Teacher Educator: Role & Best Practices

  • Roles include:
  1. soliciting teachers ideas about a specific problem and potential solution.
  2. helping teachers build inner strength and resilience.
  3. boosting hope and encouraging teachers to focus on future possibilities.
  • Best Practices include:
    (adapted from Murphy (2008)
  1. model humility, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from group members.
  2. look, listen, ask, and learn as much as possible before offering suggestions.
  3. treat group members as experts regarding themselves and their circumstances, and as active contributors to their own solutions.
  4. respect group members freedom to accept or reject suggestions and to adopt them to their own unique situation.
  5. respect diverse opinions, cultural backgrounds, and new ideas.
  6. listen for hints of strength, resilience, hope, and other resources.
  7. ask open, change-focused questions.
  • Examples of Open, Change-focused Questions:
    (adapted from Murphy (2008) and Stoltzfus (2008))
  1. Can you give me a quick update on what you have accomplished since we last met?
  2. What do you gain from responding this way? What does it give you that you need?
  3. Let’s imagine that you are handling this the way you are because you choose to do so. What’s leading you to make that choice?
  4. What do you think needs to happen to improve things?
  5. What will be the first small sign that things are getting better?
  6. Suppose you have a magic wand and you can make the problem disappear. What would you notice at school tomorrow that would let you know that things were better?
  7. Which one of your students will be most surprised when you start using the new strategies in your classroom?
  8. How will your students, students’ parents, and colleagues treat you when things start improving?
  9. What needs to happen for you to feel less stressed/anxious/burnt out?
  10. If I was watching a video tape of you feeling less stressed/anxious, what would I see?
  11. What will you be doing instead of getting anxious/worried/stressed?
  12. What can you do to prevent yourself from feeling stressed?
  13. What would you like to do instead of stressing/worrying/getting anxious so much?
  14. How have you managed to cope so well with this situation so far?
  15. How have you kept things from getting worse?
  16. What were times when you and your student got along better?
  17. Of all the things that you or others have tried, what has worked best? Next best? Worst?
  18. What have you thought about trying but haven’t tried yet? How might that improve things? What will it take to try this?
  19. How have you handled similar situations? How might that help you in this case?
  20. What is your theory about how change is going to happen in your classroom?
  21. Sometimes people have thoughts and ideas about what is causing a problem and what will solve it. What are your thoughts and ideas?
  22. Who has helped you the most with other concerns or problems at school? What do they do or say that is most helpful?
  23. What advice would you give the other teachers who are struggling with the same problem?

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