Thursday, December 1, 2016

Evolution in Education: Building Capacity among Educators

This school year I am fortunate to be part of a core team of educators who are working on 'connecting' kids and classrooms. Part of our work involves building the capacity of teachers in our system around the use of a variety of platforms/tools to help classrooms and students connect.

The Core 6 engaged in preparation and discussion before our mini conference on Connecting Classrooms. Photo taken by Jess Weber.

Each member of the team is responsible for a particular tool. My responsibility is to assist/support teachers with the use of Twitter to share their learning (and that of their students), gain new ideas with respect to their practice, and connect with other educators and classes.

Core 6 preparing for their work with other teachers. 
As I prepared a slide presentation to help guide the people I would be working with, I made a conscious effort to reflect on the Catholic Leadership Framework as I was getting ready for these particular sessions at the mini conference.

As I reflected, I quickly realised that the work that I would be engaged in melded well with the following Leadership Framework expectations:

1) Building Relationships and Developing People
  • acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and teams
  • consider opinions when initiating actions that affect their work
  • build upon and respond to individuals unique needs and expertise
  • encourage teachers to reflect on what they are trying to achieve with students and how they are doing it
  • lead discussions about the relative merits of current and alternative practices
  • challenge educators to continually re-examine the extent to which their practices support the learning of all their students
  • facilitate opportunities for staff to learn from each others
  • suggest new ideas for learning
  • encourage individuals to develop and review their own goals for professional growth and the relationship of those goals to school goals and priorities
  • encourage educators to try new practices that are consistent with both their interests and school goals

Working with a group of teachers about how to use Twitter to leverage this particular tool to connect classrooms and kids. Photo taken by Jess Weber.
2) Developing the Organisation to Support Desired Practices
  • model collaboration in our work
  • foster mutual respect and trust among those involved in collaboration
  • encourage the collaborative development of group processes and outcomes
  • help develop clarity about goals and roles related to collaborative work
  • encourage a willingness to compromise among collaborators
  • foster open and fluent communication among collaborators toward building and sustaining a Catholic professional learning community
  • provide adequate and consistently available resources to support collaborative work
  • provide people with leadership opportunities and support them as they take on these opportunities

The above mentioned expectations were not the only ones that were addressed in the work I was engaged in at the mini conference but the Building Relationships and Developing People and Developing the Organisation to Support Desired Practices pillars were the two major ones.

The mini conference was a great opportunity to help move educators in a direction that will assist them with their professional learning/growth and the achievement of their students. I look forward to continuing to grow as a leader as I assist others in improving their practice. 

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