2017 – 18 Goal: Empower Teachers


I’m highly goal oriented.  It’s normal for me to be working towards a variety of goals – Personal,Tweet announcing MathTwitter BlogoSphere's blogging initiative professional, short term and long term. When I came across @ExploreMTBoS‘s tweet about their new blogging challenge, I grabbed my computer and started typing.

The one goal I’d like to highlight for this blogging challenge is to empower teachers.  As a TOA/Coach, I hear a lot about change.  Change that the district wants.  Change that principals want.  All of this “change” typically falls on the classroom teacher.  What do the classroom teachers want?  That’s where I’m starting this year.

Last school year, I switched from a Middle Level Math TOA to a K-12 Instructional Technology TOA.  As a district, we are going Google.  All district teachers have been given a professional google account.  Teachers have access to G Suite which includes docs, slides, sheets, forms and classroom (to name a few of the apps).  A major part of my job will be to run trainings and workshops on google apps.

At times, the job requirements feel overwhelming.  I choose to view that overwhelmed feeling as opportunity.  Since there are 4 Instructional Tech TOAs and over 2,000 teachers in the district, we organized a cohort of 149 teachers.  Thirty-seven elementary and middle level teachers are in my sub-cohort. As their cohort leader, my goal is to empower them.

The cohort models allows for flexibility.  Here are some inquires teachers have already shared:

  • Gather data using google forms
  • Start the year using the management system, Google Classroom
  • Learn how to use the chrome extension Screencastify to create listening stations as well as gather student evidence.
  • Use Google sheets to spark conversation
  • Use Desmos more purposefully

I’m looking forward to talking and especially listening to teachers.  Acknowledge their questions, concerns and wishes, then problem solve together to

  • answer their questions
  • address their concerns
  • make their wishes a reality


My next step … READ

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 7.09.48 PM

Art of Coaching.  TOAs/coaches in my district go back to work the week before teachers – which means we just wrapped up our first week of the 2017-18 school year.  For me, the week was spent attending a professional development workshop, preparing trainings and leading tech based trainings.

Carolyn, who lead the professional development day, peppered the workshop with a variety of thought provoking activities and protocols.  One activity resulted in this goal. We were presented with a prompt:

The peer coaching structure that I want to build on is  ____  because  ____

We were then asked to choose one of two reading options with the purpose to use the chosen text to answer the prompt.  I chose Aguilar’s blog post describing the framework, Mind the Gap,  Aguilar’s book has been on my must read list for many years and after reading her post, her book will be my next read.


About jgvadnais

Instructional Technology Coach. Desmos Fellow. Google Level 1 Certified. SoCal transplant. New Englander at heart. Lover of yoga, dogs, green smoothies and coffee creamer
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1 Response to 2017 – 18 Goal: Empower Teachers

  1. Love your goals and your focus on teachers’ needs. All the TSAs in our district read Agular’s book last year and loved it. This year her organization is coaching all the TSAs and admins. I’ll share some gems as I learn them.

    Liked by 1 person

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