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Learning-Focused Relationships
In this arena we explore the essential concepts, templates and mediational tools for developing effective, learning-focused relationships between growth-oriented educators. Our model and materials are in wide use across North America providing foundational principles and practical tools for mentors, coaches and instructional supervisors.

Target Audiences: Teacher mentors, instructional and content coaches, curriculum specialists and instructional supervisors

Workshops and seminars include:

Learning-Focused Mentoring: Consulting, Collaborating and Coaching for Professional Excellence
Based on our best selling book, Mentoring Matters: A Practical Guide to Learning-Focused Relationships, this seminar explores the important relationship between mentor teachers and the novices they support. The sessions move mentors from simply handholding and advice dispensing to becoming skillful growth agents. The materials and learning experiences offer practical tools, specific templates, and technical tips for educators who help beginning teachers to increase the effectiveness of their practice.

Topics Include:

Establishing learning-focused relationships
Examine three critical functions of learning-focused relationships; offering support, creating challenge and facilitating professional vision. Learn how to balance the three functions by addressing novices' immediate needs with a longer-term view of growth.

Navigating a continuum of interaction
Explore three stances of learning-focused interaction: consulting to offer expertise and provide technical resources, collaborating for shared planning and problem-solving, and coaching, a nonjudgmental interaction that develops decision-making skills and supports reflection. Learn specific strategies related to each stance and skills for flexibly moving between stances.

Inviting Thinking
Refine a toolkit for increasing willingness, confidence and skill in the thinking that drives instructional decision-making and reflection on practice. Learn to apply verbal and nonverbal skills to learning-focused conversations with novice teachers.

Applying templates for learning-focused conversations
Employ templates to guide mentor/novice conversations about instructional planning, reflecting and problem solving. Learn to use time-effective structures in one-to-one and small group interactions that focus conversations, maintain momentum and develop targeted thinking skills.

Providing feedback
Develop methods for standards-driven conversations that provide feedback to improve instructional decision-making. Learn how to foster novice teachers' capacities for analyzing gaps between learning standards and present levels of performance by using data to focus the conversation.


Teacher-to-Teacher: Developing Instructional Expertise
This seminar explores the what, why and how of learning-focused relationships between professional colleagues. These sessions offer practical tools, specific templates, and technical tips for educators whose role is to develop and expand instructional and content expertise in others.

Topics Include:

Being growth agents not change agents
Define and enhance the colleague-to-colleague support relationship by developing skills to respectfully promote adult learning and work through resistance to changes in practice. Learn how to balance three functions of learning-focused relationships; offering support, creating challenge, and facilitating professional vision to promote teacher growth and development.

Navigating a Continuum of Interaction
Develop the verbal and non-verbal tools for skillfully navigating a continuum of interaction from consulting (sharing expertise and providing technical assistance), to collaboration (shared planning and problem solving), to coaching (a non-judgmental interaction which promotes reflection and develops professional capacity). Learn how to transfer expertise, encourage experimentation and develop habits of reflection within the teachers you support.

Applying templates for learning-focused conversations
Employ templates to guide conversations that engage teachers of all experience levels with instructional planning, reflecting and problem solving. Learn to use time-effective structures in one-to-one and small group interactions that focus conversations, maintain momentum and develop targeted thinking skills.

Providing feedback
Develop methods for standards-driven conversations that provide feedback to improve instructional decision-making. Learn how to foster teachers' capacities for self-assessment and increase your skills and confidence with using data to structure and facilitate difficult conversations about tough to talk about issues.


Learning-focused Supervision: Developing Professional Expertise in Standards-Driven Systems
This seminar explores the shift from teaching-focused to learning-focused supervisory practices. These sessions offer practical tools, technical tips and standards-driven protocols for promoting professional excellence. Learn how to develop the skills and confidence for engaging in nondirective and directive conversations in which learning and teaching standards are the focal points for expanding instructional repertoire. Develop approaches for addressing student performance issues and ensuring high achievement for all learners.

Topics Include:

Clarifying the supervisor's role
Consider new definitions of supervision and new identities for supervisors as growth agents by exploring the transition from teaching-focused to learning-focused supervisory practices. Learn ways to examine present instructional practices based on clear and agreed upon student performance standards while building teachers' capacities for self-monitoring and self-modification.

Navigating the Continuum of Learning-Focused Interaction
Engage with practical strategies for navigating across a supervisory continuum of interaction moving between coaching (a nonjudgmental interaction which supports reflection and develops professional capacity), collaborating (shared planning and problem solving), consulting (sharing expertise and providing technical assistance), and calibrating (framing expectations, clarifying standards and articulating success criteria). Learn to flex between these four stances in learning-focused conversations that maintain productive collegial relationships that use data to clarify expectations and examine gaps in either student or teacher performance.

Refining the supervisor's toolkit
Develop verbal and non-verbal skills that increase teachers' willingness to think and talk about professional practice. Learn to apply patterns of pausing, paraphrasing, and inquiring to establish goals, appraise present performance levels and reflect on learning and teaching practices.

Structuring conversations
Apply templates for planning, problem solving and reflecting in both one-to-one and small group interactions. Learn ways to maintain momentum and extend thinking by guiding conversations that increase teachers' readiness and abilities to think deeply about the choices they are making and their students' learning.

Providing learning-focused feedback
Connect student-learning standards and agreed upon teaching standards to the feedback you offer teachers as you jointly examine student and classroom performance and outcomes. Learn to apply structures and tools for framing productive conversations that use data to analyze professional practice and determine areas and directions for growth.

Free Resource: Learning-focused Supervision: A Continuum of Interaction

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