Keeping Professional Development in Tune with Current Educational Climate

Innovating Classrooms Through Conference Professional Development

Welcome to “Ask the Tech Coach,” a podcast for Instructional Coaches and Technology Integration Specialists.

In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” Jeff welcome Annamarie Rinehart and Emily Cowan from Forward Edge on the podcast to discuss the importance of starting the school year off in the right direction by building supportive and positive relationships with teachers and building administrators.

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Question of the Week

Our favorite part of recording a live podcast each week is participating in the great conversations that happen on our live chat, on social media, and in our comments section.

This week’s question is:

How can Instructional Coaches start the year off on the right foot after attending summer professional development?

Weekly Topic

  • Thoughts on the 2022 ISTE Conference
  • What new and exciting innovations were showcased at the conference?
  • How can you take what you learn at conferences and turnkey them into district conversations?
    • Take detailed notes during the conference
    • Create a system for post-conference debriefing
    • Create a list of what will most impact students and how much work will the teachers need to do to learn the skill
  • Having important conversations with Administration about new and best practices in staff development and classroom innovation
    • Stay updated on building and district goals
    • How to help your coaching goals and vision match up with their goals and visions
  • Setting up the Coaching role during the first staff meeting
    • Have your elevator pitch
      • Short and sweet but very clear and concise
    • Don’t talk (at first) about Tech or Instructional Design
      • Get to know your teachers as people
      • Always be conversation driven … not tech driven
    • How to keep current climates in mind when working with adult learners
    • Setting up Coaches in a leadership position in the building / district
      • Using leadership meetings to find your “generals” to get into classrooms and build relationships
    • The importance of continual PD for Instructional Coaches
      • Use all your interactions and relationships as professional development for yourself
      • Keep asking questions of your teachers about how “they” are doing things so you can learn more, build relationships, and pass knowledge on to other teachers
      • Keep challenging yourself to learn more and to spend time with more than just traditional classroom teachers
    • Connecting with more than just classroom teachers
      • Use Surveys to poll your teachers to get feedback on future conversations
    • Important topics in today's digital learning classrooms
    • Advice for New Coaches
      • Build relationships and build rapport with your teachers as quick as possible
      • Set up reoccurring meetings with your administrator or admin team to help them make connections between your work and their goals
      • Spend time in the break room having conversations that are beyond coaching
      • Poke your head into the classrooms to say hello and build relationships

Coaching Hashtags to Follow

  • #EduCoachChat
  • #ISTE2022 / ISTELIVE
  • #FECamp22

About our Guests

Annamarie Rinehart

Taught as an intervention specialist for 5 years. She worked with students in grades 1-3, 7-8, and 10. She taught all 4 content areas and worked with a wide variety of learners. Annamarie is now the Technology Integration Coach in a PK-8 building in one of the largest school districts in the state. She was placed in this school after the building was awarded a grant for a 1:1 iPad program for their 5th-8th grade students. Now the entire building is 1:1 and she is able to support all staff members (paras, classroom teachers, admin, social workers, custodians, related service providers)  and students in the building. She also supports the special education department in another district through virtual coaching sessions every other week! Annamarie is also a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, and Coach!

Emily Cowan

Emily Cowan has been an Instructional Design Coach at Forward Edge for three years. During that time she has become a Google Certified Teacher, Trainer and Coach. She has provided professional development and coaching to a variety of PK-12 grade teachers in multiple districts across the Cincinnati area as well as Columbus, Ohio and Maysville, Kentucky. Prior to this role, Emily earned her degree in Middle Level Education, with specialization in Language Arts and Science. She taught for six years predominantly in 6th grade. She has a wide range of experience having worked in both urban and rural settings.

About Forward Edge

Forward Edge is a K12 technology company. That means we do all things technology for schools including selling hardware, setting up and managing wireless networks, we even have our own cabling team that will pull & run cables to hang APs and move projectors. A little over three years ago, we began to focus heavily on the Curriculum & Integration side, so once you have that technology in teachers & students hands, how can you use it effectively? In the C & I department, we come with an education background and classroom experience. In short, we offer visioning and planning services, provide professional development, and serve as on-site integration coaches to schools. Our entire C & I department is made up of former classroom teachers who are passionate about helping educators and students grow!

Forward Edge provides IT hardware and related solutions to the K-12 and Higher Education market. We are committed to delivering the technologies, products, and services that our clients and partners can both build upon and expand in today’s environment.

Forward Edge focuses 100% on Education, making our partner district’s needs our #1 priority. As a niche provider focused on the Education market, we bring deep specialized expertise to each school we service. We understand every aspect of school technology and relentlessly evaluate ways to future-proof school needs.

Our professional services are all-encompassing, and our team understands the latest technologies that influence classroom instruction – making us a perfect complement to a school’s internal IT staff and culture. We provide unsurpassed expertise at an affordable price.

We take a qualified approach to the tools we offer, the people we put in the district as support and project management processes. We make the use of a technology provider effortless with our yearly budget review and proactive forecasting, collaborating with district leadership to prioritize school needs now and in the future.

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About the author, Jeffrey Bradbury

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!