Together Learning and Collaborating (TLC): Tips for Facilitators
Joyce Escorcia: Hello, everyone. So, glad you could join us today. I am Joyce Escorcia with the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning — or the NCECDTL. Thank you so much for joining us today for our latest episode of the Coaching Corner Webinar Series. I am joined today in this webinar by my awesome colleagues, Melisa Jaen and Vicky Greening. So, you know, the Coaching Corner Webinar Series occurs every other month, and so we invite you to go ahead and mark your calendar for our next episode, and that's going to be on November the 20th on 2019, and as you know, the goal of every episode is to really support you in your role as a coach or supporting coaching by exploring specific topics that are relevant to you in your role, identifying resources and strategies kind of specific to our topics, and then having a chance to put it into practice through scenarios, videos, or just the opportunity to ask questions.
So again, thank you so much for joining us today. Before we begin, I just want to kind of go over some information about the webinar. So, we're going to be using some of the features of this webinar platform, ON24, to kind of help us interact together. So, at the bottom of your screen, you're going to notice some widgets, so if you have any questions during the webcast, you can submit them through that purple Q&A widget. You can submit them through the purple — through that purple widget if you have any questions, again, and then we're going to try to answer these during the webcast. Please know that we're going to try to capture all questions, if for some reason we don't get to your question. So, if you have any technical questions, please put them there as well, and we will get to that as well. We hope that these widgets are useful.
Throughout our session, we're going to be using that blue group chat widget to engage with each other. You're going to be able to find additional questions to some of your ... Maybe some other things that are going on. They're also in on the platform as well. You can see that each one of your widgets is resizable and movable, so you can move it around your screen. You're just going to click on that widget and move it and drag it and drop it wherever you need it and make it as big or as small as you need it. So finally, if you have any trouble with kind of some lag or things on the platform, just simply hit F5 to refresh your browser, and then, you know, be sure to log off and then your VPN or anything else because sometimes that can help out as well. Then also just closing out some other tabs can be helpful.
So, at the end of this presentation, what we really want you to walk away with is being able to identify the TLC components in the process to really explore ideas for implementing, supporting, and maintaining a TLC group, and then being able to discuss common questions and challenges around implementing TLCs, and then also exploring resources available relative to facilitating in TLC. So, that's just some of the things that we hope that you can walk away with today.
So, we wanted to get started by kind of finding out who's on the webinar with us. And using the poll feature, we want to find out how long you've been a TLC facilitator. And so, using your poll feature, again, you're just going to answer whether it's been less than a year, one to two years, two to four years, five years or more, or maybe you're not a TLC facilitator and you're supporting coaching work in a different way. So again, so you're going to just choose one of those, whichever option kind of best applies to you of how long you've been a facilitator. We're going to give this a few minutes so we can get the most responses possible, and then we're going to flip over and see kind of who's here with us, and we have another question as well that you're going to be able to respond to. And again, we're just really — we're really excited to kind of have this conversation today about TLCs and supporting TLCs. Alright.
So, I'm going to flip over and kind of see who's here with us. So, we see that about a third — a little over 30 percent — have been a TLC facilitator less than a year, and then we have some that have been ... About 18 percent that have been a TLC facilitator for one to two years, and then about 21 percent two to four years, and then we have about four and a half percent that have been a facilitator for five or more years, and so shout-out to our veterans there, and then we have about 23 percent that are not TLC facilitators, and so we want to thank each and every one of you for joining us today. I'm so glad to see kind of the different experiences and the levels of experience here, so going to make for a great conversation today. And I will just say I noticed in the group chat, in Region Four, they're actually having a TLC training, and they're closing out their training with us today, so thank you for joining us all the way from Region Four, and we look forward to hearing from you guys. And then the next question is, we wanted to know, and again, using the poll feature, have you attended a TLC facilitator training? And so, that's just a yes or a no, and I know we've got several people that are going to click yes already. Some of that training is happening now. We're going to give you just a couple of minutes there. And the poll feature should pop up here where you have the option to answer yes or no. So, give it maybe just another couple more seconds. And we have about 46 percent that say yes, that they've attended a TLC facilitator training, and we have a little bit over 50 percent — 53 percent — who say that they have not attended a TLC facilitator training. I just want to say that that's OK. We're glad that we have such a mixed crowd here, and again, it's just about having this conversation and learning from each other, so thank you for that. That helps us and gives us a little bit more background on who's joining us today. And so, now I'm going to turn it over to our TLC expert for our conversation today, Vicky. So Vicky, take it away.
