Violet Christensen, instructional learning coach in Longmont, CO, shares three ways to use Google Jamboard to promote positive reflection and celebrate successes with her teachers.
his year in education has been one wild ride, full of ups and downs, sharp turns and unexpected pivots. We all have overcome hurdles and I always seek to find what helps fuel the fire of unstoppable educators. What keeps them digging in deep to continue onwards? And how can we as instructional leaders best support them?
I've found that a key part of my job as an instructional coach is to pull out optimism in educators as best I can. When we start by talking about what is working, or what breakthroughs we've had recently, the entire conversation flows more smoothly. The simple act of asking, "What is your win of the week?" or "What is something you have always done that worked, and how might we adapt that to work for today's circumstances?" can create pivotal shifts and elevate self-efficacy.
This process mirrors what we do with our students, yet we are often too pressed for time to give ourselves the same reflection opportunities as educators. This is where the instructional coach comes in! The coach can provide the structures, the questioning, and the constructs to help make this intentional reflection time happen for teachers and principals. Read on to learn some questions that ignite reflective thinking and ways to make your wins visible using Jamboard.
Three real life winning examples with Jamboard
Energize a remote session
Ready to celebrate your own coaching wins? Click the image for a copy of the board! ☝️
The Jamboard above is an example from an Inter-District Coaching Collaborative development session I was recently involved in. By asking everyone to share their coaching win since our last meeting, the digital room became energized immediately. Sharing out also brought great coaching concepts to the forefront of others' minds. This reflection opportunity works well for different scales: Large group professional development as well as with individuals and small teams.
Prompt positive reflection
Violet made the the board available for you to use with your teachers. Click the image!
This Jamboard is an example from a teacher leader group that meets regularly to elevate practices within their school system. Teachers were asked to name a high-leverage skill or piece of knowledge that really works for them.
By starting on a positive note, the conversation progressed down a productive path, enabling people to acknowledge barriers that may have arisen without detracting from the focus of the session. This opened teachers' minds to possibilities that they may not have named or explored previously.
Sometimes educators may not need to hear how they crushed the last lesson they taught on four types of topic sentences.
Use the image link above to start your own self-care board.
Instead, they may need to celebrate that they closed their laptop for a whole night to focus on self-care, invested in a friend they need to reconnect with, or engaged in family fun. These types of wins need to be celebrated, acknowledged and encouraged.
At the heart of every educator is a learner who never wanted to stop their learning journey. As coaches, we can boost educators' energy and spark new ideas when we give them a chance to share what's working for them.
By doing this, a magical thing happens: they take a moment away from the things they need to accomplish and look back at what is going well. This helps keep everyone moving forward, with renewed energy and optimism.
About our Guest Blogger
Violet Christensen is an instructional learning coach with St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, CO. She serves coaches, school leaders, educators, and others throughout the district. Violet is also part of the Office of Professional Development, where she creates dynamic blended professional development to meet educators' learning needs.