Welcome to The New Year!
A time to celebrate, reflect, and set goals. As teachers, we naturally set goals for ourselves in January. Even though it’s a midpoint in the school year, for some reason January feels like a fresh start. But what about our students? Do they use January as a time to reflect, reboot, and set goals for themselves? While hopefully reflection and goal setting are a natural part of your class culture (and if not, check out our Growth Mindset Deep Dive for ideas), January is a great time to ask students to reflect and set some larger learning goals to work toward over the rest of the school year. Here are four ways you can help:
It started with one idea on how to help support our National Board Certified Teachers. Four years later, we have at least seven ways we’re building teacher leadership in our district with the support of Teaching Channel and Teams. Click below to hear all about how we’re redefining professional learning via video and helping make #anewkindofPD.
As a new teacher, I’ve struggled in my classroom this last year. I’ve had lessons that don’t go as planned, students that I can’t seem to reach, and days where no matter how much I prepare, it doesn’t seem to be enough. I had this idea that I needed to be the “perfect” teacher. But let’s face it, there is not enough time to always be perfect, and perfect is boring.
Teams Fest traveled back in time to the 1950s in Palm Springs last week to see just how far we have (or haven’t) come in education. The goal was for all Teams to have:
- A big vision and a draft plan for 2016-2017
- New/improved ways to structure learning on Teams
- A network to support and push your work (at home and with Tch)
- Ideas, beliefs, and skills for leading learning this summer #anewkindofpd
The two days were full of camaraderie, collegial conversations, deep engagement with Teams, and of course, fun!
When we set out last spring to design a “Choose Your Own Adventure” professional learning opportunity, we were confident we had created something meaningful and unique. We were less confident that we would have any takers. We did our due diligence, created a promotional video to inform the potential participants, created a construct for teachers to earn activity related points which would equal professional development hours, and established some dates for face-to-face workshops that would help enlighten our colleagues about Teaching Channel and the power of Tch Teams.
The third installment of our Teaching Channel Teams roundtable events, Making the Mental Space for Teams with Josh McLaughlin from Arlington Public Schools, looks at how modifying your initial idea for implementation yields a potentially more interesting result. You can read about Josh’s successes, challenges, and original plan in his blog post. Then watch the recording of what he’s now doing by including video as the method for teacher evaluation in his school.
The Yakima School District embarked on an adventure in August of the 2015-2016 school year. We began a cohort of teachers who wanted to learn how to use video to improve their instruction of English Language Learners. Like most adventures in education, this looked like a relatively straight road. We soon found out that it was filled with crazy bends, steep climbs, rapid descents, and radical hairpin turns.
Teaching Channel Teams recently held their second round table event last week. Andrea Thune presented Ontario-Montclair’s practices of how to use Teams with their Spotlight Teacher program. Spotlight Classrooms are an internal model of instructional support, where the team is willing to open their doors in order to be a resource for learning. The strategy embodies how Teams partners grow together and helps illuminate puzzles of practice. Watch the webinar below or read more about their program from Andrea’s previous blog.
This past week, we had the great fortune of co-leading a Pop-up learning event with district partners and amazing teacher leaders at Oceanside Schools on Long Island, New York.
Fest participants craft paper airplanes alone, and then through iterating realize that working together results in all of their planes getting better.
We set out to investigate how to create deeper learning for teachers, and again we were both inspired and pushed in our thinking around using video to elevate and refine teacher practice. What’s great about these teachers and administrators is not only are they incredibly hospitable, but they love what they do and constantly strive to get better together.
In an attempt to be as generous as they are, we’re sharing some takeaways from our work together at this Pop-up TeamsFest, a day full of sharing practice, trying out new ways to learn, and reflecting on the use of video for professional learning – we call it #anewkindofpd – so check it out!
Who We Are and What We Do
We are National Board Certified Teachers who have been collaborative partners for almost a decade at Oceanside High School in New York. Our collaboration works because we’re working together towards a common goal: helping our students reach their fullest potential. We teach two integrated sections of ninth grade Honors English and Social Studies, where our students move as a cohort between our classes, giving them an experience that illustrates how English and Social Studies are related by providing them with the opportunity to read text deeply, and link themes occurring across both classrooms. In addition, we team teach a Conference class where students delve deeper into the humanities, exploring concepts that link us all in the human experience.
Every year we have the opportunity to teach grades other than the ninth grade integrated program, and we choose to stay together. We love working together to mold new entrants into high school, teaching them the skills they’ll need for high school, college, and career success, while we encourage each other to be the best teachers we can be.
The following seven tips come from our decade of experience working together as collaborative partners.