I have the privilege of working with a group of literacy coaches in our area through our local shared education service provider. Many of the coaches in our area support their district as “the one and only.” This alliance gives us an opportunity to work together as we support students, teachers, and administrators in our individual districts.
The literary co-op was started four years ago as literacy coach positions became more prevalent in our area. At our monthly meetings, we share coaching strategies, book studies, tech ideas, and all things literacy. Professional and personal bonds have developed and led to a variety of opportunities. We have presented together at local, state and national conferences. We have become members of virtual writing support groups and have grown in our wide learning networks in and outside of our local area.
Most recently, I was planning a professional development opportunity for K-5 teachers in our district. The teachers attending the PD would number over fifty teachers per session. Wanting to make the opportunity beneficial for all attending, and wanting to meet each teacher where they are in their professional practice I reached out to two of the members of our literacy coach group for support. They quickly agreed to make this opportunity a joint effort. After developing an outline for the presentation I collaborated with my colleagues to put all the pieces together. Using Google Slides as our collaboration tool we were able to combine a variety of ideas synchronously. Through our discussions, we considered the flow of the presentation, content and even how to include activities to lighten the day. Using Flippity, an add-on for Google Sheets we created games to introduce and review the content. The presentation, videos, and handouts are ready to share. I feel confident that our professional development workshop will provide teachers with a constructive learning environment.
Reflecting on not only this most recent collaborative effort but the many that have occurred over the last four years I realize how important this literacy group has been to promote my own professional growth. Also, using online resources such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Communities and Slice of Life have allowed me to collaborate in ways I may not have imagined five years ago!