It is easy, as an educator, to get stuck in a rut. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to avoid at some point or another during the school year.
Throughout my 17 years of teaching, I’ve found myself asking questions like, “Is my instruction still engaging and fun?” and “Am I really helping my students become independent thinkers?”
I’ve even found myself feeling hesitant at times to use new technology. It can be time-consuming and, in some cases, intimidating.
That said, when I had an opportunity to try out a new professional learning platform – one that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help teachers improve their instructional practices – I wanted to push myself and try it out. At the least, it would help me step outside of my comfort zone and take a closer look at my teaching.
Engaging in action-oriented professional development with AI coaching
My district, Keller Independent School District (ISD), was one of the first districts in the nation to pilot AI Coach by Edthena. Using the platform, teachers are guided by a virtual coach as they reflect on videos of their classroom teaching and work through coaching cycles focused on specific areas of instructional practices. This includes developing goals and strategies for improvement based on teachers’ own self-reflection.
I’ll admit, I was nervous at first – this process meant I’d have to rewatch myself teaching and then really reflect on that teaching.
However, I soon realized being able to complete this coaching process independently would give me the time and flexibility to gather some real insights about my own practice before I shared them (or my videos) with my coach or colleagues as part of our ongoing professional learning.
The AI Coach process also aligned well with my district’s focus on action-oriented professional development. It’s far from traditional sit-and-get professional development, that’s for sure.
Becoming a more reflective teacher with AI coaching
As I started the AI-powered coaching process, I recorded a 12-minute mini lesson with my 7th graders, making sure my camera captured all of my actions, students, and conversations during the lesson. Since I was the only person who would see the video, I wasn’t worried about a special lesson.
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