Keeping Everyone on Task

The teachers that I work with are very new to technology integration although some of them have much wisdom and experience in the content area and classroom management. I have found that in professional development sessions, they are quick to go off on tangents or take control of the conversation. I discovered that I needed specific strategies for keeping them on task, so that we could make the most of our time together. Some strategies that I have found very helpful are:

  • Give an agenda at the beginning of the session.
  • Make the agenda pleasing to the eye with lots of color and graphics (teachers are particularly sensitive to aesthetics)
  • Tie the agenda to a theme, whether it is a holiday that is coming up, month, season... whatever!
  • When teachers start to drift, quickly draw them back by pointing out on the agenda "oh yes, we are on objective... right now, aren't we? And we want to..."

Following this format has worked like a charm for me, and I don't offend anyone by cutting him or her off. People really appreciate the structure and being able to follow along with me in the agenda.

Submitted by:Phyllis Bartosiewicz, technology coach
Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools
Augusta, Michigan

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