Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Being the data coach

I have had the opportunity to attend a 6-day coaching institute from Learning Forward. For those who may not know, Learning Forward is the new name of what was formerly the National Staff Development Council (NSDC). has some wonderful resources surrounding the latest research in providing professional development and professional learning. (e.g the newest version of professional learning standards can be found here.) Each standard begins with the stem of "Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students...". Within the stem of each standard exists the emphasis of professionalism, continual learning, increasing effectiveness, and equity for all student...and that is just the stem!

I digress...

The coaching institute has provided me with the opportunity to reflect on how I have worked with teachers in professional development, evaluations, and even day-to-day interactions. One of the great things I have learned is that in the coaching role, as opposed to the administrative/evaluator role,  there is no preconceived answer or solution. The coach is a support and an equal partner in the learning that will occur between the two professionals. While there are times that the administrator is needed, I think leaders should emphasize the coaching aspect more often.

My current position involves looking at all of our data and making it meaningful to those who need it. There are a lot of spreadsheets, equations, and bar graphs. Luckily, I like exploring Excel.

One of the things discussed today in the workshop were the critical shifts that needs to happen within an organization in order to make the role of a data coach more effective and successful. They are as follows:
In the next few days, I will elaborate more on each of the bullet points above. How do you accomplish these in your school? Has the shift happened? Has there been a realization that the shift needs to happen?

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