24/7 Support for Teachers and Students

Not everyone is ready to learn when you are ready to teach.

Photo of Chris Tenbarge
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In our district, we have a rule never to mandate anything. It's our secret to organizational change. We respect that teachers are passionate about their classrooms and as a tech coach, my role is to help teachers reach their fullest potential. The truth is what I bring to the table is much less important than when I bring it. Teachers are not always ready for a shift in their pedagogy during a Fall break session, or a meeting during their planning period. If teachers are going to own their classrooms, they must own their PD. This is one possible explanation on why Twitter is so popular with educators.

Teachers can go to Twitter or YouTube and learn fantastic things, but neither of these directly improve the culture of my school district: this is my job. By creating and curating a "hub" of videos and digital resources and aligning to the rubric that we use to evaluate our teachers, we not only provide a vision for an outstanding cohesive educational institution, but provide the resources for teachers to consume when they are ready for a shift of instruction. No matter the trigger, when a teacher is ready to learn more about PBL or Flipped Classroom, they have access to the same resources and experiences the teacher across the hall did months earlier. The creator of these resources is someone they personally know and have access to. This often leads to increased cooperation and collaboration and our staff feel they own their excellence.


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Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Chris,

I really love this idea. Allowing faculty to learn at their own pace as well as having a voice in their learning is essential to life long learning and buy-in. Your post is really well done and already fleshed out. I would love to see you move this idea into the ideate phase.

A few things to think about as your share this idea:
Overview: (What’s this idea about)
Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that supports our continued growth, makes us inspired and has the greatest impact on our students learning?)
Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)
How’d you get this idea off the ground?

Based off of your initial post, you have already done this work. In fact, you could use some of your original post when moving it over to the ideate phase. For the larger community on the guild as well as Sonoma County, it would be helpful to really flesh it out in a detail post to the ideate phase. Also, any resources you can include or hyperlink would be super helpful so we could see the model.

Your idea actually has me thinking about how to play around with districts not-mandating learning. I wonder what other ideas we could generate around the elimination of mandated learning. Would be interested in generating new ideas with you if you are interested.

Photo of Chris Tenbarge

Michael - thanks for the encouragement! I'm going to draft a contribution to the ideate phase. 

"No mandates" is all about relationships and results. The problem with mandates is that they too often end the conversation. Even with the best ideas, there is little room for iteration of the concept within the group after a mandate. A mandate almost always guarantees that the initiative will take longer to implement because. 

Perhaps we can incentivize learning (intrinsic and extrinsic). Reward risk, lead by example... "Be the change you want to see". I bet we could pull out several good ideas around this theme.

Photo of Michael Schurr

Awesome! I look forward to reading it. Ideate phase ends in about 34 hours!!!!

If you can get a post up and it moves on to the evolve phase, I'd be happy to work in google docs with you as well. 

Best of luck!

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