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Communities of Practice Institute

Early Learning Florida Trainings- Day One

Valerie Farinas

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Communities of Practice Institute

Community Agreements
Zones of Comfort, Risk, Danger
Early Learning Florida Facilitators as CoP
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
Creating a Context for Adult Learning
Passions Profile Activity
Was is the relationship between risk-taking & learning?
1. Identify the passion that most accurately describes who you are as an early childhood educator.
2. Discuss your passion with colleagues who share that passion.
3. Identify a child who has been affected by the group’s profile and journal about the experience.
4. Develop and record questions around issues/concerns that surface for your group.
5. Create a two-column chart labeled P/D and the participants physically move the post-its to either the P side or the D side. This way you can quickly identify the issues that fall within our spheres of influence and thus are actionable within our professional work/practice.
6. Whole Group Debrief
“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” ~Etienne Wenger

Session 1
Early Learning Florida -
Agenda Review
Opening Moves
Session Reflections & Documenting our Learning
Closing Moves
Journal: Think of one teacher you know (or have known) who will need your full support
(everything you know… every skill you have and then some…)
in order to be successful…
Communities of Practice
Six-word Memoir
With partner, tell one-minute stories.
Reflect on the stories: Where there connections?
Write the first name of the teacher on a post-it note.
• Become aware of things you need to do your best work
• Note times/things that are said/done that affect your needs—that challenge your ability to learn in the context of our group
• Try to figure out the implicit norms of the group
• We will set our own agreements tomorrow

A Word or Two about Community Agreements
• Be present
• Share wisdom
• Refrain from judging; seek to clarify
• Surface assumptions
• Try out something new then, reflect
• Maintain confidentiality
What strikes you about these “agreements ?” Why ? How do they compare to the agreements that are in place in your workplace-explicitly or implicitly ?
What else will you need to do your best learning here ?
Changing the Conversation in the Workplace
Describe a time when you were part of a productive,
highly functioning group
. What made it so? What were its characteristics?
What do you believe about the relationship between
child well being and learning
What led you to these beliefs?
How do these
beliefs play out in your practice
how you work with children or teachers on a daily basis
What, if anything, would need to change for you to have a closer match between what you believe and what you do?
What was it like to talk in that way?
How would our conversation have been different had we not used the protocol?
What are protocols? Why use them?
What do protocols require of us?
Break Time
• What bubbles up for you when you think about Wenger’s take on communities of practice?
• How do the elements of content,structures, process and conditions compare with your current understanding of Communities of Practice?
• How do you see yourself facilitating this type of experience for the practitioners you work with?

Turn & Talk
Warp Speed
What feels riskier for you to take up? What sends you into danger?
Consider the various aspects of your work/learning when you are working in a group.
• What are the strengths of your style? (4 adjectives)

• What are the limitations of your style? (4 adjectives)

• What style do you find most difficult to work with and why?

• What do people from the other “directions” or styles need to know about you so you can work together effectively?

• What do you value about the other three styles?

Go to the direction that best describes their personality style.
Each group then answers the five questions on chart paper
• Note the distribution among the “directions”. What might it mean?
• What is the best combination for a group to have? Does it matter? Why?
• How can you avoid being driven crazy by another “direction”?
• How might you use this exercise with the teachers you work with?

1. Read/review “Building Communities of Practice” by Judy Harris Helm. (handout)
2. Continue thinking about your dilemma and revise your framing question as needed. Familiarize yourself with the Consultancy process (p. 33-34)
Empowering Professionals. Championing Children.
Why begin a meeting this way?
What was significant about this experience for you? Why?
How might you use it in your own work context?

If this were the
worst training
you ever attended, what will happen or not happen?
If this were the
best training
you ever attended, what will be its outcome (what would I learn)?
What do you
need to make happen
to ensure you will
achieve your hoped-for-outcomes
Did you notice anything surprising or otherwise interesting while doing this activity?
What was the impact on you or others of expressing negative thoughts?
Would you use this activity in your work context? Why? Why not?
Hopes and Fears
What did it take for your group to be successful/improve?
What did collaboration look like in this activity?
How were new ideas received by the group?
Will any of the goals you’ve set for your work appear to be light years beyond the reach- for some of the teachers you work with?
In terms of your practice, what is generally comfortable for you- poses little risk- do you navigate with ease?
Risk Zone-
What aspects of your practice need improvement? What do you wish you could do better?

Passions Activity –
What issues or concerns do we need to work on to improve child outcomes?

A dilemma is a
, an
that raises questions, an
that seems to have conceptual gaps, something about process or product that
just can’t figure out

Dilemmas deal with issues with which you are struggling or are unsure about.
Some criteria for a dilemma might include:

Writing Dilemmas and Crafting Framing Questions
Is it something that is bothering you enough that your thoughts regularly return to the dilemma?
Is it an issue/dilemma that does not depend on getting other people to change (in other words, can you affect the dilemma by changing your practice, what you do)?
Is it something that is important to you, and is it something you are actually willing to work on?

Journal about your dilemma and develop a framing question for feedback using the Consultancy Overview. (p. 31-32)
Looking back on the day, what struck you as really significant new learning? Why was it so significant? What influence might it have on your future practice? What worked well, what would you like to see done differently tomorrow?
Suggested Agreements for today:
Early Learning Florida
Online Professional Development System
Online only
Course content delivered solely online
Online + CoP
Online course content plus face to face sessions with a facilitator and other participants taking the same course.
Online + TA/Coaching
Online course content plus on-site coaching sessions to support content implementation.
Three delivery models
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