How Individualized, Competency-Based Coaching Can Elevate Teachers

This month on the Easy EdTech Podcast, e2L CEO Shannon Buerk and podcast host Dr. Monica Burns unpack the ins and outs of competency-based professional learning, focusing on how ed leaders can leverage technology and individualized coaching to support and elevate educators.

Key Tips & Takeaways

  • Take stock of what professional development looks like across your school or district to abandon what is not having a significant impact on educator growth and/or student outcomes.
  • Identify the key competencies that are unique to and define your district.
  • Scaffold those key competencies and differentiate support to personalize professional learning and meet each educator’s specific needs.
  • Utilize an adaptable edtech platform like eSuite to individualize, document, and measure the impact of educator coaching support.

Excerpt from the Episode

Dr. Monica Burns: We know that PD can vary in how effective it truly is. What are some of the pain points in the way traditional professional development takes place?

Shannon Buerk: Most people think of PD as a burden. I was talking to a friend recently whose dad had been a special education teacher for 30 years. That is a very challenging role to play and super impactful in students’ lives. He told his son that he had never been to a professional development session that was of benefit to him in 30 years. So in his last year before he retired, he decided, “I’m actually just not going to go. I’m going to quit wasting my time.” 

When you think about all the different needs, years of experience, things that people are doing on the day to day as teachers, they absolutely need differentiated support instead of one-size-fits-all. Sitting in a room and listening to a lecture all day long that is not relevant is a huge pain point. It’s a waste of time if it does not apply to me as a teacher and my specific situation.

The second pain point is similar: it’s not based on teachers’ goals for themselves. It’s more topic-based, top down, here are the initiatives we have, here are the things we need to comply with. It takes away agency. Teachers know their craft! And they know what they need to work on. Like we heard recently from a 14-year vet: 

“This is the first year that I’m not being subjected to the same thing as first-year teachers. I have my own goals, and now I’m able to work on my own craft in the way that I know I need to.”

Catch the entire conversation on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify. Enjoy!

Easy EdTech Podcast Show Image

RELATED: Cultivating Equitable Support for Teachers & Students