Opportunities for immediate, impactful growth through professional development do not occur too often, especially the longer one teaches. Thankfully, I had the great fortune of working with Lynne West this past academic year. Lynne worked first with our department to develop curriculum using backward planning, asking each member of our department to design an assessment and unit that we would implement in the near future. Lynne returned a few months later to meet with us and discuss how the implementation had gone.The American School London
Lynne’s method of instructional coaching is to guide the teacher through self-observation and reflection in order to identify areas for improvement. Throughout the process Lynne created a safe, comfortable and supportive environment. Working through the observation and reflection with Lynne as my coach translated into immediate, practical changes that enhanced my performance in the classroom, and subsequently improved student learning. This was one of the most useful professional development experiences I have had in recent years and the results exceeded my expectations. Lynne is a knowledgeable, skillful coach and I highly recommend Lynne for her expertise in this practice and her thoughtfulness throughout the process.
Lynne is a very knowledgeable, resourceful, observant, and encouraging teaching coach. Her professional and non-judgmental communication immediately made me feel safe and encouraged. She helped me identify my strengths and also the directions I can continue to pursue. Lynne’s coaching is not for just fixing short-term issues, but for a long term professional growth. I walked away with many useful resources, confidence, and enthusiasm.
What made Lynne’s coaching unique and powerful was that it spanned several months, unlike the typical one-off observation and feedback process. Following the principle that teacher-generated inquiry is most effective, Lynne’s coaching allowed and encouraged me to observe my own teaching with a critical eye, an especially empowering experience whose impact has truly changed my practice for the better.
Lynne West’s workshop enabled me to completely transform my classroom. With her clear introductions, sound pedagogical reasoning, and built-in practice time for each digital resource, I left her workshop with a solid base of new materials as well as the confidence to continue creating them on my own. From “flipping my classroom” to creating an interactive website, and from deepening learning through social media to using online assessments, my classroom has truly been updated for 21st century learners.
I took Lynne West’s weeklong course at the Taft Educational Center for 21st Century Technology in a Latin classroom in 2014. Lynne did an excellent job explaining so many websites, applications, and other ideas that will definitely enhance my own classroom. Her skill as a teacher goes far beyond just being tech-savvy. Lynne was incredibly patient, thoughtful, and willing to trouble shoot all of our needs. I’ve already started using some things she taught me – and am grateful for the experience to learn from her.
We asked Lynne West to spend a couple of days with our department, showing us some web-based tools we could use in our classes and hopefully opening our minds to using the excellent resources out there more effectively. She was so-well prepared and flexible, showing great sensitivity to our unique needs and interests. Rather than follow an agenda of her own, she got us to a much better place in just a couple of days! All of us are using at least one tool she shared with us regularly now.
After several years teaching English full time, I discovered a need in my classes for more varied assessments around writing instruction. Observing my class and discussing my own reflections, Lynne provided me with both helpful research specific to the content of my class and valuable lessons from her years of teaching experience. As a result, I was able to shift the focus of my assessments from drafting in stages to targeting the development of specific skills that would help my students write more confidently. As I develop new units and lesson plans, these benefits of Lynne’s coaching continue to be very valuable.
Lynne worked with me as I attempted to make my writing feedback more specific and helpful. As an English teacher, I have always struggled to provide valuable writing feedback in a timely, sustainable way. Thus, I met with Lynne, and we developed a plan for improvement. First, she helped me by guiding some initial research that I did related to best grading practices. We discussed the research, and we agreed that more specific, standards-based rubrics with student friendly language would provide better feedback for students. She helped guide me as I adapted the rubrics and created lessons to introduce the new rubrics to my students. After the new process was implemented, she helped me evaluate the new system. Together, we found that the new system provides feedback that is more valuable, specific, and easier to understand, and my students appreciate the work that I have undertaken to provide better feedback. Additionally, I have seen their writing greatly improve, and I look forward to starting my next year with these positive changes. Thank you, Lynne!
The best part of being coached by Lynne is that her style focuses on expertly having you derive conclusions and goals for improvement based on your own observations of your teaching. From there, Lynne provides excellent resources and advice on how to improve in the areas that you identify. I found her methods incredibly fulfilling and effective, especially compared to a more traditional style of coaching where a mentor simply lectures you on what needs to be improved. Her intentionality and professionalism is unparalleled. I would recommend coaching with her to any teachers, both novice and veteran!
I have taken two technology workshops with Lynne (a few years apart). Each workshop was eye-opening! The first workshop introduced me to using technology in my classroom (I was very green!). The second workshop helped me step outside my comfort zone to increase my technology use. Lynne introduced tools that I was not familiar with. She gave us ideas on using the tools in each of our disciplines and offered us time to practice. She was available throughout the workshop to assist us when we had trouble. My favorite learning tools from the workshop are Wizer.me, GoFormative, and FlipGrid. I think they will help me better reach my students
Lynne’s holistic approach to technology-enhanced learning is inspiring. She emphasized technology should not be the sprinkles on top of the teaching/learning environment, it should be integrated into teaching strategy and effective learning. Her one week workshop is an excellent teaching example: clear explanations, classroom pace tailored to student’s need, methodologic guidance, etc. She provided us with lots of materials, and always ensured we had enough time to practice, to exchange ideas, and ask questions. We learned so much from her and from each other. I left the workshop with many new teaching ideas and cannot wait to apply them in my own classroom. Thank you Lynne for having offered such a fantastic workshop and made the learning so enjoyable!