Not too long ago, I shared a little bit about a new idea that my friend, Kari Espin and I had about coaching and what this might look like when seen from a different perspective. I did this through a blog post and we received lots of positive feedback and interest in the idea. Since that time, we've been working toward developing a model that would make sense and give us direction as we actually begin to implement this idea with a group of educators.
We've always been big believers in inquiry-based models for the classroom so it only made sense that we made inquiry the foundation for the Thought Partner Collaborative. In doing some research, we read a wonderful post from George Couros regarding inquiry-based professional learning. I specifically love the benefits that he listed as he explained what this might look like for educators. He mentioned the importance of being a master learner, unleashing innovative potential, passions as an element of learning, and empowering educators to lead out on change.
In order to make sense of what we thought needed to be present for this collaborative to work, we created the Thought Partner Collaborative (TPC). In short, it's a coaching model driven by inquiry, designed to identify and ignite emotion, inspire change, and encourage innovation.
Inquire - This piece of the collaborative is foundational and involves introductions, encourages self-awareness, and establishes expectations for the work. Identifying purpose and exploring the possibilities will play a role in building anticipation and excitement about what lies ahead.
Ignite - When looking for research on teacher emotions and professional development, we came across a study published in 2019 by Margareta M. Thomson and Jeanine E. Turner that found the following, "Our study results suggest that teachers' emotions and values...greatly influence their learning of new knowledge and triggered positive changes in their classroom teaching." This piece of the collaborative is about identifying and igniting emotions and practicing empathy that will eventually drive the desire to create change.
Inspire - Inspiration drives creativity. The why is so important in this process but so is the how. We hope to inspire the educators within the collaborative by connecting educators, collaborating to develop solutions, and creating opportunities for implementation.
Innovate - James Joyce said that, "Mistakes are the portals of discovery." Throughout the collaborative, we will encourage educators to be willing to take risks by establishing a culture that reframes failure as a springboard for innovation.
One of our priorities in designing this new model is to ensure that collaboration becomes a natural part of the culture that supports sustainable change. Throughout the process, we will use Flipgrid to make connections, build relationships, and collect practical ideas that can be shared and implemented immediately. The work will require a willingness to be transparent, see things from new perspectives, and reflect throughout the experience in order to find meaning and purpose.
We look forward to making this a reality very soon with a school district that we are working with to create real change. I will update and share what's working and not working periodically on the blog. Please feel free to post your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments below.
So often my children will bring home work that they need to complete. The problem is that I have no idea how to help and don't want to confuse them by doing something totally different than what was learned in class.
As a teacher, I remember wishing that I could just call each parent before sending anything home and explain what they could do to help rather than coming in to 15 emails the next morning sharing that they weren't sure how to help their child solve the problem.
Flipgrid is all about student voice and giving students an opportunity to share their perspectives about a book they've just read is a great way for them to share that voice. I love the idea of students sharing their opinions with their peers. Book reviews make sense and allow students to practice life-ready skills that they will need beyond the walls of the classroom.
FlipgridAR allows you to take the videos that your students record and provide QR codes that be scanned to access those videos. Here's how you can make it happen...
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...
How many times have you gone to do Station Rotation only to spend most of your time repeating the directions for each station? What if there was a way to manage the stations almost as if you cloned yourself to be at each station? Sounds crazy, right? Using FlipgridAR, not only is it not crazy, it's easy and very practical. Here's how you do it...
So, throughout this series we've talked about what thought partners are, why they are important, and how they can be used to help learners address and practice the life-ready skills (4Cs + 1R). In this post, I wanted to share how to use thought partnership throughout Genius Hour to encourage learners to think through the process while practicing collaboration and communication with their peers.
I'm most excited about thinking about thought partners through this lens as I believe it has to be potential to take Genius Hour to the next level and cause learners to be even more intentional and purposeful as they move through the 6 Ps of Genius Hour.
The Depth and Complexity Icons from Sandra Kaplan are a wonderful way to encourage learners to go beyond surface level thinking and dive deep in order to truly understand a concept, idea, or strategy. I used the icons in my own classroom and have shared them with teachers as a way to encourage deep understanding in their own classrooms. If you want to know more about each icon and how to use them, check out Why I Love Depth and Complexity and You Should Too from Gifted Guru or Introducing Depth and Complexity from Ian Byrd.
There were many times in my classroom that I wanted students to use the icons to think about something that we were learning, discussing, or reading. I would often just draw out of a bucket so that they knew which icon I was going to ask them to use. I wanted them to experience all of the icons and while sometimes I was intentional about weaving in specific icons, I also loved the idea of randomizing the icons. I recently began to think about how convenient it might be to have the icons connected to a randomized QR code. So, I did some research, learned a ton from Tony Vincent about how to create randomized QR codes, and made it happen. I wanted to share with you guys so that you can use this in your classroom to help your learners dive deep as they move beyond surface level to move toward deep understanding.
In my last post about thought partners in the classroom, I shared that a thought partner is someone who...
I couldn't help but begin to consider what this might look like in a classroom that prioritizes life ready skills or the 4Cs + 1R (Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Reflection).
So, I received some very exciting news this morning from Wonderopolis and I couldn't wait to share. Immersive Reader is now available with every wonder, making Wonderopolis even more accessible for today's learners.
Thinking before doing is not a strength of mine. I like to try new things, take risks, and jump in with both feet. Innovation is often my first thought and details tend to come later. Because of this, I'm a big fan of the thought partner concept. My thought partner, Kari Espin, often changes my perspective, helps me reflect in order to improve, and encourages me to take things to the next level by thinking beyond my comfort zone. I was recently thinking about how beneficial this is for me and how much more beneficial it might be in the classroom. Kari talks often about how much she enjoys being a thought partner and she is passionate about helping others take their thoughts, ideas, and even their careers to another level.
© 2018 Andi McNair