This is part five of a series of six posts on how to create a mathematics teacher specialist network. Find the entire series here.
By this point, your network is growing and you’ve had your first meeting. Here’s a short post about what happens after meetings and between meetings.
While meetings are often sources of great new ideas, a 15-minute conversation rarely gives you all the information you need to successfully implement what you heard about. So, the conversations tend to continue after the meeting is over. This may happen via Edomodo, email, phone calls, or in person. Here are some examples of ideas that Downey Unified School District has acquired has a direct result of these meetings and what we did after the meeting to implement them.
- San Marcos USD shared their pacing guide that had a great loose/tight structure. We were looking to implement something similar, so after the meeting we emailed them and asked for the document. They sent it to us and we had a couple of back and forth emails where we asked questions and they explained their thinking to us.
- Tustin USD talked about a fellows coaching program they have where they pair up teacher specialists with teachers who would like additional support. This seemed like a great idea and we had numerous emails and phone calls where we shared ideas and they gave us feedback on our plans. We even had opportunities to talk to their teacher specialists and fellows to get more feedback.
- Irvine USD sent us a Microsoft Word version of the flyer they sent to parents to help explain the Common Core State Standards’ Smarter Balanced Assessment results. This was incredibly useful. We were able to make some minor modifications to it and also translate it into Spanish for our population. Then we sent it back to them so they had a copy in Spanish too.
- We’ve done polls to find out which other districts are using the same textbooks as us. Now when we have questions we can email or call other districts to see how they are implementing various portions.
- In California, we are currently dealing with new state legislation (SB 359). Our understanding of the implications are still… evolving… and it is very helpful having others in the group to bounce ideas off of and get clarification from. This has happened primarily at breaks during meetings and via Edmodo.
Besides implementing what you learned at the meetings, you also prepare for the next meeting after each meeting. More on that is discussed here.