Vicky Greening: Thanks, Joyce. I appreciate the experts, I think, but I think it looks like we have a lot of experts joining us today, people who have been doing this for a while, have been through the training, I'm sure are going to have a lot of experiences to share with it. We do want to start out just by briefly identifying what the TLC process is and what are the components that make up that process. So, the first three TLC group sessions are really introductory. They introduce participants to what a TLC is, gets them some time to get an understanding of what we're going to be doing in these TLC groups. The KNOW plan — do, reflect, and see process – then actually begins in session four. When we start session four, our participants start by learning a new set of practices. That's the KNOW piece, and we use resources that are related to effective practices.
After the KNOW piece, the participants plan on how they're going to implement whatever the new practice was that they got in that KNOW piece that meets their needs — so it's individualized to each participant. Participants will learn to plan out exactly how they intend to implement these strategies with their own unique children and families, in their own unique settings, whether it's a group setting or during a home visit or during a group socialization. Once participants have their plan, they go back to their own setting and implement that plan. They take a video of themselves doing that. They take the time to watch the video and reflect upon what they feel went well for them and what they might like to change. That's the do piece of this process. Then when the next TLC group session happens, which is usually about two weeks later, the participants reflect with their peers in that group as to how their implementation of their plan went for them and what they feel the next steps might be. Each session, one participant brings a segment of their video to share with their other colleagues in the group and get feedback from that group. This is the see part of the process. The process then starts all over again with a new KNOW piece to expand the knowledge about effective practices. Each session is approximately 90 minutes in length and generally occurs about every two weeks.
When we look at the graphic there, that gives you another representation of what that process looks like and how it flows. As you can see, there's one of the do pieces done in your own setting. Here are just some other process highlights that we want to talk about.
So, first of all, "who?" Each TLC group has a trained facilitator. Generally, they have a bachelor's degree, which then meets the requirements for the Head Start Program Performance Standards for intensive coaching. And there are usually somewhere between six to eight education staff that are the participants in the group. The "when" is that 90-minute long TLC session we just reviewed and occurs generally every two weeks for somewhere around six to eight months, or basically a program year. T
he "where" is determined by each setting, but we'd like it to be a regular location that is most convenient for the education staff that allows for protected and private discussions because, as we say in a TLC, "What happens in a TLC stays in a TLC." It's a very supportive, safe environment. The "what" piece is new content that's related to the effective practices of your unique setting. It's supportive of discussion, and it uses reflective video-watching, not only the one participant who brought a video, but also the KNOW piece generally contains some videos. When we talk about what makes TLCs effective, we talk about that safe environment. It's not evaluative. It is not intended to be part of the review of a person's work. It is totally supportive. It's a time to bring both successes and challenges. We learn from sharing both of these with our colleagues in our TLC group. The practices that will be part of the KNOW piece and part of the plans that participants make are linked to their own context. In other words, it matches their needs and in their setting, whether it's a group setting or a home visiting or socialization piece. The TLCs are designed to help us see the connection between those effective practices and the child outcomes.
It's important to understand the positive outcomes for children and families are the one thing we're supporting in TLCs. There's a big piece of constructive reflection in TLCs, both what participants do in their own setting after they have looked at their video, But, as well as what is shared in the group setting itself and feedback there. Where do we find those effective practices? There are a lot of different locations for them, depending upon the setting, whether it's a group setting or the home visiting practices. And while we know that many of you currently work with and are very familiar with the practices observed using the CLASS pre-K tool, we also want to share some other sources that focus on home visitors, as well as resources that kind of outline practices to support children's social and emotional development. There are many of them that can be drawn upon, and this slide just shows some of the examples that can be used. For instance, if you look at the Measuring the Quality of Caregivers-Child Interactions for Infants and Children – or Infants and Toddlers, sometimes called the QCCIIT, that's a resource that focuses on practices for infant-toddler education staff. When we look at the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies, that has examples of effective practices that support teacher-parent relationships. The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children outlines effective practices that support social and emotional development, and then the DLLPA is a source for effective practices that support dual language learners. There are probably some others. As you all know, there's lots of resources on the ECLKC. There are the effective practice guides and some others that you can also look at for more information on this. And now we're going to turn it over to Melisa, who is going to have some more questions for you to participate with us in this.
