Effective reflection and evaluation of teaching is central to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning in schools. Engagement in discussion about teaching, and mutual reflection has the potential to facilitate change and growth for teachers. One method by which teachers can deepen their pedagogical skills and so promote better learning in lessons, is through collaborative or trio coaching.
‘Collaborative Partnerships’ is a practice adopted by Bloxwich Academy to support the CPD needs of staff. Directed time is allocated for staff to collaboratively undertake reciprocal observations of lessons, sharing ideas when planning and then revisiting lessons where new strategies are trialled in order to gauge impact and thus set next steps.
Promote reflective practise between colleagues towards professional development
The approach permits colleagues to select a personal CPD target focus within their partnership, colleagues are then set in groups by their CPD needs and partnered with teaching staff across a range of departments and experience. The focus between partnerships varies greatly from increasing pupil knowledge retention, to identifying the most appropriate strategies for behaviour for learning.
Throughout the process colleagues discuss strategies towards their focus and an agreed level of collaborative input is provided from their partners, examples of this would be sound boarding ideas, assistance with planning, review of resources, obtaining pupil voice or possible team teaching etc…. A review of strategies is then carried out through observation or video recording.
The process is non-judgemental, as colleagues have coordinated their focus together, therefore reflecting on their own strategies and actions. Documentation is not scrutinised by leadership or management, but is provided as a tool to aid and prompt the process. Many fruitful ongoing projects and partnerships have derived from this process, and colleagues have conveyed positive outcomes to their self and peer analysis.
“I liked the fact that this was informal and that it was my peer observing me, it took the pressure off and because I know Amy as I see her everyday it was less daunting. This meant that the conversations that we had were really relaxed and I didn’t feel judged as a teacher”.Teacher A
“It was nice to discuss ideas of a specific part of one another’s lessons and to see how we can adapt different teaching strategies to aid teaching in our own subject areas”.Teacher B
“The use of peer assessment sheets was used effectively and is something I could see being developed across other classroom environments”.Teacher C