The role of an Expert Teacher is to mentor colleagues in solution-focused coaching conversations. Expert Teacher Heather Maxted describes it as an opportunity to observe and learn from colleagues through classroom visits and to help plan and develop a teacher’s professional development.
Heather Maxted has been part of the Greenwood community for over 10 years, and moved into the Expert Teacher role in 2018. Her fellow Expert Teacher, Anthony Costa, who has been an Expert Teacher since 2016, describes his role as a ‘colleague with a critical eye’. He works with teachers to create goals and will sometimes sit down with teachers to work on lesson plans together and ensure they are on the right track. “In the end, it’s helping teachers become their best selves,'' says Anthony.
Both Heather and Anthony had the opportunity to attend a four-day introductory course on ‘Solution Focused Coaching’ this past summer. This course focused on building solutions rather than seeking advice and solving problems. They learned how to teach others about exploring future goals and past successes and discovering the skills, knowledge and abilities teachers already have to help them get to their solutions.
Since the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Heather and Anthony have hosted individual Professional Development (PD) sessions for Greenwood teachers. Heather’s session focused on the topic of differentiation (tailoring instruction to meet different students’ learning needs) and what that may look like in the classroom. She talked about small changes teachers can make to the content or process of their lessons based on students’ various learning styles.
Anthony's PD session was focused on skill building. He touched on ways 21st century skills can help students think about how they pave the pathway for their future. He also discussed how Greenwood’s four pillars of character
can tie into 21st century skills.
“The most important aspect of this role is to understand that everyone has their own expertise. We can all work together and learn from each other,” Anthony says.
Both Heather and Anthony find their position extremely valuable because they learn so much from working with their amazing colleagues. They see their role as an opportunity to help others while enhancing their own skills as Expert Teachers.