• Allison Rodman

Ushering Learners to Growth

This is the second part of a five-part series focused specifically on professional learning facilitation. This week, we are going to look at what it means to welcome learners into our space. We're going to think about those synchronous engagements that we have, whether they be in virtual spaces or physical ones, and make sure that we are capitalizing upon learners' entry into the space.


So, the first thing that I want you to think about as a facilitator are the ways in which you are setting up the space itself. Whenever possible, we want to create an alternate world for our learners. It should not feel as though they're just jumping into another Zoom room or staff meeting or walking down the hall to a colleague's classroom to hang out. Instead, we want to use the space to make it truly feel like a gathering, something special, with a very clear intention and collaborative outcomes.


In that way, I want you thinking about not just setting up your own space as the facilitator at the front of the room with your technology, your manipulatives, and other tools that you have, but thinking about your learner spaces as well. How are you setting up the tables, the chairs, and possibly even the decorations and collaboration tools in a way that makes them feel truly engaged?


Second, I want to make sure that you are maximizing the threshold moment when your learners walk into the room. Beginnings are something special. They signal to our brains a departure from the space that we've been working in and help us move forward into something new. So, in that threshold moment, we want to ensure that it doesn't feel like we're just stepping from the hall into the classroom or clicking another Zoom link but instead feel truly welcome.


This could happen in the way that we greet our learners at the door or in the waiting room or in the activities and the mood we have created within that space upon their arrival.


But this week, I want you thinking about as you usher learners to growth, how you are creating that alternate world and also seizing those threshold moments so that we are making the most of each and every synchronous opportunity.


I can't wait to hear from you about some of the ways you are ushering learners in your spaces. Please share with me on social media @thelearningloop so that we can continue growing together.