The Power of Modeling!

*New* and *change* are rarely our favorite words…unless you’re one of those people. Even when we subscribe to #growthmindset, these two words can make us cringe.

Enter modeling.

As a digital learning coach, I find that modeling is the most effective way of introducing *new* teaching practices and strategies.

Yesterday’s student-centered academy reaffirmed my love of modeling in professional development. I quit the “sit and get” after seeing that it doesn’t work. Shout out to @mandymtaylor for leading the #personalizedPD charge in our district and around the country. Follow her.

Social studies teachers (elementary to high school) spent the day with my colleagues Hector Munoz-Leyva and Rob Cheshire, and myself in the Social Studies Academy for Student-Centered Learning.

In this learning experience, we modeled strategies that will help move teachers to the more distinguished side of teaching according to our new evaluation system T-TESS.


The teachers didn’t sit and learn about the new tools, they lived them — exactly as student will live them in their classes.

Judging from the goals established by the teachers during the training, immersing them in the strategies we’d like for them to adopt will pay off this year and help spur the *change* that we’re looking for.

We included a full, student-centered lesson from @munoz_history on the Cold War for them to gain first-hand experience, a #hyperdoc for them to drive their own learning and to create goals, and 2 hours of work and workshops in which they chose which small group pullout session they wanted to attend for deeper learning about a specific tech tool.

The voice and choice provided a personalized environment that centered on the teacher’s individual needs and provided opportunities for 1-on-1 support from the facilitators. It was awesome.

Here’s the link to the presentation to steal, add to, and share back with me:

Even though we introduced from *new* concepts and some *change* to the way their classes might look, I didn’t see anyone cringe or checking e-mail.

I look forward to following up with the teachers about their goals to create a more student-centered learning environment in their social studies classes — and expect a follow-up here as well.


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