Episode 21: Social Media as PD: The Power of Being a Contributor
Listen to Episode 21
Today we’re chatting with the entire #coachbetter slowchat team! Jana is a Tech Coach in Germany, Nick is a Kindergarten teacher at UWC Thailand, and Verena is an EdTech Coach at the German European School in Singapore.
Bonus: Watch the video of this episode on YouTube!
We talk about the amazing learning potential of being a contributor (and not just a consumer) of social media – and – how facilitating this slow chat has made them more connected and reflective. As graduates and current participants of our Eduro Learning The Coach Microcredential program, Nick, Jana and Verena have found facilitating this slow chat as a great way to continue and extend their professional learning about how to #coachbetter!
You As Coaches
What’s your role in your school? What does it look like? What does it mean to you?
Jana: job is in a flux state, replaced someone who taught ICT isolated for many years, bringing in an integrated approach. New to coaching and bringing the coaching model to the school.
Nick: I have to be really creative with time and space. Has some release time from his Kinder classroom teacher role to meet with grade level teams. Focus is on helping overcome the resistance.
Verena: three full time edtech coaches, plus assistants, no other coaches. Still handles lots of IT problems, but does get to go to collaborative meetings. Lots of collaboration is informal, conversations in the hallway.
How do you learn as new coaches?
Jana: Besides joining the Coach Microcredential is developing a PLN on twitter and connecting with teachers on Instagram.
Verena: The PLN, but even more important if I read something I need to talk and reflect about it.
Nick: Taking the theory from The Coach and COETAIL and putting it into practice. Having done them at the same time, I would put the ideas into practice in my classroom and then share with other teachers.
What do you use for professional growth? What else besides Twitter? How did you learn about coaching before this program? What resources and opportunities did you use and take advantage of?
Verena: The Coach Microcredential resources. The videos we watch for #coachbetter are a good reminder and then thinking of the questions for the slow chat are a good chance to reflect.
Nick: Resources from The Coach Microcredential helped support not just me, but also the PYP Coordinator and Mindfulness Mentor, and helped us see the connections between all of our roles. It was powerful for me to understand that the essentials of coaching not only transcend disciplines, but that other teachers can use the same resources to help them grow.
Jana: Resources from The Coach, particularly Mentoring Matters, helped give me more confidence in my job by breaking down the structure and framework of coaching.
Building the Slow Chat
How did you all come together to form the #coachbetter slowchat?
Jana: In the first part of The Coach MC, we were learning about building a PLN, and I realized that I needed to start re-building mine. I learned about slow chats and the idea that it could be ongoing professional learning.
Nick: Finished up the MC and was really keen to do more. Wanted to stay connected and be involved, so I could keep learning. For me, I wanted to continue to be part of that. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s allowed me to see things from many different perspectives. As a teacher and a new coach, it’s really good to hear all these different perspectives and paths.
How does facilitating this chat support your learning? Has it built your personal learning network?
Verena: I find like-minded people, which sometimes is not easy at school. Every video and the following chat challenges me to think through different perspectives and then come up with questions. It’s reflection about my practice, and an opportunity for me to improve. It helps me grow. It’s an opportunity to be a digital leader and learner, to not just consume but to also create.
Nick: I’ve used a lot of the takeaways from the conversations with school leaders as I’m trying to build admin understanding / value to create a coaching role for my school.
Jana: The reflection piece is really big for me. Connecting with other coaching leaders in the world is a big benefit so I can gather more ideas. My school isn’t on Twitter yet, I’m using it as a medium to help people see the value of being connected. Connecting with Verena and Nick and with other coaches who are working to improve their school.
How do you collaborate / work together?
Jana: Connect mainly through Slack and Google Drive.
Nick: Mainly use Slack, with Google Drive integration. Questions go up on Google slides so everyone can collaborate. Collaborating through time and space was a little challenging at first because we were waiting for the other people to wake up. We went through the whole design cycle, and now we understand how to work together better. Jana gave everyone the schedule, and now it’s self-sustaining. Rely on each other to make it work.
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