“Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators” – ISTE Coaching Indicator 3c
ISTE Coaching Indicator 3c contains quite a few elements. To some extent it deals with professional development, but it primarily deals with coaching teachers in how to use digital technology. The most direct application of this standard occurred in my EDTC course 6105, which dealt specifically with this topic. In the course of study for the class, I reflected on the relationship between the coach and the teachers being coached in my post The Expert and the Coach. I delved into the complex, and often challenging, relationship between a peer coach and a teacher and came to a crucial conclusion regarding the effectiveness of the coaching process: it comes down to trust. The teachers must trust the coach and the coach must trust the teacher they are working with. This facilitates honesty, openness, and genuine reflection on teaching practices. This allows for the coaching relationship to develop and grow, as opposed to an “expert” scenario where one person comes in with all of the answers and dominates the discourse.
I got a chance to practice peer coaching as part of my EDTC 6105 experience and I document and reflect on it in my Peer Coaching Plan. This report chronicles my experiences peer coaching one of my fellow teachers. The experience was overall positive, though hampered a bit by the numerous changes going on at our school. Upon reflection, I realized that I had to consciously work to obey our established norms and monitor my own contributions. I learned that a great deal of coaching is listening. I also learned that I still have a ways to go to be truly good at peer coaching, but that practice and dedication to following a coaching plan can make it easier.
I had another opportunity to apply the indicator when I and a colleague prepared a presentation for the 2018 NCCE conference. This proposal was for a session that featured blended learning for professional development (PD). We sought to combine teaching how to use Google sites along with the theory for why digital tools like Google sites can be so effective in teaching. While NCCE ultimately decided to not offer the session, the opportunity to collaborate, consider, and create a blended PD learning environment was invaluable.