Monday, October 13, 2014


I really enjoy my job as a math education specialist. However, I have had a lingering concern about the lack of follow-up that my job allows. Most of the time I work with teachers for very short periods of time. Sometimes as short as 1 hour. I then may not see those teachers for several weeks, months, or longer. This always makes me wonder how much of the information that teachers are able to effectively integrate into their practice.

How can I effectively follow up with teachers to support effective change?

This question has been following me since I began delivering PD to teachers in Pinal County over a year ago. Today I think I came up with an idea. Although I have not ironed out the details, I feel that asking teachers to report back electronically after a specified period of time will allow them to feel supported and to ask questions that come up as they attempt to change the way they operate within the classroom. Below are some ideas that I will think more about and use as follow up activities.
  1. Using a forum on my website - I would ask participants to report what they have implemented into their classes after a given time (1-2 weeks) and their reflection on how it went. Also, they could ask any questions that may have arisen or ask for advice from myself and other participants.
  2. On a PD blog - similar to using the above method however this would be more public. Perhaps a benefit of this format would be the reach. The questions, advice and conversation could potentially reach more people therefor allowing for collaboration on an even greater scope.
  3. A scheduled Google Hangout - have the participants "meet" at a predetermined time to hold a video conference concerning what they have incorporated and the success and challenges they have faced. I like this idea the most, but scheduling will be a challenge.
  4. Set up courses in Blackboard or Moodle - This would have the added benefit of having all of the materials available for participants in one location. As in using a forum on my website I would use the forum feature to facilitate discussions.
I'm sure there are other ways to do this and I would be super happy to have you share those with me. This is an endeavor that I feel is important and I have no idea of whether or not it will have any positive effect but as my Mom always told me, "You never know unless you try."

Happy mathing!