Saturday, July 23, 2016

Creating Norms

What roles will you take when coaching? 
What roles and responsibilities will the peers you collaborate with assume?

Review the list of example norms below.  

Creating norms for a group, even groups as small as two participants, establishes a set of ground rules to help teams work together more efficiently. When establishing norms, consider the following key categories:
  • Time
  • Decision making
  • Listening
  • Participation
  • Confidentiality
  • Expectations - (Delehant and von Frank, 2007)

Sample Norms
  • Begin and end on time
  • Stay on agenda
  • Reach decisions by consensus
  • Listen respectfully
  • Observe basic conversational courtesies
  • Listen attentively
  • Attend all meetings
  • Discuss issues, not people
  • Honor confidentiality
  • Silence all cell phones
  • Respect questions
  • Monitor your own airtime
  • Do assignments prior to meetings
  • Hold yourself personally accountable
  • Respect the group
  • Attend to goals and objectives
  • Limit distractions
  • Probe ideas, do not criticize people
  • Show respect for views of others
  • Avoid side conversations
  • Assume positive intentions

  1. As you review them address this question: How would adopting this norm help us work most effectively as a team?

Time - Keeping meetings tight (starting and finishing on a set time) is important because teachers are limited in the time they have. There is so much to do with grading, preparing, and duties that teachers will not willingly attend another meeting that wastes their time.

Decision making - Small group meetings could rotate the facilitator responsibility to a different member each session. Coaching meetings could be run by the teacher, with the coach mostly following. This could give everyone a chance at leading a meeting, allowing for all to feel more involved.

Listening - Listening well to the person who is speaking, makes him/her feel important. Listening is a sign of respect to all members of the meeting they are respected. Along those lines, listening attentively also signals you are able to learn from your colleagues.

Participation - "Showing up is 80 percent of life."Everyone's voice and opinions are important. You never know where the next bit of inspiration will come from. This builds on the last norm, but if you have a culture of listening and showing respect to others, people will be more willing to participate. It is important to get everyone participating so all feel equally involved.

Confidentiality - Secrets, mistakes, and private thoughts and opinions are just a few of the things we entrust our colleagues to keep to themselves. Someone who can keep your secrets safe will most likely be someone you can trust.

  1. Decide on the five or six norms that will guide the behavior of your Peer Coaching community.
I was imagining a 1-1 coaching situation, as was the majority of my experience from last year. Of the options above, the following four were most likely to apply.
  1. Begin and end on time 
  2. Stay on agenda
  3. Listen attentively
  4. Respect questions
  5. Accept ownership for your own learning

  1. If you have not already included it you may want to add this norm: "Accept ownership for your own learning." The goal of this norm is to encourage all participants take responsibility for their learning. It helps each participant in the team to develop their capacity to improve teaching and learning.

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