Melisa Jaen: Thank you, Vicky. So, we want to take a moment and hear from you if you could share one positive effect you have seen due to all or all the pieces of the TLC process, which Vicky just reviewed with us, what would it be? If you can take a moment, think about your responses and use the Q&A feature to respond. So, what are some of the benefits, positive things you've experienced by having all the pieces of the TLC process in play? I'm going to start reading some of those responses that are coming through in the Q&A. There's a lag time there. I'll also be monitoring the chat just in case we get some of those responses in there. So again, if you can share one experience that has been positive for you, what would that be? Yes?
Joyce: Leticia says that, you know, just the positive relationship with staff and team both for children, something she just shared in the group chat.
Melisa: Thank you. We also see some responses coming in. So, "Intentional conversations and collaboration." "Relationship-building." Miriam is saying that. Barbara is saying, "Reflections of one's practice, interfaith environments." So, we have Brian, "Reflecting with peers." Anna is saying that, "Staff being open to growth." That is one definite positive. Hi, Nick, saying, "Collaborative and sharing experiences with colleagues." Definitely a positive experience. And Shanna saying, "Being able to" ... They're coming a little faster. "Being able to collaborate with one another and future-building our sense of school family." Joyce, do you see any that stand out for you in the chat?
Joyce: Yeah, I see just a lot of references about just building confidence. Like Crystal, she said, "More confidence in participants," and for her, it's been especially true with teacher assistants. Some of the common words and themes would just be, like, collaborative partnership-building, relationship-building, confidence, opportunities for reflection. Diana, she shared, "The staff meeting, open to growth."
Melisa: Yeah, I definitely see the same thing in the Q&A, a lot about relationship-building, that shared safe space, teamwork, a sense of community. Yeah, no, definitely have some great responses here. And so, yes, we do have, as we see from the chat, a lot of great benefits and positives when we have all the TLC processes in place. So with that, I will hand it over to Vicky who will share what it takes for the TLCs to be effective and successful. Vicky?
Vicky: Thanks, Melisa. I think one of the most important things is that the TLCs do require some planning from the team that's going to be doing them as well as those who are going to support a TLC. It's really important to the effectiveness of a TLC that there is a good, solid written plan. There are some other pieces that can kind of come into that on an ongoing basis. Reflecting on where your program was last year. What were the needs that were identified? What might be ongoing needs?
he second part is to set up a calendar. Most programs have found it very helpful to set the calendar for at least half of the year, if not the full year. It's been found that if it's not calendared early on, somehow things can push it off, push it out, and we don't really get the effectiveness we want with that every-two-week-type piece. Another is, decide ahead of time, what is the big overall focus area that you want your TLC groups to be working on this year? And that requires a little bit of a look at data, and we're going to look at that, too, in a minute. But determining, what were the needs that staff identified themselves? What did you data-identify? What did you learn from last year? And then, of course, you want to be really solid in that first meeting.
Remember, the first three meetings of a TLC are introductory. It's kind of where you're going to be laying the groundwork for the rest of it, so making all the participants comfortable with that process, understanding that process, understanding their roles and your roles as a facilitator. And then last but not least is deciding, are you going to use some kind of a participant needs assessment? Whether you want to look at it at the beginning of the year, look at it on an ongoing basis, those are all some program decisions that need to be made prior to the start of a TLC. I'm sure all of you have some other ideas, and we will see if we can find some time to take a look at those to share because those of you who have been doing this for more than one year I'm sure have already addressed some of these issues.
Preparation for a TLC facilitator is critical. The more planning they can do, the more organizational pieces that they can put in place ahead of time is critical to them being able to be successful as a facilitator, as well as making those TLC groups run smoothly. The first piece is that video equipment. Everyone is expected to video every two weeks, so therefore, everyone must have access to a methodology for that. As you know, with the electronics that are out there now, there are lots of options for doing that, but each program needs to determine, what will work best for our participants in a TLC?
