November 01, 2016
As part of the Blended Pilot process, we have met with teachers from four pilot schools and three copilot schools to find out where each teacher is with blended learning in their classroom and where they want to go next. Like students in the classroom, each teacher is different and has a different focus. Our plan is to take a “coaching” approach with these teachers.
The goal is to conference with these teachers and ask them to identify one or two priority practices of blended learning that they would like to be their focus for the upcoming semester. We will also identify a long-term focus/goal area to be achieved by the end of the school year. Teachers will look at priority practices from the following focus areas developed by the Highlander Institute to assist them in advancing their blended classrooms. Those focus areas are:
• Teacher to student interactions
• Student to screen interactions
• Data practices
• Student learning experience
• Classroom culture
Teachers involved in this pilot are considered teachers of “Lighthouse Classrooms.” The idea with “Lighthouse Classrooms” is that after teachers are up and running in a manner they feel comfortable with, and with our assistance, we will invite other teachers from their district and other districts into their classrooms to observe blended learning in action.
We have experienced that these teachers are very willing to try new things and in many cases are already doing aspects of blended learning. We will check in with them on a quarterly basis and offer support in between by helping them troubleshoot and by sharing valuable resources that can be applied in their classroom. The goal is to meet them where they are at and move them forward. This means they may all start and end in a different place which is OK when you focus on the growth these teachers and students will experience!
-by Jami Schaffnitt, Teaching and Learning Coordinator