Our team has been in the work for about a month already - delivering orientation to new hire teachers on literacy, math, science, and other details of the district; planning, preparing, and facilitating PD on NGSS for every elementary teacher; organizing agendas and materials for meetings with reading specialists, the math pilot and adoption committee, a district webinar on the exploration year and pilot year for math, and the STEAM Inquiry Group; and working on logistics and planning for the school year. The retreat was amazing for us to spend that time engage in deep discussions and conversations, be creative with various projects, get to know our team and ourselves, and establishing key elements for our work together. It was a great time to be away from the district office. To be away from the never-ending list of tasks, the hallway conversations, our email inbox (at least during the hours of our retreat), and the intense work preparing for our year at school sites with teachers, students, parents, and principals.
Highlights from our two-day retreat:
- An introductory activity getting to know each other sharing things our teammates don't already know about us
- Exploring the Thrill of Soaring and the Fear of Flying through a video called The Push
- The Power of Teamwork - the importance of traveling in groups
- Being mindful of our influence and impact
- Education is the most empowering, restorative profession in the world
- Considering challenges and what's needed when working with new teachers, high effective teachers, and principals
- Powerful and necessary discussion about equity
- Acceptance beyond tolerance
- Examining Effective Listening
- Investigating How to Collaborate
- Thinking of our TOSA Blueprint
- The Marshmallow Challenge
- Read an article about Instructional Coaching for Equity
- Learning about Coaching Stances from the work of Laura Lipton - Consult and Coach
- Looking at the qualities of high-performing teams from the work of Elena Aguilar
- Understanding the pillars of TRUST from the work of Megan Tschannen-Moran
- Assessing our approach to conflict using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
- Sharing our TOSA Journey
The verbs I used when describing my TOSA Journey are:
Play, ponder, inquiry, be curious, be creative, reflect and refine, listen to understand, and constantly engage (in professional development).
I am super excited to work my fellow elementary TOSAs: Heather Cleland, Amy Doss, Leslie Faust, Amanda Gantley, Nikole Manou, Hilary Mark, and Mangla Oza.
Below is just one of the many wonderful videos we watched during our retreat.
Influence and Impact.
Instead of counting down how many school days are left, count the number of days of opportunity to influence and impact teachers and students. (Thanks @edtechari)