The second is preparing the forms that you're going to use. You'll find most of the forms in the first three sections of a TLC group. They can be planning forms, information forms, handouts you might want to give, as well as that needs assessment that we talked a little bit about before. The more you can preprint, the less you're going to have to do on an ongoing basis. Communicating with participants. Once you know who your participants are, beginning that communication and relationship-building with them, letting them know, when does the TLC start? Where are we meeting? All of that information can help pull everything together. Next, you want to talk about, what are those KNOW pieces going to be for your group? We talked about in terms of the planning piece, having some focus areas. What has the data shown to a program is needed. What have staff assessments shown their interests are? That helps a facilitator begin to have some plans for the KNOW topics that are going to be used in those groups, and therefore to locate the resources, make any copies that are necessary for those KNOW pieces as well. There's a lot of time-saving that needs to happen from the planning piece, as well as from the preparation piece in order that the facilitator can really have the ability to have the time to run the TLC group itself without feeling at all stressed about that. Scheduling. This is something we hear a lot that is critically important for so many reasons.
First of all, this is a 90-minute session. We want to start on time, and we want to end on time. That helps to honor the times of those participants who have agreed to participate in this. You need to start on time and end on time. How you keep the time is individualized to how you like to do that. You need to be aware of how much time you're going to need for the reflection piece, for an individual showing their own video and allowing for feedback.
In addition to that, each 90-minute session has a KNOW piece. You need to have a sense of how much time is going to be required to adequately allow for discussion, videos to be shown and those kinds of things. By having a calendar published early so that it's set for the first half or possibly the whole year if possible, it can really help you look out for scheduling conflicts ahead of time. It's very helpful for the participants, as well, so that they can make their plans to ensure they can be there, whether that requires a substitute for them to attend or whether it just requires scheduling and blocking that time off themselves. Y
You as a facilitator need to find some time and some methodology to be able to network with other facilitators to talk about successes and challenges. That can be within your own program, or it can be across programs. There are many opportunities to set up some online connections, and Joyce is going to share some of those with you at the end to help you see what the possibilities are to be able to network. It is so helpful to talk to other facilitators, especially, we think, in a mixed group like we have today where we have some pretty much brand-new ones and some who've been doing it for five years or more.
I also wanted to talk a little bit about the data. Data is very important to so much of what we do. The decision needs to be made up-front, what kind of data do you want to collect? What do you anticipate that data being able to show you? It can be attendance data. It can be goal-setting data. It can be goal-achieved data. It can be staff satisfaction surveys. Any of those kind of pieces of data can be directly gotten from a TLC. You can also use other data such as class, your child outcomes data. Any other quality measures that you are using can also help correlate what's going on in a TLC. It's important to have that data on an ongoing basis, so if you have some of that from last year, now is a good time to look at it in preparation for this year, but also reviewing it at mid-year to see if there are any mid- year courses that need to be corrected a little bit. Are there attendance challenges? Are there some problems with planning and executing and videoing?
Being aware of that at mid-year can help you figure out what support is needed and where so that by the end of the year, they will all have had a chance to be successful. When you look at your data at the end of the year, figuring out, did you get the answers to what you wanted? Did you capture data on what was important to you as a TLC facilitator, and did it support your programs? It also helps to identify where more support might be needed. That attendance data piece I think is a critical one to be able to figure out, are there patterns of missed attendance? Are there patterns where the attendance has been excellent? Can you identify what the challenges are for those participants who are having a hard time getting to the TLCs on a regular basis, because regularity is probably one of the most important things in order to have participants feel successful, setting those goals, writing those plans, videoing them and being successful at it. We know that success breeds success, but it's not going to happen if we can't have them there regularly. So, those are just some of the prep things that need to go on for planning and preparation, the data piece to think about ahead of time, as well as how to use it on an ongoing basis. So, now Melisa has just another way for you to help participate with us in looking at all of this.
Melisa: Thank you, Vicky. So, we want to hear from you. We want to take this opportunity to ask you to share one tip or trick that you have used in one of these areas – the planning, preparing, scheduling or with data – and also share one challenge that you have encountered in these areas as well. So, please enter the responses in the Q&A feature, either the tip, trick, or the challenge. Alright. I have some responses coming in.
Joyce: Hey, Melisa. While we're waiting for that, I was just ... We've had a few questions come in, and so we have a Q&A slide at the end that we're going to have time for some further discussion, but one question that came in was just asking, "What does TLC stand for?" And so, we definitely want to put that out there that TLC stands for, "Together, Learning, and Collaborating," and so we just shortened that into TLC.
