Reflection on Teaching 12.03.13
Today was a good teaching day. This morning I taught taught the morning session of my Masters Course. My students are current collaborating teachers in our partnership program and the instructional coaches and resource teachers for this one particular school participating in this pilot program. I work with this group twice a day (7:30 - 9:00 and 2:30 - 4:00) once a week as part of the school's differentiated professional development plan. This particular group of teacher leaders is interested in developing their abilities to facilitate the post observation conference. Since I believe that language plays a critical role in developing the supervisory environment, I asked them to read the first few pages (p. 86-89) of Ch. 8 in Poetter & Badiali's (2001) book, Teacher Leader. I divided the class into two and had each group use the coding sheets (attached to this post) that I created to engage in the exercise Poetter & Badiali suggest, which is to use John Withall's seven categories. Following that activity, I asked the teachers to read the remaining two pages (p. 89-91) where Poetter & Badiali explain the results of the coding for the two scenarios. Then I facilitated a discussion where we talked about what they learned. The initial conversation started talking about how this activity and content related to their classrooms. I then asked them to apply this logic and reasoning to how their language influences the coaching environment that they create with their resident or with the teacher they are coaching. For some, this connection seemed really powerful. I noticed changes in their nonverbal cues that led me to believe that they were pondering these ideas. I will continue to engage them in conversations and activities that move to higher levels of thinking like applying these ideas and skills to their practice as coaches, but for now, today felt like a good start.