Want more quality face time with your teachers?
This year I have had great success with Lunch & Learns followed up with personalized coaching, observations, and reflections. Principals love the process because it takes place during teachers lunch periods and teacher love it because it is personalized and embedded in their day.
Start with a quick needs assessment
To start the process we talk to the principal and instructional coaches to look at the needs of the campus to choose 3 or four topics. Then we give the teachers a voice and allow them to choose from the list for the upcoming Lunch & Learn dates. Once a topic is chosen, we send out calendar invites and paper invitations.
Because we are teaching teachers about Google Classroom, I want them to experience it from the student’s point of view. I created a Google Classroom with an easy assignment waiting for the teachers to come to the lunch and learns.
Making Connections & the Training
When designing this Lunch & Lean, the last thing I wanted was a traditional Sit & Get. I wanted teachers to come and go as quickly as they needed but capture some valuable time with them. I wanted teachers to see the training as a valuable learning experience, and worth their time. I respected the fact that this took place during their lunch periods and didn’t force them to sit with me during the whole 30 mins.
I set up the training in the teacher’s lounge. Teachers came to my table to grab some food and picked up a packet. I created two different packets, one for teachers who have a Google Classroom set up and one for teachers who did not. Both packets included page an agenda page and page 45 from “The Google Infused Classroom Book” and an article from Alice Keeler blog.
Task 1: Join the Lunch & Learn Classroom
This step was a self-guided tour for teachers, it allowed them to experience Google Classroom as a student. It also gave me some valuable time if I was still working with another teacher when they walked in.
Task 2: Fill in the Blank from page 43
Let’s mix it up with some fill in the blanks from page 43 of the “Google Infused Classroom” This allowed my teachers to learn more about the “Why” of Google Classroom. It also allowed me to advertise the upcoming book study of “The Google Infused classroom” and get some interest before it launched.
This task is the core of the training piece. I focus on connecting with teachers and understanding where they are at in their understanding of Google classroom and their current experience. I work through these questions and give a hands-on tutorial with teachers to teach them the basics of Google Classroom. During this time, I’m able to learn more about the teachers, their skill levels, how they currently are using the tool, and their thoughts on the tool.
Teachers learn best by doing, this challenge encourages teachers to follow through on the new skills they learned. I have created three challenges designed to push teachers at different skill levels. I want to be able to support the emerging techies, with a fail-safe, co-teach scenario. I win because I’m in the classroom, and the emerging techie wins because I can train her and her students on a new tool at the same time. Teachers who feel a little more comfortable with technology will be able to jump into an activity that will directly impact their students. What I also like about having all three challenges available for all teachers to see is it encourages them to take the next step when they are ready.
Learning is Doing
To encourage teachers to follow through on their new skills and complete the challenge, I issued a due date for the challenge. I also follow up and reward teachers for completing the task with a door prize. As a prize, I will be a sub in the winning teacher’s classroom, so they can have an extra long lunch or conference. Teachers love this door prize because time is always precious, I love this reward because I get time in their classrooms!
Observation & Flybys
Teachers on my campuses, now that I love being in the classroom! I have a basic rule of thumb when it comes to me being in the classroom, if teachers have technology in use, I’m pretty much invited to the classroom! I also make sure every visit is a great one! I make a point to look for students who are using technology in great ways, whether it is being on task, being good leaders, being responsible, or creating something cool, I want them to know how amazing they are! I also try to connect with the teacher either in the classroom, if the situation allows, or later via email. If I see something really awesome, I love to snap a photo and send shout outs to principals! I make it my mission for teachers to love to have me in their classrooms!
That is why it is so easy for me to invite myself into teachers classrooms, I can simply ask “When can I come see your Google classroom in action?” and teachers are happy to make it happen.
After I observed teachers using Google Classroom in their classroom, I follow up with teachers to share my observation thoughts and start the reflection process. We talk about how the lesson went, what went well, and could be better. I guide teachers through personal self-reflection, to help teachers begin to develop self-efficacy and gain a personal sense of gaps in instructional skills. Improving individual skillsets can best be achieved through personalized professional learning guided by the coach or through specific training sessions that align with the needs of individual teachers.