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Learning Coaches Networking Day: Creating Pedagogical Partnerships

On August 31, 2012 the Calgary Science School hosted a networking/PD event for Learning Coaches. The purpose of the session was to bring together Learning Coaches and Instructional Leaders from a variety of schools and districts to discuss the role and explore best practices and skills as we strive to support enhanced teacher learning. We also hope to build a supportive network of learning leaders in Calgary, and the surrounding area, who can develop materials, structures, and supports for the role.

We were very fortunate to have Dr. Pam Adams from the University of Lethbridge orchestrating the day and working with coaches through the discussion, activities and reflection. Dr. David Townsend also joined us in the afternoon for a generative conversation about teaching practice. Together they will also be modeling the professional partnership cycle of support.

Below was the agenda for the day.

8:30-9:00 Coffee, tea, and muffins ~ Provided by Calgary Science School 

9:00 Introductions

9:15 Understanding our assumptions and values: A self-assessment

9:45 Crafting our Definition of the Learning Coach ~ Roundtable 
• Topic of Discussion and Brainstorm: Who are we? What do we do? What do we hope to do? 
• We will explore the different hats we wear: the presumed functions, the required functions and the tasks we feel the need to fulfill. Why do we go in to help? What do we have to offer? When do we go in? 

10:15 Refreshment Break 10:30 Reflection for Action: A Free Fall Write

10:45 Theory to Practice: What does the research say?

11:15 Inquiry-based Professional Learning: the Teacher Learning Guide

12:00 Lunch ~ Provided by Calgary Science School 

12:30 Avoiding Assumptions: A Spelling Test 

1:15 Having the Generative Conversation about Teaching Practice

1:30 The Professional Partnership Cycle of Support: 
Pre-conversation ⇒ Instructional Observation ⇒ Post-conversation ~ Pam Adams and David Townsend 

2:00 Fishbowl Pre-Conference Demonstration ~Pam Adams and David Townsend 

2:30 Discuss/ Reflect and Look to our next step ~ Round Table 
• Commit to engaging in a meaningful Pre-Conference 
• Set a date to meet again to discuss and move forward 

If you are interested in learning more about this networking day contact Dan McWilliam at the Calgary Science School (403) 282-2890 ext. 232 or Twitter @DMcWilliam 

We will also be hosting a PE Teacher Networking Day in September 24. Contact Dan McWilliam or Dean Schmeichel, at, if you are interested.

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