Maryland Goes "CO": Collaboration, Coaching, Co-Teaching
Maryland's SWIFT partner sites are transforming education to ensure that all students have the supports they need to be successful! Collaboration, coaching and co-teaching are just three of the many ways they are making it happen.
Creating a collaborative environment has a positive effect on school culture, achievement, and success. Building skills and knowledge in teacher-leaders maximizes group effectiveness and helps ensure that the professional learning process purposefully fosters a culture of collaboration.
Allegany County Public Schools (ACPS) demonstrate collaboration in their high-performing leadership teams. Their 3-hour monthly meetings allow for uninterrupted time to dive into academic and behavior data to determine the tiers of staff and student support to be provided. Additionally, ACPS schools participate in a FAME initiative (Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators), which requires a schoolwide, collaborative approach to using assessment for learning practices.
Coaching contributes to improved teaching and student learning. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teacher mentors, and instructional coaches customize learning for new and experienced educators.
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools (QACPS) have Teacher Specialists who provide non-evaluative educator supports through informal site visits, modeling, and other coaching processes. They provide targeted professional development that are an outgrowth of identified teacher strengths and growth opportunities. Teacher Specialists also design differentiated professional learning for those who are looking ahead to teach future learners.
Instructional Coaches are a part of the Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS) district team. Dr. Jim Knight, a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and Director of the Kansas Coaching Project, provided training on instructional coaching through relationships and an agreed upon partnership. CCPS elementary SWIFT sites have access to the district level coaches as well as school-based Interventionists, who have also received some teacher support training.
Maryland’s Co-Teaching Framework and the SWIFT Framework share in common the thread of collaboration among all site-based educators. Instructional co-planning, co-implementing, and co-accountability for student learning yield the most positive outcomes for ALL students and staff.
SWIFT sites in Allegany, Cecil, and Queen Anne’s counties embrace co-teaching and create schedules that promote high engagement of the “CO” philosophy. As a result, changes in scheduling, communicating, and professional development have become contributing factors to current successes.
Maryland SWIFT partner sites are on the move with their CO approach!
Cecil County Public School's Teacher of the Year
One more “CO” from Maryland is in order. Congratulations to Jacob Zebley, CCPS Teacher of the Year!
From left: Dr. Stuart Hutchinson, Principal Elkton Middle, Mr. Jacob Zebley, Dr. D'Ette Devine, Superintendent
Jake teaches Social Studies at Elkton Middle School, a SWIFT Partnership site. Just a few comments about Jake that supported his nomination:
- Leader on the School Improvement Team
- Provides Professional Development for teacher’s professional growth
- Pays attention to the personal side of children – infectious personality
- Transforming instruction for the digital age
- Resource and mentor for teachers
- Well-liked by teachers and loved by children