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Workshops & Consulting

Tools and strategies to improve practice

A workshop for teachers and school leaders, Pamplona, Spain.

Coaching a Rounds group in a Bronx, New York City school.

Visiting schools in Myanmar.

Cambodian teachers, eager to learn as a team.

Workshops

Teacher Teams

While many schools have team structures in place for teachers to work together, teacher teams rarely work to address the core issues of instructional improvement through ongoing teacher learning. Many hours and great efforts are expended inefficiently with teachers working through agendas that overlook the instructional core. Educators need the skills to talk concretely about curriculum and instruction, apply resources for improvement, recognize when and how the instructional core is changing, and to assess team and student progress.

This series of workshops, with ongoing coaching and facilitation, will teach school leaders as well as teachers how to more effectively support the work of their peers as well as sharpen the focus on their own learning, that of their students and the relationship between the two. Principals will understand how to support their teacher teams by generating buy-in and directing resources to cultivate the teams.

All participants will:

  • Develop the skills to lead teams with a long-range view toward improving student outcomes
  • Use the 5 Conditions of Effective Teams to assess the performance of a team
  • Understand what it means for teachers to be leaders in a team context and for principals to be instructional leaders in their work with teams
  • Practice using tools and protocols that will help team members analyze their work and develop steps to improve teaching and learning
  • Move beyond reviewing and commenting on data to using it more effectively for specific instructional improvement plans
  • Learn how an effective, focused team structure can provide the opportunity for improved professional development

Teacher Rounds

If we want excellent teaching, we have to create conditions in schools that support ongoing teacher learning and move from individual to collective responsibility for student learning. However, most schools are not set up to support teacher learning. The practice of Rounds provides such an opportunity.

Rounds gives teachers the chance to share their expertise with their colleagues - both new and experienced - and helps establish and perpetuate a school culture in which teachers are learners who develop strategies for improving their own teaching.

Rounds groups require explicit knowledge and skill, training in areas such as planning and facilitating productive meetings, adult learning theory, building consensus, and providing growth-producing feedback to one another. Essentially, Rounds is a feedback system in which the feedback is information about what was accomplished in light of what was attempted.

This Rounds workshop series provides teachers with:

  • Practical resources including protocols for observation, lesson analysis, and developing records of practice
  • Strategies for developing a common vocabulary for talking about teaching and learning
  • Tools and approaches for creating optimal learning environments

Rounds:

  • Makes student learning the focus of the group
  • Facilitates the sharing of successful practice
  • Provides a venue for problem-solving
  • Reduces isolation, promotes collaboration
  • Supports and assists novice and veteran teachers
  • Builds norms for collaboration
  • Creates a framework for “critical colleagueship”

Mentoring/Teacher Induction

By building the quality of both beginning and experienced teachers, mentoring leads to school improvement. In these workshops, participants learn strategies and components necessary to create a high-impact induction program that results in improved teaching and learning.

This workshop series guides teachers in developing and reflecting on their practice as mentors responsible for initiating a new teacher into the profession. Mentors are given tools for co-planning, co-teaching, observing and documenting practice in order to promote a culture of shared inquiry and collaboration. Mentors also explore their own views about good teaching and examine teaching standards as a framework for thinking about what good beginning teaching entails. Finally, they work together to understand the impact of their setting and beliefs on their decisions as mentors and teachers.

In this workshop series, teachers develop:

  • A new sense of themselves as school-based teacher educators responsible for helping a new teacher learn to teach
  • A repertoire of mentoring skills and strategies such as co-planning and co-teaching, pre-observation, observation and post observation frameworks, communication and problem solving
  • Frameworks for thinking about mentoring, teaching, learning to teach - for example, the standards movement, planning frameworks, etc.
  • An appreciation for collaboration and experimentation as tools for the ongoing improvement of teaching practice

Consulting

What Do Your Teachers, School, or District Need?

The workshops described here are representative of the range of issues we are prepared to address. Each of these may be configured to suit particular needs and situations, and other areas of concern are within our experience and expertise, such as:

  • Coaching Rounds groups for Teacher Leaders/Department Chairs
  • Creating School-College Partnerships (Professional Development Schools)
  • Parent/Teacher Partnerships
  • Restructuring Schools
  • Narrowing the achievement gap