Resources for Teachers & Instructional Coaches – July 2019

Resources for Instructional Coaches

The school year is on the horizon. Here are a few articles to get you excited for the new academic year!

Microcredentials can help teachers to show off skills and expertise

Microcredentials allow teachers to work to prove mastery of single competencies and then share their knowledge with their colleagues.

The teacher-training microcredential trend allows educators to specialize and gain additional training in the areas most relevant to their interests and classroom style.

This is another example of how the traditional sit-and-get model of professional development is being replaced by more relevant training teachers seek.

Read more on Education Dive: Microcredential Programs Offer Teachers More Personalized PD Opportunities

The biggest impediment to professional change might be what you already know

In order for people to transform their practice, they must first confront their previously held beliefs, assumptions, and values, and then move beyond them.

“We as human beings are really good at learning new things, but we’re really bad at unlearning things that are no longer true,” said Nick Polyak, the superintendent of the Leyden High School district outside Chicago and the co-author of a book titled The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today.

“That results in a lot of practices … of things that we keep doing year after year,” he added.

Read more on Education Week: What’s Harder Than Learning? Unlearning

Why is most teacher’s professional development “provided” rather than “supported?”

Professional Learning Communities are most effective when teachers are regarded as true professionals and can take ownership in their development. In this instance, professional development happens.

Real changes in instructional practice and student learning come about through professional development that is focused at the classroom level. As suggested by Thomas Guskey (2005), “The hard lesson we have gleaned from analyzing various waves of education reform is that it doesn’t matter what happens at the national, state, or even district level. Unless change takes place at the building and classroom levels, improvement is unlikely” (p. 40). No matter the grand imperatives and high-level planning, it is in the classroom where changes in teaching and learning can actually occur. So it makes sense to start there.

Read more on Teachers College Press: ReVisioning Teachers’ Professional Development Through Collaborative Lesson Study

Keep Reading

Utilizing Video as a Professional Learning Tool (Instructional Coaching Corner)

 Greg Deutmeyer, an instructional coach at Epworth Elementary School in Epworth, Iowa, and Jenny Hillebrand, instructional coach at Dyersville Elementary in Dyersville, Iowa, recently interviewed Adam Geller, Edthena founder & CEO, about his book “Evidence of Practice: Playbook for Video-Powered Professional Learning.” They are the hosts of the Instructional Coaching Corner podcast. You can…