70 - Teacher Support Jobs with Becky Keene from i2e
Teacher Support Roles with Becky Keene from I2E

70 – Teacher Support Jobs with Becky Keene from i2e

TeacherCareerCoach

In this episode, I talk to Becky Keene, the Director of Operations at insight2execution, an education consultancy based in Redmond, Washington all about teacher support jobs. Becky works with a team of managers to deliver content for worldwide edtech companies. In this interview, we focus on how teachers can leverage their passion for helping other teachers to become instructional coaches. 

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Teacher Support Jobs with Becky Keene from i2e

Daphne Gomez:
Hey Becky, thank you so much for joining us here today.

Becky Keene:
Thanks Daphne, I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for the invitation

Daphne Gomez:
Becky, you and I worked in somewhat of, not colleagues by in the same realm of education. I’ve had a professional relationship with you. But I wanted to start off just asking if you could share with the audience a brief overview of your history working in education and what it is that you’re doing now.

Becky’s History in Education

Becky Keene:
Oh, sure, I’d love to. So I started my career in public education 20 years ago with Kent School District, which is a school system just South of Seattle, Washington in the United States. I’ve taught elementary, which is ages 7 to 8 all the way through ages 13 and 14 with middle school.

Moving into Teacher Support Jobs

And then moved into a instructional coach and program specialist role helping oversee our ed tech initiatives as a school system. So I was responsible for training and professional development, curriculum alignment, meeting with apps and partners and helping understand how their product might be best for our students.

Then I started doing some consulting work and speaking, you can think about a rock and a puddle. And then my circle just kept growing.

Now I’ve gotten to work with schools and educators and systems all around the world. I’ve spoken on four continents physically, which is super fun and not something we’ve been doing lately. So it’s nice to look back on those experiences. My very favorite thing is to connect with educators around the world and help them reach their potential and helping their students achieve great things.

Creating a Professional Development Network

Daphne Gomez:
I know that I have messaged you this on LinkedIn before, but you are one of the first former teachers I was exposed to except for my direct cohort of colleagues. And I actually had my former colleague Mallory Mack on the show, she’s episode 28 for anyone who wants to hear where she ended up going on to. But I remember us watching videos with you in it.

And I talked to her and I said, “Wow, that’s a former teacher, and she’s almost in charge of creating all of these learning resources. She’s the head of this professional development network.” It was impressive, and it was something that inspired me to continue to grow in my own career. And you were one of those first exposures that I had to someone who continued to grow and continued to expand their reach beyond the classroom. And I’m just so grateful that you came on to share this story.

Working in Education & Teacher Support Roles

Daphne Gomez:
I want to start with caveat of those of us who have worked in professional development training, educational consulting are a special breed. So if you are a teacher who is completely jaded with education, someone who does not want to have anything to do with the school system right now, this might not be the right podcast episode for you.

There are a lot of teachers who are thinking of actually leveraging their experience and they want to get more out of the classroom and working more with adults and becoming a tech TOSA, becoming an instructional coach. If these are opportunities at your school district or neighboring school districts, this might be a great option for you for a little bit of change. But if you still want that stability of working within a school system and you still want to impact educators. So I’d love to hear a little bit more about your experience directly as working as a teacher on special assignment and coaching others.

Becky’s Experience Supporting Teachers

Becky Keene:
Oh, I loved it. I did that role for nine years. And it’s such a special position to be in because you’ve left a classroom, your babies if you teach young ones. You had your space, your zone, you had full control over your little domain. And then moving into a place where you are now a guest in other teachers’ classrooms. You have to be invited in and you have to be welcomed in. You have the challenge of providing really great resources and ideas that meet a teacher where they are. Whether they’re looking for a big challenge, something completely disruptive and exciting. Or maybe they’re just looking to tweak something. Or maybe they’re looking to comply with a new curriculum or a new adoption and they want a painless as possible path to get there.

And so that discovery, that figuring out what is most needed is exciting to me. I love the challenge of working with an individual educator or whole schools of educators. And really putting thoughtfulness and empathy into what is going to work best in this scenario.

