Recently, my friend, Kari Espin and I were chatting about an opportunity that we had to coach a group of teachers. Instead of the traditional coaching model that pairs one coach with one teacher, we wanted to take an approach that would result in a collaborative culture built on trust, transparency, and a willingness to take risks.
While we realize the importance of instructional coaching, we also see the need for an innovative opportunity such as working with a thought partner. According to the Forbes article written by Barbara Stanny, a thought partner's role is to...
1. Challenge your thinking
2. Cause you to modify or change your paradigms, assumptions, or actions
3. Share information or a way of thinking that provokes you to innovate
As I've shared before, working with a thought partner has had a huge impact on my career. As my thought partner, Kari is able to encourage reflection, challenge my thinking, and help me make innovation a priority. I can't help but wonder if educators had this same opportunity to collaborate with a thought partner, what might happen as a result?
So, we are now in the process of designing the opportunity for a group of educators to experience a Thought Partner Collaborative. Rather than being coached, they will become members of a collaborative in which they bring their own experiences, strengths, and struggles to become better together.
While we aren't sure where this is going to lead, we do know that any time you are willing to let others add value through collaboration, good things will most likely follow. We plan to use Flipgrid as an open platform for communication, collaboration, and reflection. By doing so, we hope to empower educators to practice trust and transparency with each other throughout the process.
What impact do you think a Thought Partner Collaborative could have on you as an educator, your campus, or your district? Comment below to share your thoughts, suggestions, or ideas.