Meeting Teachers Where They Are

In a time when substitutes are in short supply, teachers are covering classes, and the workload seems endless; nothing is more important than meeting teachers where they are. 

I am a member of a small coaching team, servicing over 25 buildings/programs. We should be fully staffed at around 900 teachers, but are sitting closer to 800. How does a small, 4-man team even make a dent in the teachers' daily life, let alone a lasting impact, without adding any additional stress to teachers' lives?

In an effort to meet teachers where they are, we have moved to self-paced professional development. In our district, self-paced PD looks like the following:

  • Short, 2-minute quick tips that teachers could do today that would make an impact in their classroom
  • Longer, pre-recorded YouTube videos that focus on a tool or program. Organized into playlists, YouTube is a perfect archive for all of our video needs.
  • Long-term, self-paced Canvas courses that focus on instructional practice with coaching available at checkpoints. These courses offer opportunities for teachers to engage with various creativity options for students on their iPads. 

We also hold space for individuals, PLC Teams, or entire buildings to “book” time with any of the district coaches, either virtually or in person. 

By offering these opportunities to teachers, we have better been able to reach teachers' needs without adding extra stressors to their plates, meetings to their calendars, or requiring their mental energy. Teachers can work through professional learning at their own pace, when they have the time and space for learning. Everything we create is available to all of our teachers, when they need it most.

Do you have any success stories on how your team/school/district is providing learning opportunities for teachers? Share your ideas with us!

3 replies

August 31, 2022

Really impressive just in time support! Fabulous ideas, thank you!

August 31, 2022

Thank you! Our team works really hard to value and respect teacher time!

September 21, 2022

Hi! Are you willing to share some of the Canvas courses you created? We would love to offer this for our teachers as well. There are two of us coaches servicing 30 buildings, over 700 teachers, that span across 24,000 square miles - we feel your pain! We also offer self-paced professional development along with a stipend (we applied for and received a grant for this). We use Wakelet for the self-paced PD. Here's what ours looks like:

God bless,

Carrie Nielsen, Diocese of Lincoln

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