Melisa: Thank you, Joyce. So, we have a response come through. We have Deborah, who's sharing her trick of meeting twice a month face-to-face. Leticia is sharing that she uses Outlook Calendar to set time and reminders to meet. Definitely another good tip. We have Crystal, who is sharing that she put ... Sorry, this kind of went down. Alright. She says ... I'm going to go ahead and go to Diane. She's ... These are going so fast, Joyce. Alright. So, let me try again. So, we have a response from Anna who says that she plans. She likes to ask teachers where they think – where they think they might need the most help. Crystal is sharing the challenge in finding the KNOW contents for the home visitors. And then, we have Jesse who's sharing the challenge in keeping and being able to have substitutes that he could use to pull teachers out. Definitely a lot of great responses. We have Anna who says she has time to plan, so that's a challenge. A tip from Mary, "Always be prepared ahead of time," definitely. As we had Vicky share, preparation is definitely key. Kim shared with us that the challenge she has is to get them to remember to video. So yes, I see a lot of that, those challenges from other participants having other folks video and share. So, we have a tip here from Kim that she's setting up monthly, face-to-face to share video for plan. Alright. So, I'm going to read a couple more and move on. "We have a piece on data. It's a great place to start," so that is Kelly who's sharing that – that is a tip where she usually starts. We have Mary. I think I already read that, "Always be prepared ahead of time." We have more responses in the chat box, but I wanted to let my other colleagues chime in to see if anything stood out for them that they'd like to highlight before we move on to the next slide.
Joyce: I felt several kind of things, that one of their challenges was just videoing. You know, staff are sometimes a little hesitant to be on video, and so I was just going to kind of see, Vicky, if in your experiences of supporting TLCs, have you seen any kinds of tips or things that have helped staff kind of embrace the camera?
Vicky: I think that is a worldwide one. I don't know of any of us that really like to be videoed and see ourselves on camera. There's nothing unique about that, but I think that for the most part, the programs I've supported find that for some people, it takes a little longer time, so there's a certain amount of that relationship-building that has to happen from others where they have the opportunity where their colleagues give feedback and how supportive it can be for them. So, if you've got eight people, hopefully you will have some who are willing to go first to allow those who are really seriously camera-shy, you know, to have some time and to hear how positive an experience that can be. Thank you for that, and I agree. It is definitely a kind of a universal issue. I know sometimes when I've seen more kids, just having them just kind of practice and just recording even, say, if whoever is supporting them, I guess, who's supporting that TLC facilitator and kind of coaching them in using the camera, maybe letting them kind of record you or letting, you know, being able to record or, you know, have the teacher kind of ... Or the teacher, the home visitor, the family child care provider, having them video you as a facilitator and then being able to delete it. You know, just kind of doing things like that might help to build some staff confidence.
And there was one I picked up on, and, Melisa, you started on it with Crystal. Crystal has a notebook system to help her stay organized and have everything prepared and in a place in a notebook to use. I've also heard of TLC facilitators who have, at the beginning of the year, prepared a small little binder for each of their participants to encourage the participants to keep their things organized, to keep their plan in there, the handouts that they've received and all of that, and that seems to have helped some of them really feel a part of the group when they've got everything in order and can find it easily.
Joyce: I love that idea. I think that's a great idea and, you know, kind of thinking again, when we're planning even before the TLC happens, that that something, kind of the notebook system, that's something to plan on, you know, getting those notebooks and, you know, what do we want to use? That's a part of kind of that PBC implementation teams conversation of, "These are the supplies and the resources we need." I love that idea.
Vicky: Suzanne also brought up a challenge she had regarding travel time. So, she's a TLC facilitator, but she facilitates groups at different schools, and I've heard this in different — different ways. I've heard this from one-on-one coaches as well, and having the ability to have everything ready at every place can be challenging when you're the one who has to do all the traveling. I had one program who has found that it's helpful that whosever site they are using for the TLC facilitator group, those people in that group kind of take a rotation, and they agree that the tables will be up. The chairs will be there. Whatever postings they use regularly, the site is responsible for doing some of that setup because when the TLC facilitator also has to travel, especially if it's a large distance, it really cuts into the facilitator's own setup and preparation time. So, don't hesitate to solicit some help from your group.
Joyce: I think that's a great one as well. Something else that I'm seeing kind of pop up in the responses here, Vicky, is the challenge being that – the challenge being just that you know, the participants not being there for their meeting — whether it's their individual meetings or not being able to attend their group meetings. Have you found anything to be kind of helpful with that as far as, you know, participants being available for their individual meetings?
