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iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12  

April 1,  2012  

Mentor’s Message    

                                               

This is my narrative of the year with TTL and you. Current Narrative  about  Public  Education  (as  viewed  by  much  of  the  public)     “The  least  productive  current  narrative  about  public  education  goes  something  like   this.  Our  schools,  especially  high  schools,  are  failing.  There  is  a  predominance  of   ineffective  teachers.  Short  of  closing  bad  schools,  firing  bad  teachers  and  sending  kids   to  charter  schools,  there  is  little  we  can  do  to  change  this”  (Phillips,  2012).     Mark  Phillips,  in  “The  Cinema  of  Educational  Despair:  A  Bad  Narrative  Reinforced”   writes  about  the  current  film,  Detachment,  and  others  that  influence  the  way  the   public  thinks  about  public  schools  today.  In  his  Edutopia  blog  post,  Phillips  also   explains  why  we  should  refuse  to  accept  it  as  a  realistic  portrayal  of  American  high   schools.     The  narrative  about  the  schools  in  TTL  is  at  the  opposite  end  of  the  spectrum.  Here   we  see  teams  of  teachers  working  hard  to  improve  student  learning  and  to  change   the  way  they  teach.      


iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12  

April 1,  2012  

In  the  beginning,  I  was  excited  about  the  possibilities  for  virtual  and  face-­‐to-­‐face   professional  development  meetings  with  coaches.  As  a  former  high  school  teacher,  I   was  also  excited  about  working  with  high  schools  and  eager  to  visit  the  schools  to   see  the  results  of  the  transformation.  I  wondered,  “How  will  high  school  classes  be     different?  Will  I  see  renewed  enthusiasm  among  teachers?  Excitement  from   students?  Will  the  sense  of  change  permeate  the  high  school  environment?”     My  enthusiasm  remains,  but  I  must  admit  that  I  had  some  initial  misgivings  about   the  role  of  part-­‐time  coaches  who  were  expected  to  work  8-­‐10  hours  a  week  in  the   buildings.  I  worked  with  half-­‐time  coaches  in  the  ARRA  grant  schools  for  two  years,   and  they  found  it  difficult  to  do  everything  needed  in  their  roles  as  technology   integration  coaches.       Some  of  you  came  into  this  part-­‐time  coaching  job  thinking  that  you  would  do  the   technology  and  the  teachers  would  take  care  of  the  rest.  But  for  most  schools,  the   technology  wouldn’t  arrive  until  much  later.  And  then  you  learned  that  you  had  a  big   role  in  implementing  PBL  and  helping  teachers  to  plan  instruction  in  which   technology  would  enhance  the  teaching  and  learning.       Wow!  We  even  expected  you  to  follow  the  model  that  Ed  and  I  set,  using  the  ideas   and  materials  for  coaching  teachers  to  change  their  teaching  styles  as  they  worked   with  small  groups,  giving  students  more  control  of  their  own  learning.     And  now  we’re  going  to  talk  about  how  you  can  support  the  development  of  teacher   leaders  who  will  continue  the  project  without  your  help  and  at  the  same  time   expand  the  transformation  to  other  teachers  in  their  schools.        

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iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12    

April 1,  2012  

Implementation

This  Hemingway  cat  considers  the  role  of  teacher  leader.             Continuing  the  story  –   supporting  teacher  leaders     So,  you  might  wonder,  what   exactly  are  teacher  leaders?       Teacher  leaders  can  be   many  things.  Sometimes,   they  are  “catalysts  for   change,  visionaries  who  are   ‘never  content  with  the   status  quo  but  rather   always  looking  for  a  better   way.’  ”    These  teachers,   according  to  Harrison  and   Killion,  are  secure  in  their   work  and  have  a  “strong   commitment  to  continual   improvement.”  These  are   the  teachers  who  analyze   student  learning  by  posing   questions  and  continually   looking  at  student  work   (Harrison  and  Killion,   2007).     Look  at  some  of  the  phrases   used  by  Charlotte  Danielson   (2006)  to  define  and   describe  teacher  leaders:   Photo  by  Carol  Dodson  at  Hemingway  house,  Key  West,  FL,  2004  

     

• Expertise  and  skill  in  engaging  others  in  complex  work   • Unwavering  passion  for  the  core  mission  of  the  school  and  the  courage  to   confront  obstacles  to  achieving  the  mnission   • Collaborative  relationship  with  colleagues   • Inspire  others  to  join  them  on  a  journey  without  a  particular  destination  

