By Ellen Eisenberg

By Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of The Professional Institute for Instructional Coaching (TPIIC)

Monday, October 5, 2020

Learning the information, processing the information, and using the information swirl around our heads! So much is available to help teachers navigate distance learning. But, how much is too much and what do teachers do with the information they collect? Do we have systems in place that help teachers make sense of the resources they can access? How do we help them become critical users of the resources and then sustain their learning so that they don’t feel overwhelmed with the plethora of materials and the enormity of their tasks?

I know that questions are the currency of instructional coaching and usually evoke thinking that creates reflection and self-resolution. These questions persistently surface as we continue to navigate the different school settings. Each day brings a new way of thinking and a new set of circumstances. What can we do to streamline the process and create some steadiness for teachers? The "unknowns" continue to plague us but we are getting better at surviving and thriving through them.

First of all, I think “less is more” when it comes to offering technology tools to teachers. Instructional coaches tell me that when they work with teachers to define the lesson’s goals, suggest 2-3 tools that are appropriate to support and extend the learning, and identify how to use the tools, the teachers feel assured that they are enabling their students’ learning in effective ways. They feel confident that they can manage the tasks, replicate the learning, and enable students to use their learning in multiple contexts. The teachers’ understanding of the technology tools is manageable and does not overwhelm them. In fact, the coaches also feel more confident when they bring teachers together via zoom and the teachers share that they feel more in control of their instructional plans and delivery. It’s a win-win situation for all!

What is your "less is more" message?

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