So you’ve constructed your cohorts, you’ve created your goals, now what?
To sustain change it is important to plan ahead, be consistent, and be transparent.
Tips to sustain change:
- Inform your cohorts about their group. You can even have them assist in creating the goals for the cohort.
- Be sure to only select two or three goals for each group.
- Ensure that your goals are SMART:
- Time-bound (consider working with each cohort for a specific amount of time: a semester, marking period, six weeks, etc.)
- Inform them of the schedule for visits and the objective(s) of each visit.
Want to learn more about SMART goals? Check out this free worksheet!
- If you are doing a demonstration lesson or a teacher is doing one, have a list of look fors for the teachers observing. For example, if the focus is on asking rigorous questions have teachers document the questions asked and then (in the debriefing session) identify the levels (Bloom’s) of questions, the use of open-ended questions, wait time, text-dependent questions, scaffolding questions, etc.
- Plan ahead for a debriefing session where teachers can ask questions, share ideas, and plan for application in their own classrooms. Tip: These share-outs and planning ideas should be shared with the cohort for accountability and support.
- Consider using one classroom as a lab site, offering teachers in the cohort the opportunity to observe in this one classroom. Alternatively, you can rotate classrooms.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs):
1. To create buy-in, be sure to set norms that encourage trust.
2. Consider having each member of the cohort lead a PLC meeting.
3. Mid-way through the cycle, consider a check-in point where teachers can:
4. Brainstorm how to handle obstacles/challenges
5. Check progress on SMART Goals
6. Share student work related to the goal
Tip: If you are working on 6-week cycles, for example, the coach can lead the first and last sessions and teachers can take turns leading the sessions in between. If you have a larger cohort, teachers can team up to present a topic pertinent to the cohort goals.
For example, if mastering Socratic Seminar is an objective, the teacher(s) leading the PLC can share best practices about setting up Socratic Seminars. They can include a video (even one they created of their own classrooms), templates, and handouts in their presentation. Remember to leave room for discussion and planning for application!
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