My goal as an ITF is to enable you to grow in your effective use of technology in your classroom. How this looks depends on so many different factors. Many people come to me with half of an idea, a whisper on the wind, a half-forgotten dream. Sometimes people come to me wanting to shake things up. Sometimes, people don't come to me but grab me in the hallway. I don't think technology solves every problem. I think it often creates more problems than it solves. My goal is to have you make an informed decision about how to implement technology tools in your classroom.
Generally, a coaching cycle follows this structure:
We meet in some way. This could be virtual (Google Meet, Hangouts Chat, Email, Phone) or in person (your classroom, TLC, the media center, benches outside, randomly in the hallway). I'm always down for a general debrief on how your day/week/month/quarter/semester/year is going in order to frame the support you need, but it's helpful to also have a specific goal that you would like to achieve. As I jokingly mentioned above, this can be as fully formed or as unformed as it is. If you are a beginner, you may not know what you don't know, and I'm happy to explore new territory with you! For sure, I do not know everything, but I am extremely happy to learn new things. I have very rarely learned anything new in this job that didn't immediately get recommended to someone else. Be careful - I may call on you as a peer leader to support your colleagues. During this part of the process, I also can usually figure out who else we might need to include in the process - our librarian, literacy/instructional coach, etc.
We develop a specific timeline for implementation. I'll be honest about what is reasonable, particularly if it involves new learning on my part. During certain times of the year, I am less available due to assisting with testing, planning, or other duties, but I'll be able to give you a quick answer about how feasible your timeline is.
You develop some specifics of what you need from me. I am happy to do anything from researching pre-existing PD, delivering a personalized PD session specific to your classroom's needs, sitting in the classroom while you try something for the first time, or co-teaching a lesson with you. I am more than happy to do this for just the first period you try something or every time you try it. While I believe the most effective educator is the one who knows their students, I understand that you might not want to become an expert on a specific tool just to support a small portion of a unit. We can co-plan the lesson, or you can fill me in on what you'll plan on doing.
After the lesson, we meet to debrief the effectiveness and review any relevant data. Generally speaking, did it go well? Should we try it again? Should we suggest it to others in your department or across the school? Did it crash and burn? What could be improved? This part of the process is absolutely essential. Learning something new is often time-intensive. In order for that to be time well spent, it needs to extend beyond that specific day in your classroom. Make a note in your lesson plan to try it again next year, suggest it to a colleague, submit a plan to present at a conference. We will write a few positive things down as well as a few ways to change it, and then file it away for others (future self or colleagues) to benefit from.
At this point, we can brainstorm what our next project will be, or just schedule a time for me to check back in with you once your brain recovers from all that learning!