Vicky: I think there's really two parts to that question, Joyce. One is, that I saw in a couple of them, is the issue of substitutes. If the facilitators' group is one that is meeting during regular class times, that requires a number of substitutes for all of those teachers. The teachers can call and ask for a substitute, but I think we have a world-wide shortage of those right now, and so the challenge then is, what is the barrier to those teachers getting there, to those home visitors getting there? If it's a substitute issue, that's much more of a management issue than those teachers or home visitors can deal with on their own. On the other hand, if there is some other barrier, whether it is not quite trusting enough in the group process, not seeing the value in it, I think probably the best way to address that is up front. In the materials for TLC and the facilitators side, there are some sample contracts that help clarify what the participants are agreeing to do: be at the meetings regularly, video regularly, plan regularly, those kinds of things. There's just something about having that in writing and signed off on up-front, lets everyone know those clear behavioral expectations that we have for these groups.
Joyce: Yeah, I think that — that's great. This kind of all comes back to those, you know, coaching agreements that kind of happen before any kind of coaching happens. I think that's great. And then Bethany, one thing that she mentioned is that using just weekly reminders and kind of like weekly RSVPs as well, so I think that's another kind of support.
Melisa: And, Joyce, I just noticed a comment from Crystal in the chat box where she seems to be juggling not only a TLC, but also individual coaching, as well as the learning community. I know we have some time at the end of the webinar to address the questions, but I don't know if this was something we'd like to kind of address, especially around the planning, right?
Joyce: Yes, definitely. And so, Vicky, any tips for Crystal, who's kind of juggling a few things with TLC and individual coaching and a community of practice or community of learners?
Vicky: Probably an administrative assistant would be helpful in a case like that. Unfortunately, I see that a lot where the hats are heavy, and they are all very time-constrained. In other words, the TLCs have to happen every two weeks. In between there, a TLC facilitator has to have regular meetings with a person showing their TLC. There's the one-on-one coaching piece. So, having a master calendar schedule for that person is absolutely a necessity and probably has to be published to a lot of people to ensure that anything else isn't added on to the plate. Time-management skills for someone who has that many roles is challenging, and unfortunately, it's something I see a lot in the field where they are trying to juggle a lot, and all it takes is one thing to get bumped in the middle of all that, and it's that best laid plans just went astray. Someone, Crystal, you're going to need a whole lot of planning time, if that was your question. I understand that, and again, I'd be looking for some ... Can some people help you? In other words, can someone in your TLC group print the handouts for you? Can any of those, just those small details that can be taken care of and taken off of your plate I think would also be helpful.
Joyce: Oh, and I love that, Vicky, because, too, I think that helps kind of to establish ownership within the group as well and, you know, kind of make it feel like, "Wow, I'm an active member and a participant in the group," and also it's really kind of building capacity within that TLC because from that TLC could come your next TLC facilitator. So, I think that's a really great idea, and I hope some of this is helpful to you, Crystal, and to our other facilitators or facilitators in training on the webinar with us today.
Melisa: Alright. So, thank you again for all of your responses. I just wanted to transition us into the next slide, which we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of those questions and challenges that you shared via MyPeers. We did post the survey a while back — I believe it was about three or four weeks ago — where we asked you several questions, and then we also had a recent, "Ask the Expert." So, what we heard on those surveys and the questions to our "Ask the Expert" and the responses that you all shared now is very similar, the challenges we see are definitely staff turnover, so working and starting with new staff, the distance between the different sites, the conflicting schedules, you know, finding time to meet with all the staff, and as we see, Crystal juggling different TLCs, as well as individual coaching, dedicated time set aside, and again thinking about that protected time to release teachers or any of the trainings that are scheduled, as well as coverage, so if the issue is a substitute, and then resources, you know, to meet the needs of the different teachers or coaching to home visitors, family child care providers, as well as infant and toddler or Head Start.
So again, these are some of those challenges that were shared, and again we want to thank you for sharing your responses, as well as for completing those surveys. Those surveys really help us to plan our TLCs, or not our TLCs, our webinars, and this one was specific to the TLCs. So, with that said, I do want to go ahead and transition this over to Joyce, who will share some of the resources to help you in that planning process of implementing your effective TLCs. Joyce?
Joyce: Thanks, Melisa. So yes, I want to just spend a few minutes talking about some of the resources. Some are familiar to you. Some might be new, depending on how you fit in your role, and then we want to address some of the questions that we had come up in the Q&A as well. And so, we wanted to kind of share some exciting news.
