For the past three years I’ve been an Instructional Coach. In a nutshell, my job was to support teachers to help them maximize student learning and achievement. Sometimes that meant sharing resources, sometimes modeling instructional strategies, sometimes being a sounding board as they worked through a particular issue. We worked together to solve problems and to help them do more for their students.
I’m still an Instructional Coach, but now I have a specific focus. My focus is Instructional Technology; but really, my job is the same.
- I will share resources. As I learn of tools or sites that might benefit you in the classroom, I will share them. Sometimes I’ll send them to department chairs or grade level coordinators. I almost always bookmark them on Diigo. If that doesn’t help, please just ask and I’ll do my best to find something that will meet your needs. Many of you have asked if I’m going to resurrect the old “TGIF”. I haven’t figured out exactly what that’s going to look like yet, but yes, I will be sharing resources on a regular basis. You can also click on the TGIF category to the right of this page to access all the old TGIFs. (Keep in mind, they’re three years old. In the world of technology, that’s ancient. Some resources may still be good, but you also might find some dead links.)
- I will share and model instructional strategies that make use of technology. In my old role a teacher might come to me and say, “My kids are really struggling with X. Here’s what I’ve tried. Do you have any other thoughts?” That is still a valid question. The key is that “X” shouldn’t be about technology. The “X” should still be a learning goal – something you want your students to know or be able to do. Maybe it’s, “My kids are struggling with seeing the importance of editing and revising their writing.” Perhaps using a blog or other online forum will give them an authentic audience and make them see the importance of making their writing the best it can be. If that’s the case, I can help you set up a blog and launch it with your class. Or maybe you think, “I need to find more time in class to help my students work through these problems. By the time we finish the lesson, there’s no time for that guided practice they need so badly.” Perhaps we could explore a “flipped classroom” idea, which would move the direct instruction outside of class time, allowing the face-to-face time between teacher and student to be more hands-on and interactive. In this case, we can research together to determine the best way to deliver that instruction outside of class time in a way that is accessible to all of your students.
- I will be a sounding board. As teachers, you know when something isn’t working. But depending on your comfort level with technology, you may not even think in that direction when looking for a solution. It’s the old, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Technology won’t have a solution for all of our problems, but I hope that you will at least consider it when looking for a new way to reach your students. I promise you, I don’t have all the answers. But I also promise that I will help you work through the issue and if we find that technology might provide an answer, we’ll explore options and try them out together until we find something that works.
I look forward to working with teachers and students across the district this year. Please contact me if you want to explore ways technology can help you meet the learning needs of your students. Just know that my first questions will always revolve around the learning.
So, how can I help you?