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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Behrens wins Award with TeachLivE for Instructional Coaching PD

The School District of Osceola County, FL
Melba Luciano, Superintendent

Press Release 
Contact: Dana Schafer, Public Information Officer - Osceola School District -- 407-870-4007 or 407-908-8811 (cell)
Osceola School District's Professional Development Department Recognized As Leader In The State
The Osceola School District has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Professional Learning Practices Award given by the Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD). The selection committee was very impressed with the district's Instructional Coaching Series with TeachLivE, and commended the Osceola School District's Professional Development Department for its diligent work in providing exemplary professional development to teachers and staff.  The Osceola School District will be recognized at the 2014 FASD Fall Leadership Conference Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, September 23, in St. Petersburg.  During the luncheon, a FASD award plaque will be presented to the district by the FASD Awards Committee.

The Instructional Coaching Series is a professional development experience provided in the Spring of 2014 to instructional coaches in the Osceola School District.  This unique learning opportunity focused on the four instructional coaching tenets developed by Dr. Cherie Behrens, University of Central Florida Visiting Lecturer and Consultant.  The four tenets are: Operating as a Coach; Facilitating a Culture of Learners; Supporting a Data Focus; and Promoting Student Success.  In this three-day series presented by Dr. Behrens, instructional coaches learned how to use coaching language with teachers, build relationships with teachers, create peer coaching cadres, and utilize data to problem solve in professional learning communities (PLCs). The instructional coaches were guided through a series of centers designed to ignite and build background knowledge and provide opportunities to practice.

The most impactful technology utilized during the sessions was called TLE TeachLivE™, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. TeachLivE is a classroom simulator populated with specifically-designed avatars that interact with educators. TeachLivE uses differentiated learning techniques and a formative assessment feedback model to provide each user or user groups with a different experience that changes based on the actions of the educator(s) in the simulation. During each session, TeachLivE was a center on its own where coaches could further hone their abilities coaching teachers, practicing what was learned in the sessions, utilizing "look for" documents for further coaching conversations, and more.  This was done in an unpredictable but realistic way using a mixed-reality environment. Emerging research suggest that teachers receiving professional development that utilizes TeachLivE increased in targeted teaching skills as compared to teachers who do not receive TeachLivE (Dr. Carrie Straub, 2014).

The Instructional Coaching Series will be continued during the Fall 2014 for a new cohort of instructional coaches.  The series will be provided as a train-the-trainer model where district coaches will be able to provide the training to school-level coaches.

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