Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
May 2015 PIIC PLO Considered “Gold Mine of Coaching” by Participants PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:30

PIIC hosted the last Professional Learning Opportunity (PLO) of the school year from May 4-6, 2015 at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA.  Over 140 coaches, administrators, IU PIIC Mentors, and Regional Mentor Coordinators (RMC) from 20 PIIC-participating Intermediate Units (IU) attended the three day conference.  All participants have been to at least one other PIIC PLO this year.  In addition to the PLO, PIIC hosted its third Administrator Day Workshop on May 5.  The Administrator Day Workshop sessions provided time for administrators to network and share with one another as well as attend several sessions with instructional coaches over the course of the day.

PIIC Executive Director Ellen Eisenberg started the conference by welcoming the group through a mixed group activity that focused on use of protocols.  All participants were randomly pre-assigned tables for the activity which helped create networking opportunities.

After the protocols activity, participants attended breakout sessions.  Participants preregistered for sessions via an online registration form and selected one of the following sessions:

  • Be Smarter than Your Series: Coaching to the PA Core with a Reading Series, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis and Manheim Township SD Instructional Coach Kim Kichline;
  • Tune it Up: Using a Protocol to Examine the BDA Process, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Carol Adams, PIIC RMC Virginia Glatzer, and Bristol Township SD Instructional Coaches Melanie Gehrens, Dawn Martesi, and Bernadette Barone;
  • Increasing Teacher Capacity: Professional Learning and the PA Teacher Effectiveness System, facilitated by East Pennsboro Area SD Instructional Coach Tracy Uhrich and IU PIIC Mentor Kathleen Eich;
  • Designing Effective PD: No More Death by PowerPoint!, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Melissa Devlin and Diane Hubona;
  • TDAs: What does it Look Like in Other Content Areas? How Coaches Support Teachers in All Content Areas, facilitated by Crestwood SD Instructional Coaches Jerry Marley, Betsy Morris, and Darren Testa, and IU PIIC Mentor Loriann Ruddy

After a short break, participants met for the general session, Understanding the Anatomy of Complex Text: It’s the Before! facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Amy Walker.  This was the first of two sessions that addressed Complex Text, the overarching theme of the PLO.  The day concluded with time for reflection in IU groups. 

Day 2 started with time for reflection on the previous day’s learnings.  Participants then moved into the first of two breakout sessions for the day.  The first round of breakout sessions included:

  • “Yes, You Can”: Part-Time Coaching in a Full-Time World, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Amy Walker and Loriann Ruddy;
  • Coaching Conversations: Committed Listening and Powerful Speaking, facilitated by Susquehanna Township SD Instructional Coach Jaime Marshall and IU PIIC Mentor Kathleen Eich;
  • Working with Informational Text: How Coaches Help Teachers Use the 10% Summary, facilitated by Berks Career and Tech Center Instructional Coach Leah Vey and Exeter Township SD Instructional Coach Karen DeNunzio;
  • Supporting Classroom Teachers with the Implementation of the Mathematics Design Collaborative, facilitated by MDC State Lead Joan Gillis and IU PIIC Mentor Tish Hockensmith;
  • Getting on the Same Page: Coaches and Administrators Sharing their Vision, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Jeremy Gabborin and Teri Everett, and Indiana Area SD Instructional Coaches Ashleigh Henning and Gerald Smith

While PIIC PLO participants were attending breakout sessions, 20 administrators from PIIC participating IUs attended the Administrator Day Workshop, which began with setting expectations and a session entitled Inquiry and Collaboration.

Following the breakout sessions, coaches and administrators participated together in the Coaching Teachers through Complex Text concurrent sessions and further explored complex text and the role that coaches play in assisting teachers.  The concurrent session required 11 facilitators to co-plan and present to the group, including IU PIIC Mentors: Terri Lewis, Loriann Ruddy, Kathleen Eich, Missy Petrilak, Diane Hubona, Amy Walker, Melissa Devlin, Tish Hockensmith, Heather Moschetta, Lori Ceremuga, and RMC Kathy Gori.

The second round of breakout sessions began after lunch.  Participants pre-registered for one of the following sessions:

  • “I Used to Say… but Now I Say,” facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Stephanie Schwab, Carol Adams, and Heather Moschetta;
  • Are you There Literacy? It’s Me, Math! How Coaches Support Teachers with Literacy in Math Class, facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis and educational consultant Lisa Klingler;
  • Coming Attractions: Reflect, Rejuvenate, Renew, by IU PIIC Mentors Diane Hubona and Cindy Shaffer;
  • Getting on the Same Page: Coaches and Administrators Sharing their Vision, facilitated by Indiana Area SD Instructional Coach Katie Bungo and IU PIIC Mentors Jeremy Gabborin and Teri Everett;
  • Twitter for Instructional Coaches: Following, Tweeting, and Chatting for Professional Growth, facilitated by Bellefonte Area SD Instructional Coaches Jackie Wynkoop and Jen Zahuranec

While coaches were attending breakout sessions, administrators attended Standards for Professional Learning: A Pathway to Enhanced Professional Development, led by IU PIIC Mentor Melissa Devlin.

To finish the day, coaches and administrators came together once more in their IU groups for a mentor-led discussion asking probing and clarifying questions about the sessions they attended.  The IU team session provided participants time to discuss how their new knowledge of complex texts can be applied back in their schools as related to their role of instructional coach.

Day 3 started with time for participants to reflect how the PIIC BDA and 4-quadrant framework helped coaches change their own practice in addition to reflecting on how one’s skills have changed as a result of the process and working with their mentor. Participants moved directly to the Birds of a Feather session.  This session is an activity where participants meet in groups to discuss topics of their choice to continue conversations that started during PLO sessions.  The day finished with Chat and Chew IU Team Time.  This session was designed for IU groups to come together and to discuss changes in teacher practice and to plan ways to collect data on effective practice from teachers.

Participant feedback was positive:

These professional learning and networking opportunities have allowed me as an instructional coach to grow at a much faster rate than if I was responsible for my own professional development. As a full time, K-12 coach there are few moments for my reflection and growth. PLO time is dedicated to those goals. If I need additional resources and learning beyond the offered sessions I have the opportunity to engage through deep conversations with coaches, mentors and administrators. It is the gold mine of coaching! Thank you!
-Full-Time Coach

I LOVE the opportunity to share ideas and resources with professionals throughout the state of Pennsylvania! I am so grateful for the chance to experience high quality professional learning that immediately is able to be applied to the work of an instructional coach. The PLO is my most valued resource in coaching, my spa that refreshes and gives me opportunities to reflect and my foundation of the work in our district!
-Full-Time Coach

I always leave with new information, strategies and resources to enhance my work. Time to meet coaches and mentors from across the state is extremely valuable. So many common issues!
-IU PIIC Mentor

The text dependent analysis was well done and modeled excellently. Thank you.  Additionally, I enjoyed the collaboration that took place among the administrators and felt it remained positive and progressive.
-District Administrator

You can read more feedback from this PLO on the Testimonials page.  The PLO agenda is available on our Past Professional Learning Opportunities page.  You can also find photos from the event in the PIIC Photo Gallery.  Our next PIIC Professional Learning Opportunity will be October 12-14, 2015 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA.  Details can be found on our Events page.

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