opportunities for problem solving."
Why Teacher Autonomy Is Central to Coaching
Geoff Knight believes that teacher motivation stems from having a voice and choice in what they do professionally.
"Despite evidence of the importance of autonomy, research suggests that autonomy is decreasing in schools. This is often because school leaders and coaches are so concerned about students' needs that they just can't feel at ease giving up control. . . . During coaching, teachers should have a great deal of autonomy even though they are learning with a coach."
"I felt comfortable and confident working with teachers in person and while I was certainly comfortable working with technology, it still required a shift in thinking and a whole lot of learning. . . . But I needed more. I needed a template for professional learning sessions that would prompt me to design virtual sessions around what mattered most. Sessions that would honor teachers’ busy schedules, focus on key content to support their teaching and still incorporate connection, conversation, collaboration and especially, community."