Learning Goals

If I’m being honest, I learned about COETAIL a week ago today. I ‘discovered’ the community the same day I committed to the certificate. This is after months of searching for master’s programs, applied to one, was accepted, but decided to opt-out. I’m not indecisive. I just rack my brain with every if/then scenario possible while also paralyzing myself with anxiety planning the future. It’s a thing. With that being said, I’m fierce about growing as an educator. And as cliche, as it sounds, I want my classroom to model 21st century teaching and learning.

Integrating technology into my teacher toolkit is wonderful catalysis to enhance my practice. After looking at the ISTE standards for educators, I chose a few I’d like to focus on below. There are a lot of great ones and it’s hard to narrow them down. I found this digital poster which makes the process more accessible, in my opinion.

ISTE Standards in Focus:

3a Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.

3b Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

4b Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.

5b Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

6a Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

7b Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.

For stackable certificate options, I selected COETAIL & GET. I hope this program will help me design learning activities and assessments that are authentic and engaging. As I feel more efficient in applying the standards in my own classroom, I’d like to help other teachers and school stakeholders do the same.

Learning Communities

In reflecting on my connections, my top 3 learning communities have been current and previous jobs (employment), Teach-Now and Facebook groups. 

I like collaborating with my school community for planning and bouncing ideas off of others. I recently switched schools and I’m the only English language arts teacher for upper secondary. I’m missing the opportunity to co-plan units with other English teachers. 

I turn to FB groups often to pick up new ideas, teaching strategies, resources, etc. I read testimonies from teachers and I imitate what I think might work for my students. Last year, I worked as a college and university counselor. It was new with many responsibilities. Seeking help, I joined a professional membership (IACAC) which allowed me to access their private page. It’s filled with all the resources needed to find the right answer. 

Teach-Now has also built a strong learning community. In Ulaanbaatar, I know 4 other teachers who have gone through TN to earn their teaching licenses. It’s been a community within a community, we are bonded with the common experience. 

Surprisingly, my undergraduate alma mater doesn’t show up as a big learning community. 

But, why COETAIL?

Hi, Brittany here. I’m an American and I call Greensboro, NC and Mongolia home. After graduating from UNC- Greensboro, I joined the Peace Corps in 2012. It was absolutely my dream job at the time and it led me to Mongolia. I found myself working in a village school in the Gobi. It was tough in the way any quintessential Peace Corps experience should be. That began my journey in international education. Fast forward 8 years, a husband, 2 daughters, and 3 schools later, I work as the high school ELA teacher at the American School of Ulaanbaatar.

I’m thrilled to find Cohort Online 12. COETAIL reminds me of the Teach-Now teacher preparation program I completed a few years ago. TN is also a cohort-based model, preparing tech-savvy teachers with a truly global feel. During that program, I started a Twitter account that I admittedly don’t keep up with, yet.

I saw a COETAIL alum being congratulated online for a new leadership position, which led me to research more. Instead of starting a master’s, I’m doing this. The thought of only reading academic articles and writing essays as “online learning” doesn’t appeal to me right now (or ever), but COETAIL does. I hope this community of learners will inspire me to be more innovative and design authentic and engaging experiences for my students.