Cum să organizezi și derulezi programe de mentorat online pentru profesori
Webinarul (în limba engleză) de pe 1 iulie 2020 “Cum să organizezi și derulezi programe de mentorat online pentru profesori” a fost cel de-al 3-lea dintr-o serie de webinarii dedicată organizațiilor non-profit care activează în educație, creat de Romanian-American Foundation, alături de US Embassy in Bucharest și Asociația Techsoup.
Invitatul acestui webinar a fost:
- Karen Cator, CEO Digital Promise. Karen a fost director al Office of Educational Technology în US Department of Education și a condus dezvoltarea planului strategic de dezvoltare prin tehnologie a educației și și-a concentrat eforturile pe sprijinirea profesorilor.t
Acest webinar a fost creat pentru manageri de program, designeri de program, coordonatori de comunitate sau traineri din organizații care creează programe pentru profesori, pe care vor să le adapteze pentru susținerea online.
In the webinar, we touched upon adapting teachers’ mentoring to keep it effective while moving online, limitations and benefits of online mentoring, and key attributes of effective online mentoring with Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research.
10 Key Points from Karen Cator’s Webinar
On coaching as a process
1. Coaching is a process and best functions when it is focused on a challenge (a problem to solve)
agreed by teacher and coach together. A general approach, without a challenge, has proven to
be less effective. Usually the coaching cycle has the following steps: identify a challenge to focus
on; investigate innovative strategies to tackle it; select one or more strategies to implement;
implement the strategies with support from the coach; reflect on the experience. After that, the
process may start again either with the same challenge trying a new strategy or with a totally
2. Challenges may differ from one teacher to another. Debutants (beginners in teaching or in using
a new technology) are more concerned about class management, how to get everyone
organized or how to structure the flow. The advanced teachers usually pick challenges regarding
learners’ variability, e.g. how to work with a student with a learning disability.
3. Data collection. Using data in the coaching discussion (from student work, counting or
measuring different things during class observation etc.) can help the teacher to accept the
process more easily as the focus is on external issues not on her person.
4. Class Observation is a very common tool for coaches, and it is used for improvement not
evaluation. The participation of the coach in one class can have multiple purposes, as agreed in
advance with the teacher, such as:
a. Collect data, e.g. measuring ‘wait time’ (how long the teacher waits until answering to
one student giving enough space or not for other students to respond), counting how
many times a particular student talks, engagement level, class management techniques
b. Modelling – the coach teaches, and the teacher observes
c. Co-teaching – the coach and teacher teach together. Online makes it easier.
When observing important issues beyond the agreed challenges, the coach can use “I notice…”
in the reflection session to bring the problem into discussion.
5. Reflection is an essential moment in coaching and couple of questions that can guide the
discussion: what the original challenge was, what worked, what didn’t work, what could be done
On organizing coaching processes
6. A good ratio of coach-teachers is 1-10 for a 8-week cycle; but it could also cover the entire
7. Tools for online coaching: videoconferencing (Zoom, Teams etc.), tools for thinking together
(Mural, Miro), shared documents such as journals, audio and video feedback, organizing
professional learning communities.
8. A mentoring program could be organized in layers – teachers, coaches for teachers and mentors
for coaches. As a conceptual discussion coaching and mentoring are closely related concepts,
sometimes used interchangeably. Other times, they are used with a fine delimitation –
mentoring referring to the whole life of a person while coaching restricted to professional
Tips for a good coach
9. Tips for good coaching:
a. Be very good at data collection and don’t rely only on your intuition, use the data.
b. Ask questions (keep a bank a questions) and listen to the answers
c. Be resourceful – find resources, experts to help that teacher
d. Take one learning from one class and use it in a new context
e. Stick to one process and repeat it. It creates predictability so teachers know what to
f. Build trust and don’t break it – the coach is not evaluating the teacher but helping him
to improve. The relationship of trust is the KEY.
g. Keep it as a positive experience starting from the assumption that everybody wants to
10. Tips for self-improvement of the coach:
h. collect data from coached teachers (e.g. at the end of the coaching cycle, survey
teachers on key reflection questions: what is working for you, what didn’t work, what
could be done differently – timing, frequency etc.)
i. have a mentor/coach and use the typical coaching cycle for impro