Flip Your Coaching!

As a teacher, it always irritated me to sit through long, boring informational meetings. I felt I was enough of a professional to be given the information and allowed to read through it on my own and ask questions about anything I didn’t understand. I am sure I can not be the only teacher who felt that way.

I feel the same way now. What I will never understand is why, once we know what “turned us off” as teachers, we continue to use those same arcane and ineffective practices as coaches.

In his book, Collaborative Leadership: Six influences that matter most, Peter DeWitt, explains how he used flipped faculty meetings to keep the focus on learning. I believe that it is highly important that we never forget that learning should always be our primary focus – information is vital to have and it should be presented in such a way as to maximize learning.

Flipped coaching is perfect for adult learners because it allows teachers to be self-directed. In DeWitt’s model of the flipped meeting, he used TouchCast (an app) to upload a 5-minute video explaining information he thought the staff should know before the meeting. He was also able to add pictures and links to supplement the information provided in the video. This flipped meeting model made DeWitt’s faculty meetings more productive and encouraged dialogue.

I have decided to make use of flipping in my coaching strategy for this year. A colleague and I started with the app, Flipgrid. I chose this app rather than TouchCast because (1) I do not use/have/like Apple devices, and (2) it is user-friendly, especially for those who are not technologically inclined.

We are currently using Flipgrid in our small group professional learning community, but I do hope to expand to a model that I use with teachers. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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