This topic has been resonating with me for a while now. How do I, as a Digital Learning Coach, help teachers to understand that activity ideas from me are meant to be done instead of their district-given lessons, not in addition to them?
I work with teams that are way down in the TWWADI trenches (the way we’ve always done it) and cannot seem to dig themselves out. Every week, during one day of planning, they simply hand out the lessons from the year before and call it a day.
On the flip side, I work with other teams who are so open to new ideas and ways of ensuring student learning. They happily meet daily during planning to map out plans for the following week based on how students are doing during the current week.
What is the difference between these teams? It’s not the average age of the teacher, average years of experience, or quality of leadership on the team. I think it’s quite simple: teachers need to be open to the idea of innovation before this mindset shift can occur.
My goal this year is to give those in the TWWADI trenches a way out, be it with a shovel or a bulldozer. I’ll start small, be in the classroom with them when the kids work with technology, and attend planning meetings in person or virtually. I’ll sneak in tidbits of innovation when they aren’t expecting it during staff meetings or in weekly newsletters. My goal is to get them to question themselves and ask “What if we did it this way instead of that way? Would it increase engagement and/or learning?”