Find Your Swing: Group Coaching on Collaborative Inquiry for Professional Learning Teams

Introducing an innovative group-coaching program for schools and districts

MaryEllen Vogt helps you apply the power of collaborative inquiry to your schools’ unique challenges

“There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define. Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it…..It’s called ‘swing.’ It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others….. Only then will the boat continue to run, unchecked, fluidly and gracefully between the pulls of the oars.”  The Boys in the Boat

new-maryellenPersonal message from MaryEllen Vogt

Do you ever wish that you and your colleagues could work together with as much collective power as a champion rowing team?   Only instead of winning a race, the goal would be to increase the learning and achievement of your students.

Current research sugggests that for real breakthroughs to happen in learning, teams of educators must work together in ways that are job-embedded, collaborative, dynamic, and inquiry-based.

A fascination with the power of true collaboration to produce tangible results in student achievement inspired my co-author, Victoria Risko, and me to write Professional Learning in Action: An Inquiry Approach for Teachers of Literacy (Teachers College Press, 2016).

Now, I want to share with you what I’ve learned about professional learning!

I have teamed up with Larry Sterne and Educational Research Newsletter & Webinars to offer virtual group-coaching for educators across all disciplines and grade levels. Learn how to become an effective team while you are working on the very real challenges that face your school or district.  Inquiry-based collaboration is the focus of the coaching, and it can be customized to address your group’s unique and specific needs and goals..

How it works:

  • Emphasis will be on collaborative inquiry as a professional learning process within the context of your unique challenges
  • Group-coaching sessions are for 10-20 educators.  Educators in the group can be teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals or a mix of all.  They can be from the same school or district or across schools and districts. It’s up to you!
  • Everyone gets a copy of MaryEllen’s book: Professional Learning in Action: An Inquiry Approach for Teachers of Literacy.  The coaching program is organized around these 6 chapters of my book. 
  • Your team’s leader will have an introductory 30-minute phone call with MaryEllen to discuss group’s priorities and goals. We also will survey each participant before the coaching program to explore specific needs of each participant.
  • The 8-week program features 90-minute live coaching sessions every two weeks. Each session includes a 30-minute presentation by MaryEllen based on the specific needs of your group followed by 60 minutes of group and coach interactions.  (Structure can be changed to suit your needs)
  • During 60 minutes of interaction, participants will be able to share experiences, ask questions and get feedback from MaryEllen and other group members.
  • A private Facebook group will be set up and facilitated by MaryEllen.  Participants will be able to connect, share and solve problems together in an organic and ongoing way over the duration of the program. Everyone will automatically receive email notifications of new posts.
  • Each group session will be recorded so that if anyone is unable to attend live they can participate later at a time more convenient for them.
  • MaryEllen will provide the group with resources based on the specific needs and goals. Relevant articles, planning guides and handouts will be provided. Participants will be encouraged to share other resources with the group.
  • Ongoing support from MaryEllen. Participants can email or post questions or comments in the private Facebook group at any time during the session, and MaryEllen will respond as quickly as she can.

About MaryEllen Vogt

MaryEllen Vogt, Ed.D. is Professor Emerita of Education at California State University, Long Beach. MaryEllen has served as a reading and special education specialist, district reading resource teacher, and university teacher educator. She is the co-author of 17 books,co-creator of the acclaimed SIOP model for teaching English Learners and is past president of the International Literacy Association.

MaryEllen received her Doctorate in Language and Literacy from the University of California, Berkeley and has worked as a consultant in reading/language arts for school districts and reading associations in the US and internationally.