As I think about my next steps professionally, I know I want apart of it to include supporting teachers as they make changes. I’m always trying to think about the ideal situation for change to occur, how can educators best be supported as they implement new tools, try new strategies and work through new ideas.
What I’ve come to figure out, is that it’s just as it is with our students, everyone has their own ideal learning environment.
Thinking back my best professional development was when:
- I choose my path
- my facilitator modeled the concepts they were teaching
- I had freedom to apply what was presented in a way that best fit me
- I had the opportunity to reflect
- it was a safe and supportive environment
I think that last one is most important. If people don’t feel safe, how can they be expected to make a change?
I’ve realized though, now that I know this, I find it hard to stay motivated in situations that don’t have these characteristics. I recently completed a training that hardly included any of the characteristics from my list. I found it hard to truly learn and think deeply about the content, even though the content itself was very interesting and was the knowledge that I needed to support teachers. I had to really force myself to stay on-top of of it.
I’m wondering, if you’re a coach or a consultant that is coming into a school only for a few days, here or there, how do you build that trust? How do you create this type of situation quickly? Is it possible?
Here are some thoughts on what this looks like:
- online presence, have a space that participants can go to before to get to know you
- include your goals or beliefs as a facilitator
- have a lot of examples that show a variety of change, to emphasize the idea that change is different to everyone
- celebrate even the smallest successes
- really listen, use body language to show you’re listening
I have a lot more to think through as I begin developing Google Trainings, but I feel like this post has got me going in a good direction. If anyone has any tips or ideas for developing trust in workshops or brief trainings, I would love to hear them!