How do we define the core of what makes a good school? How do teachers best work together to focus on how we teach—and whether the students are getting it?At what point do we say, “We have the equipment– now how are we using it?” to identify and teach common skills towards successful blended learning and cross-curricular use of technology? What does your school or district need to create a faculty climate of professional motivation, collaboration and optimism?
We can help.
Our services include coaching, lively and engaging professional development, and support for implementing a truly collaborative approach to the craft of teaching.
Experienced educators and trained facilitators, we provide thoughtful, comprehensive coaching and professional development support for schools and districts who envision the creation of professional learning communities as the heart of the way they work. We believe that schools have the power to create an enthusiastic and enduring climate of sharing the work that teachers and students do– in a respectful and enthusiastic forum which leads to profound growth in teaching and learning.
We look long and hard at standard practices that come under the heading of,
“The way we’ve always done it” rather than,”Does this work?” We help schools create goals that arise from the kind of data that is inclusive of but goes beyond standardized assessments and represents what and how we are teaching and how that teaching connects with student learning. Those goals are used to backwards plan the regularly progress-assessed work that will support success.
What collaborative professional work looks like: Administrators, teachers–those most connected with student learning– use their common time productively, reflectively and connect it immediately with what it looks like for students. This sharing and learning is often structured by protocols which are modified or created to meet the immediate needs of teachers– and is about what and how they are teaching.
Among other focus areas including our sister-site SDL SKILLS.COM , we help schools and districts re-think and re-structure:
- Faculty Meeting Time: where laundry lists move over to give teachers the time they crave to work together.
- Technology: who successfully uses technology in their practice –and who doesn’t– and how teachers can work collaboratively to bridge the gap between we do and we don’t.
- Common Planning Time: where focused reflective work is about what students are really learning.
- Core Curriculum and Unit/Lesson Planning: Curriculum Mapping and common planning are key to well-structured and engaging teaching that connects student learning across curricula. Familiarizing and using Essential Questions, Enduring Understandings and Backwards Design, teachers embrace overview thinking that builds on the collaborative energy that comes from Common Planning, Peer Observation, Looking at Student Work and Portfolio Assessment.
Departmental Time: where traditional meetings move over to break down the barriers of privatized classroom work.
Administrative Leadership Meetings: which model school-wide collaboration.
- Professional Development hours or days: where teachers leave with a strong sense of understanding and commitment towards ongoing structure for implementing what they know and what they have learned.