If you've attended a TLC facilitator training, again that's a Together Learning and Collaborating facilitator training, and that's the training that you really need before you start facilitating groups or as you're starting, and so similar to what we did with the Practice-Based Coaching Training Institute materials, we're posting those on the MyPeers space, and so you'll have PDFs of the PowerPoint slides and the handouts and all those great resources. We're going to post those in MyPeers with the resources for this webinar, so those will be up by tomorrow, and so you'll have access to that. So, we're really excited to be able to put that out there, and again, that's the videos. That's the posters, everything that, you know, you had, that you experienced during your TLC facilitator training, all of those materials, you'll have access to those just as a refresher.
Again, the intent of that isn't that it, you know, replaces the training, but it's just to kind of support you in your role as a TLC facilitator. So, if you need somewhere to kind of pull the video that you looked at that looked at effective teaching practices, effective home visiting practices, if you need to pull a poster and don't have access to your materials, you can always jump on MyPeers. So, we're going to have those up by tomorrow. And then also the iPD PBC online modules, and so we're really excited about these. You know, since TLC is a delivery method of PBC, it is beneficial for program staff to really gain that introductory knowledge of Practice-Based coaching before implementing the TLC process. And so, the PBC online modules are now available, you know, via the Individualized Professional Development Portfolio, or the iPD on the ECLKC. So, the PBC online modules were designed to provide participants with an overview of PBC and its components, and so there are a total of five modules. One is kind of the intro to PBC. Then you go into that collaborative partnership, share goals and action planning, focused observation, and reflection and feedback. So, all the modules include downloadable resources, interactive quizzes. They're going to test your knowledge of PBC, as well as, you know, just kind of help to kind of firm up that foundation in PBC. You will have an online journal where you can make notes and answer reflection questions embedded within the course.
And the other thing that we're really excited is that you can also gain CEUs, so if that's something that is of interest to you, you can get your free CEUs there. You log into the ECLKC, and there's also a handout with the resources of this webinar and it gives you some details on how to access the iPD. So again, we encourage you to take a look at that, and then, you know, you will earn 0.5 CEUs upon completion of the course, so we're really excited about that being live now. And then we have the Head Start Coaching Companion that can be used to manage and reduce time needed for coaching, so that's another great resource. You need to provide feedback within video clips and emphasizes effective practices, greater coach/coachee kind of TLC facilitator/participant interaction within a coaching cycle. You can work with multiple coachees or TLC participants and can kind of have access to all parts of that coaching cycle. So, we're really excited about that as another resource as well.
And then the MyPeers community. So, MyPeers is another great resource for supporting you as a TLC facilitator. Again, talking about, you know, kind of building that community of support. And so, MyPeers is a great place to kind of find some of that virtual community and virtual support. So it's, you know, MyPeers again isn't a place for kind of confidential conversations or anything like that, but it is a place to kind of connect with others, share resources. You know, we have over 10,000 members, and, you know, among those, among our communities, we have that Practice-Based Coaching community that's there, so we encourage you to get connected there.
And those are just some of the few of the resources that we have available, and now that we're kind of coming to the end, I've taken my eyes off of the Q&A box for just a second, but I wanted to revisit some of the questions that we had come up. And Crystal asked, you know, "Who makes the strength in needs assessment? Is it the supervisor, the coach, or both?" And I would say it's probably going to be a combination of both. The needs assessment that ... And the needs assessment, again, is just a list of the specific practices that's going to be the focus of coaching or the focus of your TLC, and so that's going to be decided upon by your PBC implementation team, so who is a part of that conversation that's deciding what is our focus of coaching for this year? And so, that's why that you as a TLC facilitator may be a part of that conversation, or someone that represents you in your role should be a part of that conversation, so that — that should be established before you even go in to do a TLC that lists those best practices that are going to be the focus of coaching and the focus of your TLC.
Vicky: Joyce, if I remember correctly ... Joyce: Yes, Vicky?
Vicky: If I remember correctly, there are some sample needs assessments that can help start that conversation in the facilitation guide as well.
Joyce: Yes, and thank you for mentioning that. In the materials, in the facilitation guides, there are sample needs assessments that you can use, and we encourage you to, if you want to take a look at those samples, again, they're samples because from there, you and your PBC implementation team would decide which of those practices are we going to focus in on with our TLC? So, thank you for bringing that up, Vicky. And then, Vicky, there's a question from Christine. She said, "I'm just learning about the timing. I've been told that a semester time period is a good model and effective for my program." But she's wanting to know about how long a TLC should last.
