There's No Escaping It. There's a Movement Happening.
Welcome to The Big Tent!
Quietly over the past two years, there has been a movement afoot. The movement has been sparked by a desire to help teachers find more time to collaborate, more opportunities to see each other's practice, and most importantly, work together in their schools and districts to improve practice for the benefit of their students.
We recently launched this new blog, The Big Tent. The Big Tent aims to shine the spotlight on teacher leaders, coaches, administrators, and teachers who are working together to improve teacher practice in innovative ways. In The Big Tent we will bring their stories to light!
One of the common bonds among those leading this movement is a desire to use video, and video-based collaboration, in support of their professional learning through our Teaching Channel Teams professional learning platform.
As this movement takes hold, we're seeing amazingly creative, motivated (and daring) educators. They push themselves, their systems, and those around them, to envision (and make real) an evolution of professional learning that enables video to open classroom doors, share examples of practice, and use video to reflect and get better. The Big Tent blog aims to share these stories in-depth, connect this community even further, and moreover, show the world how these practitioners are revolutionizing professional learning and demonstrating a commitment to getting better together (which is our motto and mission here at Tch).
To break out that "spotlight," albeit briefly, on some of those early, inspirational leaders, we have Chris Bruggeman, who has been a one-man video movement. He works inside Chicago's Public Schools, filming teachers who are sharing their practice, and helping to build capacity for the inspiring Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) school turnaround project, working with the most challenging schools in Chicago. Despite his hefty workload, he's been a constant voice for improvements to the platform and systems we build here at Tch. (Watch a short video of their work).
Julie Severns, assistant superintendent at Fresno Unified School District (CA), was one of the first district leaders to take Teaching Channel Teams to her entire district. Their goal is to increase teacher collaboration across the district, while blending the great professional development work they're already doing and deepen its impact. (Read more about their work).
It's not just the big school systems that are benefiting from using video and collaboration tools to connect their educators. We've worked with many small districts as well. One small district in Jackson, Wyoming is evolving their coaching models using video to "coach the coaches," and improve coaching conversations. They also use video to support new teachers as they struggle through those difficult first years. (Hear their story from a recent webinar).
We have lots more stories to tell and share, and even better, we're going to be featuring the practitioners themselves, who will be writing these stories. We hope you find these stories inspirational and thought-provoking, and find The Big Tent a useful tool and source for your own professional learning. Thanks for tuning in, and ladies and gentlemen - Welcome to The Big Tent!
Rob Bayuk is a former social studies and English teacher, who evolved from the classroom to education technologist at Microsoft, to joining Teaching Channel to launch and run the Teaching Channel Teams professional learning platform business. Rob is the Vice President & General Manager for Teaching Channel Teams.