make virtual instructional visits a part of your professional learning cycle

March 7, 2017

Do you believe in your teaching team’s capacity to grow? Do you want to help support their growth?

If your answer to those questions is yes (and why else would you be reading this blog?), we want to help you make virtual instructional support visits (VISVs) a foundational part of your professional learning cycle.

One of the most powerful things that a learning community can do to reflect on and refine their instructional practice is to watch themselves (and each other) in action. Virtual instructional support visits allow you to do just that.

“It was excellent! So nice to have your comments yet in such a positive way of helping us and guiding without intimidation…I can tell you are wanting us to succeed and making that time available is priceless for us! Thanks for all you do.”

Here’s how addalingua facilitates VISVs with our partner programs and workshop clients:

  1. An administrator asks a teacher to film a 15-20 minute lesson.
  2. The teacher, administrator, and an add.a.lingua instructional coach all watch the lesson independently.
  3. The teacher, administrator, and add.a.lingua’s instructional coach come together for an hour to dialogue about what they all observed–from how the lesson targets for content and language came alive, student engagement, students’ immersion language production, etc.
  4. Goals are developed by the teacher based on what was observed in the video (what we call third point evidence) and the subsequent dialogue.

Some of our partners elect to conduct their VISV with just the teacher and an administrator. Others invite the grade level team or the entire teaching staff to observe the recorded lesson and to join in the dialogue.

Does that larger group interaction sound dicey?

Remember that the VISV isn’t about finding fault or identifying errors. It’s about growth–taking next steps to improve the craftsmanship of teaching.

“Sometimes an outside source reiterating what we’ve been trying to accomplish is what is needed to propel the change. Thank you.”

While the participation of a larger group requires thoughtful facilitation, the transparency of the process can have a significant impact on school culture by communicating (again) that the school’s leadership believes in their team’s capacity to grow, and is eager to provide them with time and space for intentional dialogue.

“It’s refreshing for the teachers to hear a voice other than mine or their own talking about immersion practices, especially someone that they respect and consider an expert.”

As you think about professional learning for your team this summer and fall, make the VISV a priority. There are few better ways to demonstrate and encourage the adoption of a growth mindset on your team.

In addition to an our workshops, we have openings for VISVs during the summer and fall months now. So if you’d like to work with an add.a.lingua instructional expert to schedule a VISV for your team, drop us a note.

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