Friday, December 28, 2018

Asking Questions as a Support for Resolution-Setting

With 2019 just a few days away, thoughts turn to resolutions or goals for the new year. January is a good time to help teachers pause and ponder their professional goals.  Asking questions can support reflection and encourage next steps in pursuing improvement efforts.  The series of questions below supports teachers’ self-initiated resolutions.

“What changes have you made to your practices so far this year?”
This question asks the teacher to mine her memory for successes, recognizing improvements that have already been made.

“How might these changes have affected student learning?”
This question moves the focus from teacher to learners, appropriately calling for evidence.

“How have these changes affected you?”
Asking this question encourages the teacher to consider which practices are sustainable.

“Where do you want students to be by the end of the year?”
This forward-thinking question asks teachers to take past successes and project their outcomes into the future.

“What might you have to do to get your students there?”
Building on the previous question, teachers are asked to brainstorm additional approaches that may be needed.

Make opportunities to meet one-on-one with teachers in January.  When you ask questions that encourage teachers to take stock of where they are and think about their goals, you help them recognize and prepare for success as the new year gets underway.

This week, you might want to take a look at:

Offers of wisdom from fictional characters that can inspire students’ New Year’s goal-setting:

Asking students to self-assess their engagement:

A podcast on mentoring new teachers to have effective guided-reading groups:

Using design thinking in coaching:

That’s it for this week.  Happy Coaching!

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