I came across the term “Lead Learner” at a Google Workshop run by CUE in California. With this simple title, our workshop leaders positioned themselves along side the participants and were prepared to learn together. They offered insight and direction, but all the while modelled their learning strategies. I found this greatly empowering and have used the term ever since.
— Paul Connelly (@pconnellyelearn) September 14, 2014
If we aim to build a culture of enablement rather than dependency, we need to find ways to increase our internal capacity. Coaching builds school capacity by empowering teachers.
“Drafting works because, right in front of you is proof that you can go faster.” Seth Godin
Models of coaching enable teachers to work along side peers in a non-threatening model to enable, support and grow as teachers.
Coaches, like teachers, are people builders.
To equip teachers for success we need to have the policies and support structures to enable learners with and through technology. The way we craft policies and support structures has a great influence on teacher confidence and attitude toward technology use.
Consider how you are handling these kinds of policies. Do they exist, are they empowering, are they documented, communicated and understood? Policies can boost confidence and certainty (but only if they are empowering!)
- Responsible Use
- Essential Agreements
- Loan Agreements
- Student Account handling
- Teacher Code of Conduct
I see Coaching as a four step process:
- Equip: Prepare for success
- Aim: Set targets and strategies
- Activate: Take action with coaching support
- Extend: Share within and beyond the school community
In my role as a technology coach and integrator, I’ve found that much of what I do that enables learning with technology happens long before I enter the classroom. Equipping teachers for success includes
- Defining enabling structures (help-desk systems, IT support, time to co-plan, release to observe, opportunities to share and celebrate)
- Selecting tools and consolidated approaches that work within the school context – finding and removing barriers before the tech gets to the classroom
- Preparing technologies to minimise setup and disruption (eg. upload all accounts based on a convention for a campus wide cloud solution)
- Curating resources and access to resources
- Demonstrating new possibilities
- Crafting and testing policies
Draw on available resources to determine growth points and plan learning engagements. Use the growth points to plan intended learning for the teacher. Identify self-learning, professional learning and coaching assistance needed. Here are some resources to consider:
- ISTE Nets-T for Teachers
- ISTE Nets-A for Administrators
- ISTE Nets-C for Coaches
- AITSL National Professional Standards for Teachers
- ICT in the PYP (International Baccalaureate)
- Australian Curriculum
This is where the action happens both planned and ad-hoc. Lead Learners (teachers) are coached as they act on their plans, support their peers and take action in the learning environment.
- Share within and beyond the school community
- Reflect and incorporate new learning for future practice
Presentation resources from SchoolsTechOZ “Coaching teachers as lead learners”