The coaching probes and rounding sessions (as described in the previous two blog posts) provide ways for school leaders to harvest intellectual capital from teachers. Through our research in high need schools, we’ve found that the use of collegial coaches and coaching probe questions is an effective strategy for improving student learning results and increasing teacher satisfaction. The shared information also opens doors for school leaders to capture this same intellectual capital at their schools.
We recommend teachers contribute “bright ideas” based on what they’ve discussed in their teacher learning teams.
Here’s how it works:
School leaders create a “Bright Idea” basket that is placed near their office. The teams complete a bright ideas card (shown below) and place the card in the basket. The leader establishes a review process to determine which bright ideas are doable in the school.
When a school leader sees bright ideas that seem feasible and promising, the leader sends the “bright idea” card to a team of teachers. The team, established by the school leader, reviews the idea and makes a recommendation to the school leader, who then shares that information with the teacher learning team that submitted the bright idea. Either way the school leader should always give a response to the team, whether it is positive or negative.
We recommend school leaders keep tracking charts of the bright ideas submitted, the team that submitted the idea, the date, and the action taken. Naturally, school leaders should implement the process that works best for them and their school. No matter the strategy used, school leaders must make sure they clearly communicate the process the school uses to gather, review, and act on “bright ideas.”
Teachers learn, grow, create, and perform better when they engage with other teachers who are also constantly striving to become better at what they do. Teachers within learning teams energize each other. They also help each other think about ways that they might otherwise have missed.
We encourage you to ask your school leader to provide a “bright ideas” box or basket. Not only will the system as a whole improve, but you, as a teacher, will be better equipped to go from good to great and increase student success.
Asti Kelley, TeacherReady®
Excerpt from: How to Lead Teachers to Become Great | Feature image: British Council