For the last two years I have been welcomed into many classrooms as a coach, or as my favorite mentor Jan so accurately describes: a thought partner. When she used that language two years ago during our first New Teacher Center Mentor Academy, I had no idea just how connected I would feel to that phrase today. I have partnered with some incredible thinkers over these two years. Some of these thinkers have been my fellow coaches, the teachers I support and their administrators.
I am an educator, a dancer, an over-thinker, a dog lover, a writer and a pasta addict. This blog will be dedicated to education… mostly. Since I became involved in my school district’s initiatives around topics like co-teaching and standards based reporting, my wheels have been in a constant state of motion. Over the last five or six years I have poured my heart and soul into collaborative work with so many dedicated educators and district leaders. We have come so far and are so close to reaching our goals.
Last year I began the journey of a lifetime! I have spent the last academic year coaching beginning teachers and training with the New Teacher Center. I have been working with sixteen other coaches. They are brilliant, thoughtful, positive and driven. We share a common goal- to improve educational outcomes through induction. These coaches, along with our amazing trainers from NTC, and the beginning teachers I support- challenge me every day. We learn from each other and we think. We think critically, and are exhausted by it.
In this blog I will attempt to capture some of this thinking and learning. I hope to connect the great work I see and hear in classrooms all around our small state to the domains of our teacher evaluation system, which is based on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. I want to share these connections because I believe in the value of Danielson’s work. I saw connections everywhere I looked this year. When teasing out what teacher actions contributed to student learning- teachers always found components of the domains. I want everyone to have access to those same ‘aha!’ moments I have, and for everyone’s students to benefit. I hope you come back often to learn more about this year’s journey!