Who would have thought that we would still be teaching in the midst of a pandemic? At the beginning of this school year, public school districts had to make important decisions about how to approach this school year. How would they keep students safe? How would they continue to engage students in learning? And, how would they support teachers in the process?
At St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colorado, we acknowledge we are teaching in a pandemic, yet we still need to move students forward and continue to help them grow. This is a delicate balance, especially as teachers are dealing with the stresses of a changing landscape and the desire to find their footing with new instructional challenges.
Prior to and particularly now during the pandemic, coaching has been a vital support in helping educators find balance and maintain the pace they are working. It has also given them adequate time and space to think and process the learning that is occurring in their classroom every day.
Looking toward the rest of this school year and beyond, the following three coaching practices will continue to go a long way in supporting the ongoing success and well-being of teachers.
When we step back and think about the major shifts in educators’ practice during the pandemic, one thing that stands out the most is the normalization of video. Teachers never got into education to become YouTube sensations, but they sure have risen to the challenge!
Due to COVID and distance learning, many educators jumped in and began creating digital content for their students so they could continue learning. If teachers were not creating flipped videos, they were meeting with students live via video platforms such as Webex and Zoom.
You might ask, how does this all relate to coaching? More than a year ago when we would ask educators to submit a video clip of their classroom or teaching, it brought up a lot of angst or trepidation. But, now teachers are more than willing to capture video – it has become a part of their everyday life. This is where the tool Edthena has become invaluable in helping elevate our educators’ practice.