In this episode of #coachbetter, Kim chats with a panel of our amazing COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology & Information Literacy) graduates, Andrea Goodrich, Kehri Magalad, Saadia Munir Hammad, Yasmeen Munshi, and Liliana Bandini about the power of networked professional learning. They talk about the power and value of networked professional learning – where you connect with educators from around the globe to push your thinking and teaching practice to the next level. All of our guests have found the impact of COETAIL lasting well beyond the duration of the program, they’re now more confident in taking risks, applying innovative technology-rich learning, and differentiating for all learners. If you are curious about how the COETAIL program might impact your practice as an educator – or you just want to be inspired by teachers pushing the boundaries of their own learning, this episode is for you!
Bonus! Watch the Spotlight Version on YouTube!
Tell us about your education journey. Where did you start? Where are you now?
Yasmeen: live in Doha, teaching at a progressive QF school, been teaching 10 years., graduated 2-3
Liliana: Mumbai (Singapore International School), Peru; librarian
Kehri: Doha (QF), Music Ed degree, started as a band director, Doha
Andrea: from Chicago, always knew I wanted to be a teacher, jumped into international teaching right away, started in PR at a small school, Ecuador, Korea, Hanoi
Saadia: Currently in the US, bachelor’s in Econ, I was missing kids, teaching cert in Florida, moved to Saudi, Tara Waudby recommended the course, made me realize I need to do more as an educator
What made you decide to join COETAIL?
Saadia: I wanted to be less intimidated by tech. I could feel that tech was going to be more important in the future. It opens a lot of new doors and educational opportunities.
Andrea: working in Seoul, SK, worked with Tabitha and Akio. Put it off for a few years while I did my master’s. Principal set a goal, and I made it one of my goals.
Kehri: Yasmeen’s fault, we did the first course together.
Yasmeen: We had a few teachers at the previous school who were in the middle of COETAIL, teachers that I really admired & I remember thinking that wow, on top of all the things they’re doing at school, they’re also taking this course. They reflected on how it had really shaped their teaching practice. I had been exposed to it a few years before I actually did it. Then Diana joined our faculty and she’s amazing. I felt like I wasn’t being challenged at that time, but also tech was really intimidating
Liliana: I didn’t know about COETAIL, one of my friends was teaching in Vietnam. I just pushed myself to do it. I knew about it just a few weeks before it started. I wanted to improve the quality of my teaching. As a school librarian, my background was totally different. I was always feeling like something was empty. I was always involved with tech, but tech and teaching and to be able to introduce tech, not forcing it. I came to find balance in my practices. I see myself, how I’m changing in my career because I am always learning and now I am looking for a Master’s degree in education.
What was the key outcome of graduating from COETAIL for you? (could be learnings, mindshifts, next steps career wise, etc)
Liliana: As a librarian, we wear many hats, and one of the hats I’m wearing many times is as a coach. We were just ending COETAIL when COVID hit, and I had to be a coach, because I was working with many teachers, helping them to do something better, they really relied on me. I was working with teachers 1:1 and they were really eager to learn. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my professional career. I started learning more about tech, but also I realized as a librarian I need to be ready for more. Now I know I have to continue my studies in coaching, because librarians are also doing coaching without even realizing it.
Yasmeen: much more comfortable using tech in my classroom. I used to avoid tech because I used to feel intimated by it. I know there’s a lot of rhetoric out there about screentime, but I noticed that whenever I gave an iPad to a child, they became super engaged. Key outcome, less intimidation to use tech. I feel empowered as a teacher because it’s a rigorous program and that feeling of accomplishment
Kheri: Technology can be your friend. As a musician, I’m a purist. How can tech replace what we do? As I was working on the Course 5 final project, it totally made sense. It became the 3rd teacher in the room, you, the environment and the iPad became the teacher. I modified the flipped classroom approach. They taught themselves so I could really focus on the ones who needed it most. We created a community of helpers, so I could differentiate for those I can’t normally reach.
