Resources for Teachers & Instructional Coaches – May 2019

Notable content for instructional coaches and teachers about using video reflection in professional development

Here’s a few of the articles we’ve been sharing this month focused on teacher professional development and professional learning.

From a teacher: The benefits of reflecting on your own practice with video

A teacher from Australia details what she learned from watching video of her classroom teaching. Unlike Edthena’s more private model of sharing, she watched her video in front of 160 colleagues! Even so, she reports that the experience was still highly valuable because it cut through the sometimes indirect feedback one receives after an observation.

After viewing the footage of my own teaching, I was tough on myself in my self-reflection but I knew that I could and would improve. In some ways it was easier to critique myself than it might have been to decipher the more gentle, diplomatic feedback that often comes from others.

Read more on The Teacher Magazine: What you might Learn From Watching Yourself Teach

Three teacher mentoring models across the country

Creating supportive learning environments for teachers as professionals can help teachers feel more supported in their roles and, in turn, lead to higher retention rates. This article examines three mentoring programs, and one is an Edthena partner using video in their mentoring model!

One thing that caught our eye was the call-out for providing PD to the mentors:

Districts also must provide professional development for mentors. Albuquerque’s mentors participate in orientation and training sessions to examine research on how beginning teachers develop. In regular workshops led by senior educators, mentors also learn how to collect evidence, provide actionable feedback, and guide themselves and their mentees through self-reflection.

Read more on District Administration:  Coach approach to K12 teacher professional development

Ideas for engaging teachers who feel overwhelmed

Often when you ask an educator how they’re feeling, you will hear something along the lines of “I’m overwhelmed” and “I’m so stressed.”  This article explores how to engage thoughtfully and throw a life-jacket to the someone drowning in stress.

Once they’ve reflected on previous experiences with overwhelm, you can help them identify one tiny next step that might relieve the overwhelm. Sometimes your coachee will be able to come up with this step by themselves, and sometimes you may need to offer some suggestions. What’s really important is that the next step is small, manageable, and do-able. Your overwhelmed client may feel disempowered, and so that first next step needs to be one that helps the client reconnect with their own agency. Small bites, small steps

Read the full article from Education Week: How To Coach the Overwhelmed Teacher

Teacher collaboration is pivotal for success, even for rural teachers

Collaboration among teachers is incredibly essential, especially in rural and small-town schools where the context for being an educator can be isolating.

As a result, these educators [in rural schools] have found that one of the most promising ways to solve the problems of disengagement and underachievement among America’s youths revolves around collaboration driven by educators. Schools foster collaboration among teachers, between students and teachers, and with community members, emphasizing cultural and social ties with a clear focus on learning.

Read the full article from Education Week: Why Rural Teachers Need Collaboration

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