NETS for Coaches Standard 6
AS I SEE “IT”
By Kara Gann
Kara Gann has served
26 years in public education and now works for
Atomic Learning, Inc.
She recently completed a
two-year term on ISTE’s
Board of Directors.
Have you ever heard “Dem Bones,” the song about how the head bone’s connected to the neck bone? When I hear that song,
I can’t help but think about how important professional development (PD) and personal growth
are to individuals and consequently to entire
organizations. Schools are connected centers of
lifelong learning for teachers, students, and staff.
In a previous column, I wrote about how
important it is to provide high-quality PD to
teachers. The NETS for Coaches (NETS•C)
Standard 6 highlights the value of professional
growth and reflection for tech coaches.
Coaches focus on other people’s PD every day,
and it is easy for them to forget to make time for
their own growth and reflection. The academic
environment is rapidly changing, and technology
coaches have discovered that they are no longer
the knowledge bank for the school or district, but
are instead the learners, facilitators, and guides
to new technologies and learning practices. They
are resourceful people with a specialty, just like
those in the medical field. With advancements in
medical science and the complexity of the human
body, it’s no wonder that doctors spend their lives
specializing in just one area of the body. That’s
how we should look at the role of tech coach
within the teaching profession: as a focus on
specialized, lifelong learning.
There are several ways that I help myself while
helping others stay motivated in their learning.
One goal of my district is to provide differen-
tiated instruction. But how am I, as a coach,
going to learn about differentiation so that I can
guide others? After reflecting on my own skills
and needs, I found several valuable resources at
ISTE’s annual conference and exposition.