That’s Instructional Coach/Teacher Leader Anne Robinson pictured above.
She’s pretty awesome.
She’s holding the mug I just sent to her to celebrate her greatness.
Like most of the leaders I choose to work with, she is what we would call a ‘unicorn’ 🦄 in the world of education.
She is flexible, empathetic, creative, responsive, and an all around champion for her teachers.
She empowers them so that they can empower kids.
This past year, we coordinated a year long bespoke training for 10 of them. Through a mixture of on-site observations, virtual coaching, and asynchronous course work, her teachers now have students who collaborate seamlessly, create whimsically, and reflect regularly.
One teacher recently commented that the project-based learning training ‘re-ignited her passion’ for the classroom.
If you have read this far, I have no doubt you are a 🦄 unicorn just like Anne.
Here are the 5 qualities leaders I work with possess:
- They ‘practice what they preach:’ Rather than dictate how to do project-based learning from a soapbox, they jump right in and do it. Like leaders Betzy Orenos and Sheila Escobedo from CDA Guetamala; who designed their own project-based experiences, and modeled for teachers how they are carried out in their recently constructed ‘innovation center.’
- They build a team around them: Leaders I work with know that there’s no way to create a learner-centered school, organization or system on their own. They build teams. Like Aaron King of CIS Bratislava who built a team of ‘PBL Coordinators,’ ‘Lead Practitioners,’ and ‘Project Designers’ to scale more learner-centered experiences across K-12.
- They are flexible and adaptive: Leaders I work with know that no strategy works 100% effectively the first go around. When Julia, PBL coordinator of VIS Better Lab School saw that strategy sessions for her teaching teams weren’t having the desired impact, she instead planned personalised ‘POD’ coaching time. During this time, she and I mentored the year 9 team in better scaffolding project experiences, and the year 10 and 11 team in creating more student-owned exhibitions of work.
- They personalise instruction: Like students, teachers have their own individual needs. Mari Simpson of KPIS International School is keenly aware of this, and worked with me to create 3 levels of support for her Elementary Teachers in transitioning to project-based experiences. Through personalized goal setting, observations, and regular reflections, each year level team gained confidence to lead projects that fused passion with purpose.
- They celebrate the small things: Rather than try and get everything ‘right’ the first go around, leaders I work with instead seek out the small wins. They celebrate the science teacher who created alternatives to the end of term exam; or the English teacher who let students team together to write and publish their own comic books.
Do these edu-leaders sound like you?
I would love to work with you.
There are two ways to explore what it would be like to work with me in the upcoming school year.
First, I’m hosting a FREE book club this Summer for edu-innovators like you to explore ideas around developing more learner-centered experiences and schools. You can learn more and enroll here – -> Free Book Study.
Second, I’m holding FREE ‘coaching hours’ to support leaders on a 1:1 basis. In a short 30 minute call we will discuss your hopes for student learning, current obstacles in achieving them, and together chart a pathway forward. Schedule that here – -> Coaching Call.
And if I’m not the best person to help you, I promise to find someone who is.
To your success with the last 28.76342 days of school left this year!