Google Certified Trainer Cohort Program Yields More Than Just A Certification
What does it take to become an excellent instructional coach? A group of 35 instructional coaches and two Google Certified Educators worked together to answer that question as they worked in a cohort to complete the Google Certified Coach program offered by MassCUE. In the process, they formed a valuable support system and left with strategies and ideas that went beyond the basic curriculum.
The six-month program followed a Google curriculum, giving participants strategies and tools designed to help them have more meaningful interactions with teachers so that teachers can apply technology in their classrooms more purposefully. For Instructors Jen Thomas and Johanna Wilson, the cohort model was the best part of the program.
“In our schools we are the lone wolf – the only instructional coach. It was so great to have a group of other coaches to lean on,” says Thomas. “We were able to get our frustrations out, but we were focused on solutions. I left meetings feeling lighter and more hopeful.”
The pace of the program allowed participants to go through the curriculum slowly, which made it more manageable. Participants could apply what they were learning and refine it with ideas and support from other participants.
“The Google Certified Coach program is a significant commitment of time and energy,” says participant Christina DiMicelli. “The MassCUE cohort provided a space for me to learn within a group of educators with roles similar to my own. This moves the learning from theory to practice as we talk through application of the program components.”
Wilson points out that regular meetings were especially valuable for coaches who need buy-in from teachers to succeed.
“Having this cohort and being able to meet virtually once or twice a month to share resources and strategies for building relationships with teachers was super valuable and only enhanced the curriculum,” says Wilson. “We talked about how to show teachers that we are there to support them and to make their lives easier.”
Participant Ryan Robidoux agrees.
“Our monthly meetings provided us great resources, but also a space to share what’s happening in our districts with our teachers, Robidoux says.” The peer feedback we received regarding those successes and challenges was tremendous.”
For Thomas, the focus on building relationships is a much better way to approach coaching.
“For a long time the model was, ‘Want to do a training on Google slides?’ But there are a million ways to use Google slides. How do I focus my training?” says Thomas. “With this model, you focus on the people and their goals – and then you find the tech that fits.”
As they work on building relationships with educators in their schools and districts, participants will have the relationships they built in this cohort to rely on.
The most valuable part of the program was establishing relationships with so many excellent tech coaches in the area,” says participant Jess Brittingham. “I have met a few of the participants at conferences this year, and we have remained in contact. We continue to share ideas and resources, which is invaluable.”
This program ran from August 2021 to February 2022. For information on future dates for this program or other professional development opportunities from MassCUE, visit www.masscue.org and go to EDUCATE tab in the upper right menu.
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