How one principal personalizes professional learning with video coaching

Principal Evelyn Cruz is differentiating teacher PD and increasing peer collaboration within her building

Why is video coaching important to the process of supporting your teachers?

Self-re flection is a critical component of improvement. When our teachers record themselves it may be the fi rst time they can see their own behaviors, the way they interact with students, and how students interact with each other when they are conducting a lesson.

Teachers who observe themselves on video they often say, “Wow, I didn’t know when I said that it came out that way!”

Video provides a new perspective on the teaching practices they are implementing, and it provides a new window into various professional aspects of their jobs. How did you implement video coaching with your teachers?

What is really great about the video coaching aspect of Edthena is that it allows me to di fferentiate the professional development I provide to my teachers. It helps eliminate the top down approach to PD and helps me help teachers excel.

Our teachers were able to select a coach, and nearly all of our teachers selected another teacher for peer mentoring. Also, they selected their topic that they wanted to work on and developed their own schedule for working on it. This is a teacher-driven process. And as their principal, I can say pretty much every teacher selected exactly the topic they should be working on to improve their instruction.

When we presented the technology, we created a model to show how easy it was to use, both with uploading and analyzing video. Our teachers love the four types of feedback. It helps direct the way the coaches interact with teachers. I see our coaches starting with pointing out strengths, and then they often pose suggestions and questions.

How do you know video coaching is working?

As an example, there was one new teacher who selected me as her coach. When she got into the classroom, I noticed that her classroom management was an issue. By watching herself teach, she came to the realization that she needed to work on classroom management on her own. I have since seen changes in simple things such as procedures to more complex things like providing positive feedback to students.

Teachers across the building are already showing improvement on their selected topics. And some are changing or focusing in on one aspect of teaching since they have more time to self-re flect.

Additionally, I am seeing teachers realize that they have things in common that they want to work on, and they are spending more time planning together. Edthena is bringing my sta ff closer together and providing a way for them to learn from each other.

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