It's that time of year again. The time of year where teachers are doing more reflecting and planning than most people do in an entire calendar year. You are thinking about your future students, wondering what to expect, imagining the impact you can have, and dreaming of the connections you'll make in meaningful, authentic ways.
If you're reading this right now, I bet you are also the type of teacher who is thinking about ways you can make things better. Ways you can optimize class time, strategies to increase student accountability and engagement, creative management techniques, the new Pinterest-worthy classroom decor items you can buy, build, and add to your walls, the new folder or mailbox system, and don't forget the new classroom library!
Don't get me wrong, these are all awesome things, exact ones that I have been over the moon excited about over many summers in my teaching career. I do NOT fault you for these ambitions and goals during this time...
Video 2 of the 3 part content coaching series comes out TOMORROW!!!
I want to give you a sneak peek here. Check it out...
And here's a little behind the scenes action of my set up so I could demonstrate some key understandings...
Gotta love my HUE camera :)
I'm just so darn excited that many new and veteran teachers are joining our group. I am hearing from many of you of how you feel supported in this membership, and that is EXACTLY what my hope and goal is - for you to feel supported and not like you need to do ALL of the heavy lifting in preparing for the course, alone.
I have got you!
I don't want you to have to burn the midnight oil staying up late every night after you've put your own kids to bed, or work all evening as soon as you get home. Leave work at work without the guilt and stress of feeling like you aren't prepared and are some how letting down your students.
NOPE! I'm done with that, and I want you to be...
I've got the first of THREE content coaching videos ready to go for you and it will be sending out, arriving to your email inboxes THIS Wednesday (July 24, 2019)!
I have to say that this may be one of my favorite videos I've made, and as a flipped classroom teacher, I've made a lot of videos.
Something I haven't done more than once or twice before is switch between my web camera and my document camera. So, by doing just that in this video I was able to speak about the content over my slides (more helpful for those of you taking some notes) AND demonstrate my thinking and teaching on paper! I loved it, and I know you will too.
Here's a few screenshots of the video to give you a sneak peek of what's coming...
If you didn't catch my Facebook Live about this training, I highly recommend you do so, because I give a sneak peek there as well.
I'm going to help you feel confident about teaching the normal curve to your students this...
Welcome to Part 5 of our Content Coaching Series. Be sure to go back and check out each part of the series to learn more about this new(ish) way to support teachers, and new ways that I would like teachers to be supported through content coaching (part one, two, three, four).
The one-on-one coaching model in education is great because a solid relationship is able to form, and more personalized coaching can take place, and impact is made on the classroom and students. Think of an instructional coach (or any kind of coach) you've worked with. I'm hoping it was a positive working-relationship, and I'm sure you gained great value from it because there was one-on-one work.
The catch is that one-on-one coaching, as in all industries, not just in education, is a large time and financial investment. Even still, it's the ideal solution in many cases, however, not all. Not all situations need a huge time or financial investment, especially when time and finances...
Scratch that! This advice is for all teachers. Although I give this advice from the perspective of AP Psych, it totally applies to all courses who summation is wrapped up into one big test. Here it is...
Some of you are totally giving me an eye roll right now, as if to say, really - I'm ready a blog post for that advice?!?!?
You're dag-on right you are. And here's why...
There is SO MUCH out there to align your course to. Every textbook company says they've got the latest and greatest resources, which many of them do. Their handouts and activities can be great resources, but you don't necessarily want to be using their resources in the area where alignment matters the most. That area, my friends, is tests.
When it comes to aligning the assessments of your course, if the resources are available to you, you need to use the ones that are provided by the company who makes the summative assessment of your course.
I feel like I've been talking a big game about content coaching lately, so I want to back up all that talk with real evidence; real stories from real teachers. First, I want to remind you that I am a teacher. I am not an instructional coach, or even a content coach – at least not in the way that a school district has named me as such. I do have a master’s degree that would qualify me for those titles, but my experience in the classroom has been what’s drawn teachers to me for support and guidance, not a title.
As I’ve been teaching and flipping AP Psychology for almost ten years, many fellow AP Psych teachers have reached out and sought advice or sent their appreciation for the videos and various resources I’ve built specific to the course.
This past school year, I was able to branch out a bit from my normal in-the-classroom teaching gig and work one-on-one with a few teachers who were newer to the subject of AP Psychology. To be...
Last week I introduced to you, at least on this blog but maybe not in general, the idea of content coaching and how it can truly change the game for teachers and have an immense impact on student learning. The post started this series we're in, and you can read it by clicking on the image below.
This week, I want to focus on more details about content coaching, and how we can make it as impactful as we hope. And, maybe, just maybe, have a greater impact on the systems of education and the impact we have as teachers.
Let's talk for a hot sec about student choice. It's a thing. It's a big thing. And it should be incorporated into every classroom; at least every classroom that is student centered, values student buy-in, and fosters a collaborative atmosphere.
But what about teacher choice? What impact does it have? Is it something we should consider in our decision making at the school and district or even county level?
Last week I went on a little tangent, but hope that I spoke some value and confidence into the lives of teachers around their impact on student learning. Often times teachers are undervalued in our society and totally undercut in their funding and autonomy.
I'm here to say that needs to change, and there are ways to make that change in the education system as it exists.
My mission here at Teach On A Mission is to empower teachers to confidently step into that role as the number one influence on student learning. And there are very specific ways that I believe we can do that, and that I can help with. I will elaborate on the few ways I think that can be done given the pressures of the education field today, but for this post I want to focus on just one. That one is content coaching.
There are quite a few definitions of content coaching. If you google the term, you'll get a few results that point you generally in the same...
What impacts student learning most is not a new conversation here in the USA (or in the world for that matter). It's been hotly debated for quite some time.
What impacts student learning most?
Learning must be measured by tests.
Or, wait, tests hinder learning.
How does technology impact learning?
Standards-based, flipped classroom, project-based, problem-based, student centered, backwards planning, flexible seating...
Wow - so many things. So many ways to impact student learning.
How in the world do we know what strategies impact students the most?
That's just it... there is no ONE strategy that will impact student learning more than another.
... there is one person.
If you're reading this post, this is probably no surprise to you that teachers are the number one influencer in a student's learning.
But I don't want to just say that and claim it as truth. I want you to see for yourself.
Economists Raj Chetty and John N. Friedman of Harvard and Jonah E....
I've been thinking about how to go about writing this post for some time now. And here's why. I am huge believer in the power of the culture of your classroom. I believe it is the undercurrent of every single classroom, contributed to by every facet of the classroom, and does not overlook anyone in the room with its impact.
In the flipped classroom, it is imperative - and this is the main takeaway I want you to get - I'll say it again, IMPERATIVE that you as the teacher spend time consciously thinking about and anticipating your flipped classroom culture. You'll see what I mean by this as you get deeper into this post, but to quickly show the significance here I'll say that you don't want to do all this work in flipping your classroom just to have a traditional classroom culture that sabotages all that work you've done.
The good news is that it's largely in your control. The not so good news is that, well, it can totally sabotage all this hard work...