The 3 R’s of Strong Teacher Collaboration within the AI Coach Platform

lined yellow paper background with text "The 3 R's of Teacher Collaboration, Relationships, Reflection, Resources" with an icon for each R

AI Coach by Edthena coaches teachers to self-reflect. Teachers analyze their own classroom videos and work through a coaching cycle aligned to their self-identified growth areas by having a structured conversation with a virtual coach.

The terms “AI” or “virtual coach” might conjure up images of teachers talking only to futuristic robots and forgoing the human-centric and collaborative work of being an educator.

But let us paint a different, more accurate picture: the AI Coach platform supports teachers to strengthen their in-person collaboration with colleagues and coaches.

Effective professional learning according to Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning includes elements of learning communities, implementation, and resources.

The AI Coach platform is aligned to those same standards for teaching improvement and positive student impact with the 3 R’s for boosting teacher collaboration:

  • Relationships
  • Reflection
  • Resources

Continue reading for how each R for teacher collaboration is enhanced by the AI Coach platform and aligned with Learning Forward’s Professional Learning Standards.

Teacher collaboration and relationships are most productive when teachers do pre-work

The first R is Relationships.

Teacher collaboration is effective for growth because many teacher-brains are better than one.

According to the Learning Forward standard of ‘Culture of Collaborative Inquiry’, “When educators at every role, grade level, and content area collaborate for continuous improvement and support their colleagues’ ongoing learning and development, they increase learning opportunities for each student.”

But often, a group convenes without having done the pre-work of identifying strengths and areas for improvement. As a result, those PLC meetings can feel unproductive and time is wasted.

The coaching cycles in the AI Coach platform help teachers look inward, giving teachers time to do the necessary self pre-work. They pinpoint successes and opportunities for growth in their teaching.

This prepares teachers to talk about specific skills and strategies or questions.

Then, teacher collaboration and the relationships of a school’s professional learning community can come into play.

Teachers are ready to discuss teaching practices with colleagues and dive into more specific and fruitful conversations.

All this helps teachers to learn from and make the most of professional relationships.

More effective coaching conversations happen when teachers reflect on their teaching first

The second R is Reflection.

Professional coaches from Elena Aguilar to Megan Tschannen-Moran to Jim Knight agree that coaching should not be directive. Effective coaching guides teachers to reflect on their teaching practices and learn to generate solutions on their own.

The Learning Forward ‘Implementation’ standard describes teacher self-reflection as an important part of feedback: “Feedback incorporates observations, dialogue about exemplars, and self-reflection as highly valued practices.”

But in-person coaching is limited by capacity and coaches don’t always have the time to support teachers with the heavy mental load that self-reflection requires.

The AI Coach platform eases the workload of coaches because teachers have supported and structured ways to continue learning and reflecting on their own… in between observations or even when there is no coach who can visit.

The AI Coach virtual coaching cycle supports teachers in the reflection process with guiding and probing questions that help them look inward. This scaffold makes it easier to navigate the process of “providing feedback on their own practices.”

The four phases of the AI Coach Coaching Cycle are: Analyze, Reflect, Enact, and Impact.

Teachers’ collaboration with coaches is highest-value when teachers are also able to reflect and implement changes on their own.

Say a coach is working with a teacher on managing student behavior. They complete an in-person coaching cycle that last two weeks, and the next time the coach can visit is next quarter. With the AI Coach platform, the teacher can continue exploring and reflecting on their growth in that area between coaching visits.

The next time the coach observes that teacher, they’ll be able to have a much more productive conversation because the teacher will have watched videos of their classroom, reflected on their growth areas, and tested more ideas for impact on student learning.

Teachers will be collaborating with their coaches, not just receiving information from their coaches. That’s truly effective coaching.

Resources are aplenty, but how can teachers know which are high quality?

The third R is Resources.

Not one educator has all the skills and knowledge, and teacher collaboration can quickly turn into a Googling session for resources.

This isn’t reliable because solutions aren’t vetted for their quality, which actually creates more work for teachers. For example, a quick search for “strategies for checks for understanding” returns 10 billion (yes, billion) results.

How will teachers know which resources to actually trust?

It’s also challenging for an in-person coach to be the sole curator of the most helpful and relevant resources, especially when targeting teachers’ different growth areas.

Teachers end up depending on one person for all the answers, which is unrealistic.

The AI Coach platform helps remove these obstacles for teachers.

When it comes time to research new strategies as part of the AI Coach goal-setting process, teachers can access a curated set of resources which have been vetted by experienced instructional coaches and aligned to common professional learning topics.

Some of the resources have tactical strategies, and some help teachers deepen teachers’ knowledge and skills.

Either way, with the AI Coach platform, teachers can skip the Googling headache and get straight to a curated set of reliable resources. They can spend their extra time on productive professional learning and PLC collaboration.

Virtual coaching via the AI Coach platform supports in-person professional learning

In-person teacher collaboration and professional learning require a lot of components to be effective, especially the 3 R’s of relationships, reflection, and resources.

The AI Coach platform helps teachers do the ongoing self-work around their instructional improvement and growth in order to do their best work in-person with others.

Learn more about the AI Coach platform.

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