Coaches model the ISTE Standards for Students and the ISTE Standards for Educators, and identify ways to improve their coaching practice.
I am a firm believer of practicing what you preach, but not only do I need to practice and serve as an exemplar to the faculty I work with, it’s also important that I’m constantly reviewing and updating my practices in order to stay relevant too. As I’ve thought about this standard, I’ve noticed that I have a similar mindset in many areas of my own life – including my own identity journey. In that aspect, I have seen and experienced how important it is to be able to take in new information and adapt and adjust, even though there may be fundamental truths that may never change. That said, while it is my every intention to be an exemplar, there are many times that I fail to do so; whether it be lack of time, resources, etc.
As I reflect on this standard, I think the biggest thing I learned while in the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program with respect to this standard, was that I needed to become much more intentional and methodic when it came to “practicing what I preached” to the faculty I worked with. Even with my transition from ETM to the CIS Help Desk Manager position, I carry the same practices and beliefs forward.
Below you will find evidence, spread across three different subsections (indicators) of how I believe I am a connected learner where I work.
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Pursue professional learning that deepens expertise in the ISTE Standards in order to serve as a model for educators and leaders.
Prior to joining the DEL program, I knew nothing of the ISTE Standards for Coaches. What I have found in this program, while exploring the standards in further detail, is an articulation of practices and “life-lessons” that I had developed over my work experience, but never had time to think about until now.
In many disciplines, it’s important to stay on top of your craft. Nurses take continuing education credits to stay on top of their craft. I think in the same way, as an administrator, it was and continues to be important that I stay up to date on my craft. Sometimes this work has taken place in formal spaces that allow me to think and reflect on current practices and why I do what I do, like the Digital Education Leadership M.Ed. program, the Learning Labs I took this past summer from Educause, called How to Create and Teach Engaging, Equitable, and Inclusive Online Classes and Meaningful Online Learning, or the course I took through ColumbiaX called Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom.
Other times, I need to learn skills in order to do my job, so when I first started working as the Associate Director in ETM, I took a Blended Learning Workshop through Educause as well as Applying the Quality Matters Rubric, as well as any online training possible for the technology my department supported – things like Canvas (Learning Management System), PollEverywhere, TurnItIn, Panopto, and others. While I may have known or could “spelunk” my way through a tool, as the Associate Director, I was now the campus expert and I needed to learn a lot in order to step into the role I was assigned.
While I had all these resources, I also want to say that there’s a lot of space for informal learning (on the job training) to improve myself. This came through watching faculty teach, picking my colleagues brain when there was something I didn’t understand, showing up to forums or faculty gatherings to hear what’s going on, asking about faculty perspectives when they came to the office for help, or even culling tickets to find out what kinds of issues and questions did faculty have.
I strongly believe that it’s both the formal and informal learning spaces that are critical for administrators like myself to pay attention to and that I wouldn’t be able to do my job as well as I could, if I didn’t jump on the opportunities that presented themselves and if I hadn’t adopted such an open mindset when learning how to do my job.
In addition to the work above to improve myself, I think as a coach and administrator, that it’s also important to put on professional development opportunities that other educators or students can also learn from and for me this came in interesting ways when merging learning practices with business practices, for ideas like Creating a Knowledge Base in your Classroom or encouraging all parties in a team or classroom to Create Accessible Content because Assistive Technology empowers all learners.
Not only do I want to improve myself, but I want to model good practices and help others improve their own practices so instructors and other colleagues can make changes and create more student-centric learning opportunities for all learners.
ISTE Standards: Coaches. https://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards-for-coaches. Pulled April, 2022.