When teachers help other teachers, they grow and improve via professional development according to teacher, Anthony S. Colucci, a National Board Certified
Among the benefits, he notes, is that peer coaching revolves around the teacher, allows educators to collaborate as part of a team and allows teachers to take on leadership roles without leaving the classroom. The method also provides opportunities for the coach to grow and learn as well, he writes.
What will you do when you realize that there is an aspect of your practice you want to improve? Will you make a plea to your administration to attend an expensive workshop? Will you sign up for a lengthy class that you will have to cram into your already jam-packed schedule? Perhaps you will try to hide your weakness and hope nobody notices. I for one will seek to improve my practice with the help of my peers.
Peer coaching is a formal process of two teachers coming together to reflect and refine their practice through a structured conversation. Like many other educators, who’ve had the privilege of being involved in peer coaching, I am convinced that it is a powerful means to provide professional development to those who have a sincere desire to continuously improve. The power of peer coaching lies in the fact that a teacher voluntarily participates in this confidential process, and it is not tied to his or her formal administrative evaluation.
It’s About You
Many of us remember the days when professional development meant leaving the classroom to attend a conference or workshop. Many of us also remember leaving those professional development days with the feeling that the only thing we got out of it was a free cup of coffee and doughnuts. Although peer coaching doesn’t typically involve breakfast, it does provide professional development that is centered on your instruction. This year, I decided to base my lessons on essential questions and quickly learned that I needed some support implementing this paradigm shift. Rather than hunting for a workshop, I sought feedback from two coaches at my school. During the coaching sessions, their questioning stimulated my thinking leading to an “Ah-Ha!’ moment.
You Become Part of a Team
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