Saturday, June 23, 2018

My Reflections. My Why. Literacy Coaching Transforming Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools and Technology

I grew up alongside a sister with mental and physical disabilities.  My sister didn't walk nor talk.  She communicated much like a toddler with a series of sounds.  As her family, we came to understand her communication much like a family learns to communicate with a toddler.  Growing up in our family we experienced stares and prejudice every day.  My sister taught us there is much more behind a person than what we can see with our eyes.

The lessons I gleaned from my sister do not stand alone.   As a young adult, I lived in Okinawa, Japan. Nothing could prepare me for the actuality of standing amidst all the differences at the same time.  I gawked at all that surrounded me.  I was engulfed in a new culture, and I immediately wanted to learn about the people and their daily lives. I began to meet friends who graciously shared their traditions, their food, and their language. The differences were clear, but as they spoke, I heard, saw and felt the similarities between us. This deeper understanding changed the way I see our world.

 I chose to become an educator so I could help others understand the importance of learning about the person behind the one they see.  As a classroom teacher, I embraced technology as our hands into the world and a means to gain a more genuine understanding of others. I knew technology, used intentionally would not only allow students to show others who they are behind their facade but would also teach students about the person behind the one they see.

It's this drive that led me to my current role, instructional technology coach, and @Affinitolit book, Literacy Coaching Transforming Teaching with Digital Tools and Technology.  As an instructional technology coach, I work in collaboration with the media specialist, literacy coach, and math coach.  Together, we have the privilege and responsibility of supporting teachers and students.  We help teachers blend traditional and digital tools into the classroom to meet the needs of the learners.

As I read Dr. Stepanie Affinito's words, I noticed some thoughts more than others. Each one was circling back to my why,  teaching children how to see the world with an appreciation for the similarities among the differences.

1. "Articulating our coaching philosophies -- the what, how, and why of the work we do -- is essential in leading the learning of others. (p 4)

2.  "Connections with others gives us power." (p 20)

3.  "What we do each day impacts the kinds of human beings our students will become-- the way we set up our classroom communities, the instructional practices we engage in, and the ways we talk to our students.  For teachers to inspire student learning and make the kind of impact that lasts a lifetime, they must be supported through authentic, relevant, and meaningful learning experiences so they can do what they do best: inspire learning in their own classrooms." (p 62)

4.  Yet, the bottom line is that nothing we do will impact students unless teachers choose to apply their new learning in the classroom." (p 99)

5.  "Every journey needs a little inspiration." (p 128)

The transition from classroom educator, teacher to that of instructional technology coach has required constant reflection and intentional decisions.   I found myself on the edge of helping teachers and students see what is possible through collaboration, intention, and purpose.

With these words at the front of my mind and the wise words from Dr. Stephanie Affinito, I am moving onward to teaching others the importance of learning about similarities hiding among the differences.


Read @CathyMere's Reflections on her blog, Reflect and Refine 

Read My Why~

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Hi Deb,

I am so appreciative of your kind and beautiful words about my book! As I wrote this book, I wanted it to be about literacy coaching first and technology second and your review has clearly showed me that my message came through. I am proud to work alongside you and thank you for all of your #cyberPD inspiration along the way! I do hope you will share me with which launching points you try as you move forward!

Stephanie