One of the things I love the most about the job I do is the opportunity I have to meet with so many dedicated teachers. Our schools have some amazing teachers who are doing fantastic things within their programmes. But like anything, some are more digitally savvy than others. As this is the area we are most often focusing on, we have some intriguing conversations around creating change.
Teachers are just like their students. They are a mix of people with a very divergent set of skills, interests and strengths. When it comes to working digitally some teachers are more adept at this than others. One of the most common frustrations we experience is with those ‘early adopters’ who struggle to motivate their less confident colleagues to give digital experiences a go.
So what are some of the strategies you can use to help your colleagues who are yet to embrace the digital world in their classroom?
Here’s some food for thought for you:
1. Reflect back on what motivates you
When you attend training or professional development opportunities, what is it about the presenter or the content that engages you? When you were first beginning your digital journey what were the ideas that motivated you?
Not everyone is hooked in by the same things, so get to know your colleagues and you may be better able to identify what their trigger point could be.
One of the things that I found working in my own school was that if the reluctant teachers saw how the use of digital learning engaged my students AND made my job easier it soon piqued their interest.Show reluctant teachers how #digitaltools can make their jobs easier and they often see the light! Click To Tweet
2. Honour the knowledge and skills your colleague brings to their practice
Malcolm Knowles in the article ’ Andragogy in Action reminds us that “Adult learners are motivated when they are presented with personally relevant and replicable content.”
Working with your colleagues and working with your students are two very different things. Often we try to ‘teach’ our colleagues in the same way that we would our students – but these practices actually require two very different approaches.Working with teachers is not the same as working with students, #respect the difference. Click To Tweet
3. Be seen as credible with your approach
It’s also very important that your colleagues see you as credible – just exactly what is it that gives you the ability to help them out in this area?
Do you have a recognised certification? That may be a Google Certified Educator Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualification. (If you don’t have one or other of these and you are interested in gaining either of them you could check out our online course for Level 1 here or the Level 2 course here). If you’re at a Microsoft school it could be that you’ve gained the Microsoft Certified Educator badge. You may have completed the Apple Teacher badges in the Apple Teachers Center or you may be an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Of course, you don’t need to have a formal badge or certificate to have credibility with your colleagues – but it does show you are someone who peruses that life long learning ethos and you know what you are talking about.
4. Help your colleagues to set SMART goals
If you have a clear, well-defined goal it is much easier to know what you are working towards and how you can get there.
It could be that as a team everyone is going to be working towards the same thing. This often helps less confident teachers get started as they feel more supported along the way.
Knowing the shared vision and what it is that you want for your students will help you to establish achievable goals with a team or an individual.Set #smartgoals to help #teachers achieve a difference in their practice. Click To Tweet
Remember the goal needs to be specific. It needs to be worded in such a way that it’s very clear to everyone concerned just exactly what it is that you are working towards accomplishing.
It needs to be measurable. How will actually know that you have achieved it? What will the measurement of the before and the after be?
It must be attainable. Sometimes we set goals that are way too complicated, too far out of our reach or involve too many skills. It’s important to find that ‘just right’ balance.
It should be realistic. There’s no point setting a goal that would involve using a programme you don’t have access to or that involves things that just wouldn’t be able to be included within your programme.
And finally, it needs to be timely. If there is not a time frame to work towards with this goal, we often let things drift and lose focus. Our journey deviates and we don’t reflect back on how we are tracking and the goal ends up not being met.
An example of a SMART goal could be:
By the end of term 2, I will have worked with X so that they can use Book Creator with their students to capture evidence of their students learning.
I will timetable in regular sessions with X.
I am going to model the benefits of this to them as the teacher, show their students how effective it is for them to track their learning and how it can be shared with their families.
We will use the camera tool, the text tool and the drawing tool to highlight areas of their work.
People will say what they believe but they will do what they value. Any goals you set need to be adding value for all involved.
Hopefully, that’s given you a few ideas on how you could work with your colleagues to help them make a move towards including more digital learning within their practice.
If you are keen to develop your own leadership practices you might like to check out our Certified Leader course which is designed to help you grow your leadership skills within and beyond your school.
If you have your Level 2 Google Certified Educator certificate, you might be interested in our Google Certified Trainer course – designed to help you develop effective skills in leading Google training within and beyond your school.