By Dawn-Marie Ayles
A few years ago, our district began working with TeachPoint as a way to implement our new educator evaluation system through the use of technology. Overwhelmed at first with these two new initiatives, panic set in! The chorus began, “One more new thing to learn?” “What do I have to upload?” “What qualifies as an artifact?” As with anything new, there were those who were confident and those who were confused. How was this obstacle going to be overcome?
The Challenge Perspective
Here’s a thought…we are in the business of teaching, right? We teach all day, every day! If we have a few teachers who are comfortable with TeachPoint, then why not have the teachers be the trainers? We would use our vast knowledge of educating others to make this an approachable, relaxed, low-stress learning experience. We tried it and it worked!
The Solution – Create a PLC With Teachers Training Teachers
Teachers were offered professional development to learn how to use TeachPoint, including time on early release days, after school sessions, etc. By gathering teachers in a group to tackle this new endeavor, we were using cooperative learning practices to further our goals. The teachers involved felt comfortable asking questions and tackling roadblocks together. They also felt reassured knowing that they were not alone in learning something new. Using what we know about differentiating for students allowed us to maximize learning amongst ourselves. Teachers collaborated and worked together while being coached by fellow colleagues. The feedback was very positive!
Consider having teachers form a PLC on TeachPoint! This experience builds community and camaraderie, as we are “all in this together”! You will want to supply teachers with tailored handouts (TeachPoint provided PPT slides) with directions, and the link to the TeachPoint Help Center for valuable tutorials and pre-recorded webinars. The goal of this experience is to navigate TeachPoint as a team, while making the educator evaluation tool accessible and applicable to everyday teaching.
Dawn-Marie Ayles is a classroom teacher at Harvard Public School (MA).