Monday, July 10, 2017

Teacher Coaching Cycle

My first year of teaching was a real challenge. Not only was I commuting 84 miles one way and changing time zones, I was teaching at a STEM school with 1:1 technology. All my students had iPads. It sounded great in theory, but for many of the students, the iPad was pretty much a really cool toy they got to play with at school. It was my job as a teacher to pull them away from youtube (why it wasn't blocked was beyond me) and sorting their playlists in order to focus on what we were actually supposed to be doing in class.

Our technology coach said there was no better usage monitor than 2-2. That is two eyes and two feet. I disagreed. We needed 2-2-filter! What was left out of our coaching was that 2-2 required set up in the form of strategic seating (certain seating arrangements made it a lot easier to monitor) and frequent bug checks (students were constantly trying to find ways to cheat the system).

The other big challenge I faced was that my comfort level with technology was completely different than several of the other teachers in the building. I was ready to go with using Google Classroom for formative assessments, going nearly completely paperless, podcasts when I was out of the classroom for the day so students didn't fall get the ideas. However, the training we were receiving was very much geared towards people who were not as comfortable with the tech.

I really wish our technology coach was able to provide us with more one on one coaching instead of the one-size coaching that was being done. 

Coaching Cycle

Right off the bat, I would have been able to get coaching specific to my needs. For example, how can I get my students to use the feedback I leave for them on assignments in order to improve their writing? There are some students who think writing an essay is a "one and done" sort of thing--I wrote something, now I'm done. I'd leave feedback and the students would turn in the exact same essay without any changes. Or, I'd have students actually include my handwritten notes and questions! 

Once I started using Google Docs, I thought it would all be sunshine and rainbows. Instead of actually fixing the errors, the students would mark my comments as resolved and not change anything. Despite many explanations, they thought all they had to do was read what I wanted changed OR that clicking the resolved button, meant some sort of magical auto-correct would take place.

I started to wonder if the problem was with how I was explaining things. Was I not clear enough? What was I doing wrong that my students weren't using their feedback?

Ideally, a coach would have come into my room and watched how I was using Docs and with my interaction with the students. I would have received some feedback like maybe transitioning a little more slowly to digital feedback. Have the students give feedback to each other first on paper and save the digital feedback for final drafts. 

When I asked other teachers what they were doing, they either weren't or their students didn't have the same issues because our student populations were on opposite ends of the spectrum.

So I was pretty much left to "self-coach" and reflect on what worked and what didn't and how I'd do it in the future. 

1 comment:

  1. Micki! Its lisa/teacherlisa! please email me @ so we can catch up!


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