Andrea: The importance of your personal learning network. Before COETAIL, I was more hesitant to connect kids to experts, or even utilizing resources and connections in my school network. It showed me that people really want to help.
Saadia: I need to become more comfortable to ask and set up a PLN and reach out to people, especially as I try to formulate my future plans. The value of collaboration is something I learned from coetail. I had not realized it could be this powerful to connect with other educators, everyone has something unique to bring, and when you put it together, it becomes something you couldn’t even imagine. Final project was in a public school in the US, where they were never given a chance to talk adn share, but it
How did COETAIL impact / change your career trajectory?
Saadia: COETAIL takes me away from being “just a teacher” who is teaching a set curriculum. It helps me see myself as more of a coach. It makes me realize how important it is to bring together tech and curriculum, into a quality curriculum, especially in developing countries. It makes me think it’s viable, and now that’s what I want to do. A good curriculum and a great teacher is unstoppable.
Andrea: I had a good lesson on vulnerability recently, I thought I was going to get a STEM coach job, but I didn’t end up getting the position. Even though that opportunity didn’t work out, I’m still going to keep pushing, will keep practicing in the classroom.
Kehri: I was becoming a little bit more brave with trying to build my PLN and responding to posts. This opportunity opened up at this progressive school, and I wasn’t sure I would fit in. But this whole new world opened up to me. If I didn’t have that bravery from COETAIL, I’m not sure I would have applied for this position.
Lilliana: I feel like I’m leaving traditional librarianship and become more of a tech integrator or coach
Yasmeen: When I finished COETAIL I was teaching 3rd grade, and then an opportunity arose to join this progressive school, which meant everything that I knew about how to teach would be thrown out the window. I think COETAIL was really instrumental in me saying, just go for it. So what if you have to learn new things, you’ve done it before. We don’t use a lot of tech in this school, but I still credit COETAIL for being that agent of change for me.
What would you tell other prospective COETAILers about the program?
Yasmeen: The collaborative aspect of COETAIL is unlike other PDs I’ve done, the idea of building your PLN is really useful. All of sudden, my 24 Qatari children were hearing about how people in all different countries deal with waste. I really enriched their experience and helped them appreciate different perspectives.
Liliana: The amount of pedagogy that we learn in COETAIL changes our practices. We can take it with us and have it integrated into our practices. It’s a mind shift. We change as educators. There was one Liliana before COETAIL, and one after. A sense of empathy for our students. Designing different ways to show our learning. It’s
Kehri: A year and half long very intense PD, you get the constant feedback from the course facilitator. From a specialist perspective, this PD was for me. It’s not another PD that I’m wondering how does this apply to me? This is very special, it’s for me and I can take it anywhere
Andrea: There’s so much choice, it’s geared towards you. The blog posting took me forever, I really liked the process of writing because it helped me reflect. It helps you come to realizations about your teaching practice. It puts you out there because you’re sharing with everyone else. PLN is something I really value, and I know I will take it with me.
Saadia: It is very personalized. Whatever you’re learning, it forms the backbone for you to practice in your classroom. The blogging that you do, allows you to reflect and evaluate your practice. It’s lessons for the future that you will be implementing. The readings on implicit bias are still with me. Tanya LeClair and her feedback was very important. Introduced me to the ISTE standards. It opens new doors to new technological
Level Up Your Impact with Our Certificate Programs
There are so many ways to make an impact in your school community. If you’re looking to level up your impact, either as a school leader, a coach or a teacher, explore our certificate programs: Women Who Lead, The Coach, and COETAIL. Or, if your goal is truly unique, register for a private mentoring package. If any of today’s post resonated with you, join us for the next cohort of WWL, The Coach or purchase a private mentoring package! Registration for our global cohorts opens once a year, make sure you’re on our mailing list to be notified as soon as they open! You can find all of these learning opportunities on the our website!