To say I'm excited would be an understatement!
I'm beyond excited at the work we've already done and the work we will continue to do together this year. It truly is an amazing group of educators, hungry to grow as professionals. So, let me share a few things:
The purpose of the cohort is for each teacher to establish strength and stretch goals they would like to focus on this year in their growth as professionals in math education. They will receive weekly meetings with their coach (me), after school workshops, instructional rounds, and a few full day professional development days. Our work focuses on learning from each other's strengths and research-based best practices from multiple resources: NCTM's Principles to Actions' 8 Teaching Practices, The 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, Mathematical Practice 1, and Mathematical Practice 3, nine rounds of instructional rounds, and more. There's no shortage of resources to pull from. All of this is to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics in our district by bringing a balance to classrooms where both teachers and students are working together to explore and learn math. Ultimately, it is my hope that both students and teachers participate in Balanced Equitable and Accessible Mathematics (BEAM).
You can Google most of the resources I've listed above in addition to share your own experiences (and expertise), especially with the practices. However, instructional rounds is something extremely new to me and something (I've found) not as easily searchable and accessible on the internet. Let me explain, if you went to YouTube and searched "instructional rounds in education", chances are good you will find a lot of polished videos. Anytime I see polished videos, I'm skeptical of the sincerity and authenticity. I get it. Similar to musical artists spending months in the studio rehearsing and producing an album that sounds pleasing to consumers' ears, many of these educational videos feel just like that; rehearsed, produced, and polished versions of instructional rounds. I could totally be wrong. I digress.
Dr. Marzano, who has a lot of experience with instructional rounds, says, "Instructional rounds is where teachers get to see other teachers teach. Not for the purpose of evaluating them. Not for the purpose of giving them feedback."
What I love in this interview is when Dr. Marzano talks about teachers who have been observed, they always say "give me feedback."
Having facilitated my first round of instructional rounds last week, I have learned a great deal already. I took what I learned last week and have applied it to my next round of instructional rounds, which is tomorrow. I hope to share more about this journey with you after round two.
In the meantime, I'm curious what experience you have with instructional rounds?
I'd love to hear more about it if you get a chance.
By the way, here's how I think of strength and stretch goals. Inspired by Bryan Meyer and Abi Leaf. Thank you my math friends.