Vicky: Well, the answer I always give when I'm training facilitators is, "For the rest of your life."
TLCs, in my personal estimation, but there's also data supporting this, are one of the most cost- effective, time-effective, time-efficient methods for providing support to our teachers. So, I have encouraged programs to keep them going as long as you have people that are willing to come to them. The impact is not just on the KNOW piece. I have programs who have research showing the impact on teacher turnover because teachers now feel valued. They feel that they are being really supported in a collaborative, non-evaluative arena. The positives are so high. I sincerely — all the programs I support, I say, "It's the rest of your life. Just keep going."
Joyce: You bet. And I'll kind of just add on to that, I would say it's kind of dependent on the number of practices that you're focusing on, and, two, it depends on kind of your — what your year looks like, right, because we have some programs that, you know, their year is nine weeks, and we have some programs that they go year-round. So, I think that, too, is another question for your PBC implementation team as far as, what does our coaching year look like, and kind of what does that cycle look like for us, too? And then we have just a few more minutes, and another question came in from Crystal. "So, does everyone record ... So, everyone records every week. Does everyone share their videos during their TLC?" And I'm assuming it's every week? So, Crystal is wanting to know, does everyone share their video every week? Vicky?
Vicky: No, it's ... One, it's collected, volunteered, voluntold, however it works best in your group. That overall goal is that throughout the course, whether it's a semester or yearlong TLC, everyone will have an opportunity to show a video several times, but only one person shows their video to the entire group, and that person who's showing their video is the one that the TLC facilitator needs to meet with ahead of time to help them kind of select the portion of their video they want to show. What kind of feedback do they want? Is there something in particular they want to hear from their participants? Just making that people feel at ease for how that process will go when they show their video, but it's only one shows per TLC session.
Joyce: OK. Thank you for that, Vicky. And then just a couple of ... One question from Gui was just, "What's the difference between a PLC and a TLC?" And I can take that one real quick, probably. I have a feeling PLC is that peer learning community, and I'll just say that a peer learning community can be a lot of different things, depending on the parameters that you set. TLC is kind of a very specific process, and it's a very specific delivery format of Practice-Based Coaching that adheres to kind of those PBC components, and TLC also has kind of a very specific process and kind of way that things kind of go during the session. So, that's why we said materials will have session guides and outlines on, you know, kind of the timing for the meetings and those kind of things. So, I hope that was helpful. I don't know if there's anything else you wanted to add to that, Vicky, about the differences?
Vicky: No, I wholeheartedly agree. That's the main difference I see.
Joyce: Yeah, and both are great. Like, again, this is the peer learning community. Both are great, and both kind of have very specific, you know, kind of purpose, each kind of looking at, what is our purpose? Are we using TLCs to kind of meet the Head Start Performance Standard requirement around providing intensive coaching, or are we using PLCs as another form of professional development? Those kind of things. And then just one quick question. Someone asked me, "How long do we have to keep data?" And assuming that this is related to TLC, and I would just say that that's dependent on your program's kind of policies and procedures on, you know, what has your program deemed, you know, kind of as best practice there? And then, let's see. I don't know if ...
Melisa: Joyce, we may have time for one more question or comment. Vicky, you have anything?
Vicky: Just on the data piece, Joyce, I think primarily it is what the program determines how long they want to have it, but when we're talking about looking for patterns and trends in data to be able to support making changes and improvements to a process such as TLC, best practice is, you need three years of data to really know if you have a trend.
Joyce: OK, great — great point there, Vicky, and just real quick, I think Tony N. in the chat box just said, "Are TLC participants supposed to complete a contract?" And we definitely encourage that, you know, everyone that's involved with Practice-Based Coaching, that they have that coaching agreement or coaching contract between their facilitator and, you know, themselves as a TLC participant. We definitely do encourage that. So, anything else about that, Vicky?
Vicky: Not that I can think of, Joyce.
Joyce: OK. This has been just a really great time. Thank you for joining us today, Vicky, and I think with that, we are going to — we are going to bring our time together to a close. Thank you so much.Close
Together Learning and Collaborating (TLC) groups provide education staff with the opportunity to learn from each other in a safe, caring, and responsive environment. In this session, coaches can explore the components and process of setting up TLC groups. Learn about the common questions and challenges TLC facilitators face. Discover resources to support you as a coach.