Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What makes a great facilitator of learning?

For the past 2 days, we have been working with WSFCS principals on best practices with Classroom Walkthroughs, Reflective Meetings, and Data Feedback. As a district, we use Teachscape to gather data on instructional practice in our classrooms. For the past three years, we have done a great job at getting into classrooms but we have not used the walkthrough data with teachers as much as we would like in order to improve student achievement.

As part of the workshop, Leslie Baldwin asks the groups to develop a non-linguistic representation for a great facilitator. Each group worked on a list of characteristics that included:
  • good listener (doesn't talk much)
  • organized
  • serves as a guide
  • open minded
  • respectful
  • comforting
  • energetic
  • neutral
  • asks guiding questions
  • sees the big picture
Some of the groups had fantastic ideas for their non-linguistic representations. We had drawings of farmers, sherpas, big-earred heads, and much more. One group of middle school principals even came up with a song! In our first session, however, one of the groups developed a visual that I cannot get out of my head. So much so that I cannot say the word "Facilitator" correctly without really thinking about it. As part of my speech therapy, I developed an image to help others remember "Phyllis Tater," facilitator extraordinaire. Phyllis has eyes (for vision), ears (for listening), is comforting (who doesn't love mashed potatoes?) and when steering the boat with the oars, provides guidance to those around them.

What do you think makes a great facilitator?

1 comment:

Derek Braman said...

- someone who fosters curiosity and excitement makes an outstanding facilitator of learning.