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Shelia B

Recipe

Empowering Educators: The Teacher Feature Network

“If you provide teachers with what they need to be successful and innovative, they will follow suit.” - Shelia Banks.<br><br>Educators look for ways to improve their practice every day, but imagine a system in which there is consistent support - through collaboration - to help teachers solve tough problems they face in their classrooms everyday.<br><br>Innovator Shelia Banks envisions a network of colleagues that create a safe space for teachers to be vulnerable and transparent about problems they are facing in the classroom. In her role as a Curriculum Program Specialist, Banks has witnessed how teachers can sometimes feel alone, isolated - even not good enough when they come upon a problem that exhausts their individual “teacher toolbox.” Banks wants all educators to really recognize that there is no such thing as a perfect classroom and that teaching and learning requires continuous refinement.<br><br>To test her idea, Banks created this recipe for “The Teacher Feature Network” - a new problem-solving venue that provides an opportunity for teachers to explore strategies and to learn from one another.

Recipe

Teacher Feature Network

Teachers have a problem with feeling devalued and isolated when they experience problems in their classrooms that are centered on student learning. Who can they turn to for support? The Teacher Feature Network provides an opportunity for teachers to learn from one another by creating a venue to feature their problem-solving strategies and explore the strategies of others.

Idea

Teacher Feature Network

Picture this: A concentrated team of Teacher Feature Producers capture critical classroom moments that focus on valuable teaching moments and solutions to problems. The Bigger Picture: These moments begin with a problem of practice followed by the teachers' brainstorming and solution-planning. Once possible solutions are identified, the teacher implements the solution and student progress is captured on film at various intervals. Watch the magic: The final moments include the teacher's reflection and short student interviews demonstrating the impact of the solution, thus reminding teachers of why they chose this profession. More Pictures: Multiple teachers are identified by the Teacher Feature Producers OR by self-submission. A "channel" is created via internet to which all teachers in the district/CMO/organization/community have access and can comment and collaborate to solidify solutions.

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Experience

I find coaching to be an effective means of inc...

I find coaching to be an effective means of increasing teacher performance. I started using video because of my own experience with being on video-its hard to see yourself until you really see yourself. When we teach, we can only see the classroom from our own eyes. But when we see video of ourselves teaching, we see the way students see us, and this is a very powerful thing. Using video in coaching teachers made a big difference for me and for teachers. For the teacher, he or she is able to see the exact moments that I coach them through. When I use video, I always get the "OMG I didn't realize that's what I did!" reaction from teachers and they appreciate the experience greatly. I find that video is not only good for coaching, but for sharing exemplary practices with a community of teachers and administrators. Teachers have to envision themselves implementing instruction. I also love that in a community of teachers, videos can be used to coach each other when the goal is more effective teaching.

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