I have the privilege of taking on more responsibility as an Instructional Coach this year, and I am really looking forward to it. But I felt like I needed to help define this role for myself. So I began researching and compiling an Instructional Coaching Storify with resources. This ASCD article, Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders was incredibly helpful in crafting my thinking. By taking the time to state my new role clearly, I feel prepared to also set specific goals to guide me throughout the year and provide a focus for tasks.
I narrowed it down to one sentence, inspired by recent ideas from my PLN:
Daniel Pink's book Drive and video What is my sentence?
Jaime Vandergrift's (@jaimevanderg) recent blog post: What Defines You Matters. Jaime also recently joined Will Deyamport (@peoplegogy) and Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) for a video on the topic: Peoplegogy TV: Your One Sentence.
My one sentence: My goal is to energize teaching and learning by fostering a learning mindset in teachers and students.
The idea of a "learning mindset" came from several places. One is in recent discussions with Kevin Washburn (@kdwashburn) and his wife Julia, of Clerestory Learning. We discussed the importance of creating a culture among teachers that is one of growth and improvement with an open mind toward change. Also from reading books like Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Quiet Leadership by David Rock, and Choice Words by Peter H. Johnson. All highly recommended, by the way!
So, the question is... How will I "energize teaching and learning and fostering a learning mindset among teachers and students?" These specific goals are helping me answer that question.
- Be a consistent learner and catalyst for change.
1) Continue to grow my PLN and share the benefits and resources with other teachers.
2) Encourage teachers around me to begin developing a PLN.
- Provide instructional technology resources to teachers. 1) Become a go-to person who teachers seek out when they need resources to purposefully integrate technology into the curriculum. 2) Lead the implementation of Chromebooks in our classrooms by providing resources to teachers and learning alongside them.
3) Meet with Chromebook team on a regular basis to provide resources and discuss progress of pilot program.
- Coach teachers by helping them to align instruction with standards and implement effective teaching strategies.
1) Work alongside teachers to develop curriculum and plan lessons that reflect purposeful implementation of effective teaching strategies.
2) Specifically implement our professional development from Kevin Wasburn's Architecture of Learning and Writer's Stylus courses this summer.
3) Continue my pursuit of aligning instruction to standards and implementing effective teaching practices in my 7th grade English class as an example to other teachers.
- Facilitate professional learning opportunities.
1) Advocate for and organize professional learning opportunities on campus.
2) Share information about additional opportunities off campus so teachers can seek out multiple opportunities to grow during the school year and summer.
- Enlighten students about a growth mindset.
1) Begin the school year with a focus on "learning to learn" to ensure that students realize their abilities are not set in stone; they have the capacity to grow their intelligence.
2) Allow students to realize it is okay to fail, but teach them what to do next to keep learning.
3) Establish this atmosphere in my classroom early and reiterate it often.
- Challenge students to think deeply. My students often resist any kind of critical thinking or hard thinking required of them for a task. 1) Continue to present challenging material, but provide support to a student's THINKING.
2) Try to foster thinking by asking questions instead of providing answers and point students toward solutions instead of problems when conferencing (from the book Quiet Leadership).
3) Work with students individually to help students see the importance of their own thinking.
Formulating these goals has been an incredibly enlightening and rewarding experience for me as I see my role at school transforming. Putting in the thinking and research that is required to create these goals has been professional development in itself.
Please Try This Tomorrow! Craft your "one sentence" and set your goals for the school year. Give yourself focus moving forward. Energize and prepare yourself now for the onslaught of busyness and craziness that is about to come. Please share your goals with me if you blog them! Can't wait to learn from you!
Maureen Devlin (@lookforsun), who has a powerful blog Teach Children Well, recently posted her goals for the rest of the summer: Focus, Focus, Focus. Great read!