Case Study #1: I met with the principal of Soot High School to discuss several teachers she was concerned about. Student engagement in these classrooms was very low. I observed the teachers and conducted several rounds of coaching with them. I provided them with feedback on student engagement and new strategies they could use to build relationships with students. The teachers wanted to meet after school in a group to learn more strategies, which we did. Student engagement in these classrooms increased.
Case Study #2: Marks School contacted me because they were struggling with student behavior. I designed a 3 hour workshop for them that led them through the process of reflecting on their own assumptions and biases, then increasing their understanding of others, and concluding with the introduction of specific strategies they can implement. The workshop had teachers individually reflecting, working in small groups and watching video clips and discussing them.
Here are some comments from teachers about what they appreciated about the workshop:
A network of schools wanted their teachers to be more innovative in the classroom, helping students to be more creative. I collaborated with a colleague to present a 3 day series of workshops that gave teachers the tools to use design thinking in their instruction.
Feedback from the training:
Case Study #1: An International Baccalaureate school with the Primary Years Programme was interested in helping teachers refine their understanding of inquiry instruction. I developed a series of learning experiences that I facilitated during grade level meetings over the course of 6 weeks. Through ongoing conversations, teachers learned the differences between unit-based instruction and inquiry instruction, building up their strategy toolkit, and applying their new learning by designing inquiry units of study.
Case Study #2: A school was interested in becoming an International Baccalaureate school, but wanted to know what inquiry instruction was prior to making that commitment. I worked with the principal to design six 2 hour workshops to help them to make their decision to become a candidate for IB. During each workshop, the staff went through a mini-inquiry cycle, similar to what they will be doing with their students on a regular basis. After the series, the staff enthusiastically decided to apply to IB.
Max School realized that all of their teachers were teaching the subject of Reading differently, and how that could account for the dramatic variation in student performance in reading. I created a 40 hour guided reading course that included the basics of balanced literacy, forms of assessment, the elements of reading workshop, text selection, and assessment analysis. Teachers were given 5 release days over the course of two months to take the course.
Feedback on the workshop from teachers include:
A network of schools was concerned with the low student achievement they were seeing in the primary grades. I designed a day long workshop for principals and administrators to help them better understand how to support the youngest learners. Participants read research and developed tools to use to help teachers plan developmentally appropriate learning opportunities for their students. They left with resources that they could use the following day.
Some comments about the workshop include:
Case Study #1: The principal at the Delta School was new to the community. He realized that the school did not have a year-long assessment plan. I worked with him and his administrative team to create a draft of an assessment plan that he shared with teachers. The teachers made their modifications and suggestions and we created a second and final version. The school went on to use this tool to shape how they evaluated student performance, collected data and used data.
Case Study #2: Teachers at the Morning School had limited experience giving individualized reading assessments. They didn’t want to administer them because they thought it took too long and took away teaching time. I worked with teachers during after school sessions, teaching them how to administer individualized assessments, showing them how they could use this goldmine of information to plan their reading instruction more effectively. Student reading performance increased over the several years that the school used this approach.
Families at Glisen School told their principal that they were interested in figuring out how to work more collaboratively with the teaching staff. I came in to meet with a few parents to find out what their hopes were and drafted an agenda I shared with them. I then shared this agenda with staff to find out what additional information would be useful to share with families, and made changes based on their feedback. I then developed a workshop for families that outlined how they would ideally communicate with teachers and the principal, how they could help with homework, how they could help out with what was happening in the classroom and how to get involved with special projects. Parents and teachers were extremely appreciative to have this new information.
Case Study #1: Belle School found themselves to be quite frustrated. Teachers felt uncomfortable saying anything that the administration would disagree with for fear of consequences. Great teachers were unhappy and wanted to leave. The principal called me in as a neutral third party. I created a day-long workshop that had teachers and the principal engaging in role playing scenarios, practicing specific language that people were comfortable with. It was a challenging and enjoyable workshop. When I see the principal and teachers now, years after the workshop, they share their favorite prompts that they took from the workshop to use in their everyday language. This workshop shifted the culture of communication at Belle School.
Case Study #2: Silva School wanted to promote healthy communication between students and teachers, students and students, and students and adults. I facilitated two 2-hour workshops for them on a method of communication that helps them to make observations (as opposed to judgments), identify their feelings and needs, and then make requests of others. Participants were eager to take these tools and apply them in their everyday lives. After the training, teachers reflected that they are learning how to be kinder and less judgmental of themselves and others.
The curriculum director of Moss Music and Dance Academy reached out to me because she had received parent feedback about the lack of diversity in their organization. I conducted a workshop to introduce staff to use current language around equity, as well as practices they could implement in their preschool program to foster equity.
The principal from Prairie Academy had a new classroom configuration, where a kindergarten and preschool teacher would be sharing a classroom. She wanted to support the staff in this shift, so I developed a workshop to help the teachers understand the different models of co-teaching. First, they answered some key questions that laid the foundation of their collaboration. They then identified the model they wanted to use, and we co-created the lesson planning format they would be using throughout the year.
A teacher reached out to me because she wanted to promote anti-racism in her teaching. I created a workshop for her that gave her key terminology, the theoretical framework and several curricular resources. We reviewed and reflected on her motivation and the theory of anti-bias teaching. We then explored the curricular resources that she would experiment with during the school year.
The principal from Prescott School asked me to support the staff in integrating social and emotional learning into students everyday experiences. The first session involved me sharing multiple curricular resources teachers could experiment with during the year. I then met with staff individually and in grade level teams over the course of the year to plan and reflect on their work with these resources.
The principal of LaSalle II reached out because she wanted to deepen her staff’s knowledge and understanding of executive function. I provided a session to staff about the 12 skills, where staff first reflected on their own EF skills. Then, I shared resources with staff that they could use to help students develop their EF skills throughout the year. These resources were used a great deal by the middle school teachers to help students become aware of their strengths and areas for growth. I followed up with two workshops for parents to help them understand their own EF skills and how they could enhance their child’s EF skills.
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