In a recent webinar featuring Jaymie Baiza and Angel Van Horn, administrators at the Riverside County Office of Education, we gained valuable insights into the transformative role of video coaching in their K-12 teacher coaching and induction programs. The webinar shed light on the journey of Riverside County’s Center for Teacher Innovation as it implemented GoReact. The video + feedback platform supports new teachers and their coaches across the state. Here, we recap the key takeaways from this insightful discussion, but you can also watch the full webinar here.
Video technology has become a pivotal tool in helping teachers reflect on their practice. It allows them to identify areas for improvement, such as refining communication skills or ensuring that coaching conversations are candidate-driven.
“We use GoReact in induction as we support our coaches,” begins Baiza. “One of the ways that we do this is providing our coaches to self-reflect on their video. Using video really allows you to reflect on your own practice. You see yourself in a different lens or in a different light. You’ll notice maybe you’re using ‘ums’ too much when you’re talking with your candidate or maybe you notice that the conversation isn’t candidate driven, but more the coach is talking during the whole hour. Coaches won’t be able to see that unless they see that for themselves in video. So we do a self-reflection video. To do this, we ask our coaches to record one of their coaching conversations with their candidate and watch that entire hour-long video, and select a five- to seven-minute clip that really highlights that coaching skill that we went over during one of our coach sessions. For this particular activity, it was targeted feedback. Then we asked them to upload that clip into GoReact, and then self-reflect and use the markers in GoReact to identify the specific skills that we are looking for when you are providing feedback to your candidate.”
Video coaching transcends geographical boundaries, enabling support for teachers and candidates located in remote areas and even different countries. Van Horn emphasized the benefits of video coaching in gaining insights into diverse teaching environments, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges and contexts teachers face. “There are incredible benefits of using video first. The video really enables us to be able to have a teacher coach, a reflective coach, join a teacher’s classroom from anywhere. One of my favorite examples of that is when I had a teacher who was in Honduras, I was able to, through her iPad, effectively join her classroom for her observations. She also was able to take her iPad, take me on a walk around her neighborhood. I was able to see really the environment that she was living in and the different culture she was a part of. We can get a new perspective on what a classroom should look like from what it looks like in different countries. So the video really was a game changer for us and really was a turning point in being able to have online mentors,” shares Van Horn.
The Riverside County’s induction program not only focuses on candidates but also on preparing reflective coaches. Coaches are trained to facilitate conversations aimed at self-reflection, and video coaching plays a crucial role in this training.
“Video is a very powerful tool,” explains Baiza. “In a professional development session, even if you want to see exemplars or if you want to show a PD an opportunity, if you’re doing some sort of training, you can share that video with people who are attending your PD and use the markers to identify certain goals or use markers to identify whatever your training is about. There’s so much flexibility and opportunity to really engage in the tools that GoReact has to offer.”
Van Horn recalls one exchange with a coach who raised concerns about GoReact: “One of the coaches was concerned about losing that face-to-face experience, losing the people touch. But I don’t think that’s true at all. I think that GoReact gives them the opportunity to prepare for the conversation better so that you have a richer conversation. When we are meeting like this, the hard work’s been done; now we can just go through and have a conversation about what we wrote, what we saw. We’ve both looked at it. I think GoReact improves that element. I don’t think [virtual tools] detract from [the human relationships] at all, and the relationships are important obviously. The relationship is the core of mentoring, so I wouldn’t want any tool that detracts from that relationship.”
GoReact allows for the creation of personalized markers, making feedback sessions more effective. This includes providing contextual, actionable, and evidence-based feedback that fosters growth-oriented conversations.
“One particular training was on targeted feedback and there were three skills that we were looking at. Is your feedback contextual? Is there an actionable improvement at the end of it? And is it evidence-based?,” begins Van Horn. “We were able to make those markers in GoReact and then define them so that it was the same.
There’s also a graph in GoReact that I love where you can see where feedback was given during the entire video session and also how many markers were dropped. That’s really a good overall overview for the candidate and for us as CTI staff to see how our coaches are doing.”
Baiza adds, “We ask them to provide peer feedback with their coaches. So not only are they getting feedback with their self feedback, but they’re also getting feedback from their peers. To do this, we match up our coaches during our synchronous session of our trainings, we put them out in breakout rooms and pair them up, they exchange information, and then they upload a new video of a coaching conversation and they share that upload link directly with their coach, with their partner.”
Ensuring privacy is essential in an educational setting. The features in GoReact allow control over who can view the videos and feedback, creating a secure and confidential space for reflection. Van Horn mentioned, “A really huge benefit to GoReact is the privacy piece. We could have just uploaded videos to YouTube, but teachers are very apprehensive about putting their observations or classroom conversations with their candidates that are private and confidential in a YouTube-type platform. But I love that I’m able to confirm with my candidates like, ‘Hey coaches, make sure you tell them you’re the only one that can see this even though this course has 1,800 people in it.’ Not only the video can’t be seen, but neither can the feedback. That’s really important because that gives autonomy to the person who’s uploading it can choose who they want to share their video with and that’s super, super important. That really was a game changer for us.”
The Riverside County team praised the responsiveness and support received from the GoReact team. They highlighted the collaborative relationship and the software’s adaptability to their evolving needs. “I enjoy talking about our relationship with GoReact,” shares Baiza.
“I love that [our partnership has] come through word of mouth and people who were happy and satisfied with the support. We’re able to contact you, and we’re able to check in with you. If I have questions, it really is a quick response back. We’re always able to get all of our questions answered. You really helped brainstorm with us, come up with some solutions that’ll help us run our program better, and then even future thinking of collaborating with our LMS and having that opportunity to really connect. We’re really looking forward to all the future plans we have with GoReact as well,” adds Baiza.
The webinar discussion revealed the broader applicability of video coaching beyond induction programs. Video technology has the potential to significantly impact professional development and ongoing teacher training. Teachers, not just in formal induction programs but throughout their careers, can leverage video technology for continuous reflection and growth.
The collaboration between Riverside County’s educators and the GoReact team exemplifies the transformative power of video technology in teaching practices, reflective coaching, and educational growth. The success of their program has shown that video coaching can be a game changer for teacher support and development.
If you’re interested in exploring the full discussion and learning more about how Riverside County Office of Education transformed K-12 teacher coaching with the help of GoReact, watch the full webinar. The insights Baiza and Van Horn shared can be a valuable resource for educators and administrators seeking to enhance teacher coaching and support in K-12 education.