This We Believe…

Jill…

  • Teachers are guides who need to walk alongside the students in their room; who put kids at the center of their own learning.  This also means teachers are always ready to step in when their students  need them.  I believe the only way to empower students and make them successful is by giving them an active role in their learning. As teachers, we need  to have a keen knack of being able to observe our students “on the spot” and respond to these real time observations with direct explicit instruction that enables them to do that ever changing next step.This is the type of learning they will take with them into their everyday life and will help shape who they become as educated people in our society
  • It  is essential that we as educators provide equal exposure to all students within our classroom regardless of their academic level.  I believe we need opportunities for independence in every classroom and by kidwatching we can identify students’ needs whether it is to support or challenge them. If we don’t give children exposure along with chances to try things on their own, we only limit their possibilities and  never give them the opportunity to reach their full potential. If students have not been exposed to something, they can never be expected to learn it. The key is in the supports we put in place to guide them to individual success.
  • Collaboration is the key to any learning whether it is between adults or students. It’s power is immeasurable and the possibilities are unlimited. Nothing says learning more than a room buzzing with talking, thinking and collaboration as children grow as true learners with true purpose.
  • Engagement is the key to student success.  If teachers do not make learning meaningful, students will be focused on completing a task, not growing in the process of becoming life-long learners. They will be working for you, not for themselves and this type of work does not transfer.

Jenn…

  • I need to be in a constant state of  learning, applying, and creating.  My learning is driven by observations of students; it is informed by reading research journals and professional texts. I  attend workshops, and participate in Twitter Chats, and read educational blogs. There is always an opportunity to learn.
  • My learning will fall short if I don’t respond to these encounters through collaboration and practical work. Technological advances have sharply changed my educational landscape.Social media offers me a chance to widen my worldview.  It inspires me to be innovative and  it renews my faith that teachers are amazing.
  • I want to  empower my students, so I step back and try to see the big picture. As a coach “my students” are all the students who attend my school. This is challenging because  I’ve witnessed agency and independence in classrooms  and now there is no turning back.  I want it to happen in every classroom. I see myself as a craftsman who is trying to create tools, and lessons that inspire students. Engagement can only happen when students are inspired, so in a way,  I am an artist and my canvas is the classroom.
  • I question my practice and try to see it with an open heart.  The most rewarding parts of my job is when I am in the trenches working alongside teachers encouraging them to reflect and grow.  I think I get away with this because my faculty sees that I walk the walk. I’m not afraid to “fail” because that’s part of learning.  I see in teaching as a process, and it’s one that requires my complete immersion.  As a developmentalist I reject: worksheets, fill in the blank writing, and anything that is done in isolation that is not connected to meaning.  If my teaching can’t be transferred then I haven’t done my job.  Dr. Mary Howard has taught me that there are somethings that I just have to say no to and that has forever changed how I see my role as a coach.s

Let’s connect – now you know what we believe we’d love to know what you believe: