For me, the most effective way to support educators to engage learners and increase learning retention is Cognitive Coaching. The mission of Cognitive Coaching is to produce self-directed persons. With the skills of coaching patterns, building rapport, listening and inquiring to explore or specify thinking, we are able to clarify thoughts and go deeper into a our instructional practices to find practical solutions to support student learning. Having those conversations builds trust and focuses on teachers’ strengths while revealing areas of growth. Coaching conversations have been transformational because coachees find the resourcefulness within themselves and develop empowerment.
As we continue undergoing the implementation of instructional coaching in my current school, the pace of professional learning is becoming more flexible and personalized. Teachers focus on quality over quantity, they self-assess and understand their strengths and “stretches”. They develop their own goals, track their progress and identify their plan of action autonomously.
As I use Adaptive School strategies with team members, I have also noticed a shift from assumptions to data. Teachers focusing on learning data are able to move forward in solution finding and impact student learning in the long run.
Peer observations is another effective practice to consider when it comes to making significant impact on student learning. Teachers can share practices with colleagues by modeling and can learn by observing practices in action. This can also be done with video-taping, to some extent. Those experiences are transformational when time is committed to unpacking the observation afterward (with a reflective conversation).