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iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12  

April 1,  2012  

Teacher  leaders,  according  to  Danielson,  “are  teachers  who  continue  to  teach   students  but  also  have  an  influence  that  extends  beyond  their  own  classrooms  to   others  within  their  school  and  elsewhere.”     Ideally,  you  have  already  found  at  least  one  teacher  leader  on  the  team,  and  if  you’re   lucky,  you  have  more  than  one.  Or  perhaps  you  think  someone  could  be  a  teacher   leader,  but  you’re  not  sure  how  to  encourage  that.     You  can  create  a  conclusion  to  this  narrative  and  an  introduction  to  another  by   identifying  those  leaders  and  encouraging  them  to  share  their  expertise,  skill,  and   passion  collaboratively  with  their  colleagues.    

Works Cited   Charlotte  Danielson.  Strengthening  the  Profession  Through  Teacher  Leadership.   Alexandria:  Ascd,  2006.   Cindy  Harrison  and  Joellen  Killion.  “Ten  Roles  for  Teacher  Leaders.”  Education   Leadership  vol  65  2007.  p.  74-­‐77.    

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iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12  

April 1,  2012  

Information Upcoming  Meetings  &  Events  

  Apr  12,  2012,  3:30-­‐4:45  pm  -­‐  Virtual  Meeting  #  3   During  the  virtual  meeting,  you  will  be  expected  to  respond  to  each  of  the  3   discussion  questions  included  with  the  meeting  agenda.  Go  to  the  meeting   agenda  and  materials  at  http://share21.org/meeting-­‐ materials/04122012vm3  to  view  the  questions.  Then  think  about  what  your   response  will  be  –  perhaps  jot  down  a  few  notes  to  jog  your  memory  during   the  meeting.   April  15,  2012  –  Monthly  Reports  Due     May  9,  2012  –  Coaches’  Meeting  at  ORC    

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iCoach 1.0,  Vol.  12  

April 1,  2012  

Inspiration    Science  writer  Jonah  Lehrer  explores  how   companies  are  creating  environments  to  foster   creativity.  Click  on  the  link  to  listen  to  the  NPR   interview  with  Lehrer.       AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

'Imagine' That:  Fostering  Creativity  In  The   Workplace   Companies  like  3M  allow  their  employees  to  have   an  hour  a  day  to  do  whatever  they  want:  work  on  a   side  project  or  tinker  with  a  hobby.  In  doing  so,   they're  helping  their  employees  become  more   creative  —  and  increasing  their  productivity,  says   science  writer  Jonah  Lehrer  in  his  new  book,   Imagine.     Scientists  are  now  learning  more  about  how  such   moments  occur,  says  science  writer  Jonah  Lehrer.  In  his  new  book,  Imagine:  How   Creativity  Works,  he  explores  where  innovative  thoughts  originate  and  explains  how   some  companies  are  now  working  to  create  environments  where  innovative  ideas   are  more  likely  to  occur.   -­‐  NPR,  3-­‐21-­‐12   http://tinyurl.com/867rvz9     More  Inspiration:     As  PBL  units  wane  and  schools  move  into  spring  breaks  and  final  exams,  you  might   want  to  reflect  on  the  year  you’ve  spent  with  the  Transforming  Teaching  and   Learning  Project.  Some  thoughts  to  consider  might  include     1. What  have  I  accomplished  this  year?   2. What  did  the  school  team  accomplish?   3. Are  students  learning  more?  Learning  differently?  Learning  effectively?   4. What  did  the  classrooms  look  like  in  September?  How  has  the  environment   changed?   5. What  would  the  teachers  say  in  response  to  these  questions?     Now  consider  going  one  step  farther.  Ask  the  team  members  to  respond  to  the   questions.  The  responses  can  be  discussions  at  a  team  meeting,  or  they  can  be   written  in  a  blog  post  or  on  a  wall.  This  kind  of  reflection  is  important  to  planning   for  next  year  so  the  teachers  can  begin  to  imagine  what  the  year  will  look  like.    

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iCoach Vol 12 April 1, 2012  

This monthly newsletter is sent to the technology integration coaches who are part of the Tranforming Teaching and Learning project in Ohio.

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