DCE 20/20-Digitally Creative Educators with a 20/20 Vision for the Future

By Tammy Trzebiatowski (@tammyt) & Felecity Treptow

We were given the opportunity to redesign a professional development model with an emphasis on coaching for our district. We began our plan at the foundation. We knew that above all we had to model best teaching practices that were engaging, accessible, and equitable for all learners. We wanted this opportunity to be grassroots; depending on in-district personnel to ensure that we could support district goals and tools along with the benefit of flexible schedules. Being a 1:1 iPad district, we then worked to identify the core tools that we wanted to encourage teachers to use with their learners. Well-vetted, trusted, dependable tools to harness creativity. Tools like the native Apple Apps:  Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Clips, Classroom, as well as support our Learning Management System, Canvas. From our professional learning journeys, we identified that shared experiences go a long way and help create a safe, encouraging community that celebrates risks. So a non-negotiable was to find ways to provide shared experiences for our participants to take part in, like the form of yearly kick-off events. We decided that we would organize our model into a three-year cycle. To ensure enough time to build strong relationships with cohort peers, as well as provide intentional coaching cycles, learning, and reflection.  Each year we would provide different opportunities and a different focus, which is outlined below. We needed a name for this opportunity. We needed a name that could capture our vision. We decided to name it DCE 20/20-Digitally Creative Educators with a 20/20 Vision for the Future.


Three Year Cycle for DCE 20 20

Identify Our Cohort

Our next step was to find our people. We sent a promo video to all the principals to show at their staff meetings. We certainly didn’t want to force anyone to take part in this experience. So we decided to have interested teachers apply by creating a video that answered three questions: Why do you want to be a part of this cohort? What do you hope to get out of this opportunity? How are you going to give back to your school? We crossed our fingers and hoped we’d get some applicants! Thankfully we had almost 30 people apply! After we went through all of the submissions, we identified our cohort of 25 people, with all but once school being represented. 

Kick Off Events

Shared experiences can jolt us, elevate us, and change us. To bond our DCE 20/20 crew we committed to providing a shared experience to kick off each year. We know our most powerful moments are dominated by elements of elevation, insight, pride and connection. These experiences did just that and concluded with a Call To Action to bring the elements of learning and leadership back to their schools and classrooms. We’ve gone to the Apple Store in Chicago, a local summer camp and even a military base to provide these experiences!  

Collage of kick off event experiences

Full-Day Professional Learning   

Each year we pulled our teachers from their classrooms four times for full-day professional learning. Our professional learning days were planned around our corresponding themes for each year. Year One, our Core Tool Refresh year, we focused on creativity with the native Apple Apps and Everyone Can Create guides. We also weaved in the Apple Culture of Learning and Accessibility features of the iPad. Year Two’s focus was the Elements of Learning. On each of our training days, we designed an experience around each of the five elements. As we focused on Leadership in Year 3, our goal was to equip our teachers with skills that would continue to lead innovation and a positive school culture. 

Coaching Experiences

The Apple Learning Coach program was instrumental in building our skills to adequately coach our participants. As part of our Apple Learning Coach journey, we worked through six self-paced journals that stretched us to: Develop a coaching philosophy, create to support meaningful teaching and learning, evolve our coaching best practices through collaboration, and practice guiding effective coaching cycles. These opportunities to be reflective practitioners with like-minded colleagues, strengthen our skills and allowed us to develop a Coaching Action Plan that we implemented in year two of DCE 20/20. We designed a learning journal that provides a framework for the important steps & elements of the coaching cycle to guide our DCE 20/20 teachers to create meaningful learning experiences with technology. This journal is a shared space for our teachers and ourselves to collaborate. In the journal, we design lessons together and create personalized plans to support each teacher’s individual professional growth. This journal also includes space for teacher and coach reflections as well as a place to showcase artifacts from each coaching cycle. 

Capstone Projects

 Part of our mission is to give back-wether that is to the school community, the district or our greater DC Everest Community. Each year our participants are required to complete a Capstone Project that does just that. At the conclusion of each school year, we host a capstone reception for our district Administration and School Board members to attend and celebrate our teachers.


Collage of Capstone Project celebration

All Comments

Posted on September 14, 2022

Wow! That's an incredible, high-impact, and well-envisioned professional learning plan. The way you weaved together resources like Apple Learning Coach, Elements of Learning, Everyone Can Create, etc. is effective and impressive. Thank you for sharing in such great detail!

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