Do you miss being in the classroom?

People ask me often as they ask all educators who’ve left the classroom room, do you miss it? And for some people, the answer is yes. For me, my answer has always been:

I love kids, I love teaching, I love education, but now my impact circle is wider. And I’m proud of that, and it’s fulfilling in a different way. So it’s something that anyone on that career journey should reflect on. You no longer get to say I taught this child to read or I taught this child to explore their creative side. But you get to say I’ve reached 30 or 50 or hundreds of educators this year, and they helped instill the level of learning in kids.

Teacher Support Roles with Becky Keene from I2E

Transitioning from Working with Children to Working with Adults

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. I think that there is a lot to be said about even just the change in the shift from loving working with students but needing a change. And realizing that you love collaborating with adults and working with adults even more. And I know that that’s a hard distinction to make because all of us went into education because we love children, we love education.

But that was something that I quickly realized after I left the classroom was I actually crave collaboration that I was missing at my own school site. I was craving being around people that inspired me to push myself and learn new things. And I craved having people to bounce ideas off of, that’s where I was really able to shine. So I think that people who are listening to this who may be struggling with that decision might be leaning more towards what can I do working with other teachers.

Staying up-to-date with Educational Trends

I think this takes someone who loves to stay up to date with education trends. You have to flexible and constantly learning and growing. For me, I loved Project Based Learning. And I am not staying up to date with education trends as much as I should, but it’s just not something I’m focusing on when it comes to pedagogy right now.

But the assumption that I would make is if I was an instructional coach, that might be off the table for the next few months. They’re more focused on how do we make the next few months sustainable and meet the students where the needs are at and then taking out some of the extra resources that are engaging and help but might be putting more on a teacher’s plate to learn those types of strategies this year. Do you see any other characteristics that a great instructional coach would bring to the table besides just someone who stays up with education trends?

Teacher Support Jobs: Tech TOSA Roles

Becky Keene:
Oh, yes. So a coach, an instructional coach, a TOSA, they’re called lots of different things is a guide, an encourager, a problem solver, a listener in addition to being a good collaborator. And one of the things that I think is most surprising to the many TOSAs that I’ve had conversations with over the years is that you are there to be instructional. You’re there because you love pedagogy, you love teaching.

But when you walk into a classroom or a building and their printer is not working, or their projector light bulb went out, or any myriad of technical problems, you are first and foremost a fix-it-person. And an educator who is in a state of crisis and making a thousands decisions at once and managing a classroom with something that’s not working needs you to be the emergency person. I’ve heard other TOSAs say, “Oh, I just tell them to put in a ticket or I say, oh, that’s not what I’m here for, I’m here to help you with learning.”

Removing Obstacles in Order to Better Support Learning

But if that obstacle can’t be passed, that fire can’t be put out, then you don’t have an environment that’s conducive to coaching and learning. So as much as I didn’t want to be the fix-it-person in the room, I always came in to a space with an attitude of helpfulness. What can I do for you? What can I do to make your life simpler right now?

Because sometimes the teacher needs to get that out of the way before they can even think about instructional. So someone who has a shockingly technical aptitude is really important in my experience. Someone who is very, very willing to listen first and talk second, not listening to ourselves. So often in a TOSA rule, we are called upon to be upfront and to lead professional development and guest speak at PLCs and those types of things.

But really listening to your educators and your community that you’re serving, they’re your customers is the number one most important thing. And then I said before, being able to problem solve, being able to talk through a situation with someone and coach them to a solution is really, really important. So it’s a lot of interpersonal skills with this core underlying. Technical is important, they need to know that they can trust you to help them solve their technical problems as well.

Supporting Teacher Initiatives on the District Level

Daphne Gomez:
Oh, wow, you gave such a great answer to that. I think that that is a frustration in many people are just looking, many teachers especially are just looking at the district who is the person that I can ask for help. They’re not trying to put their burdens on someone else, but they are just struggling and they don’t know the who’s who’s of who’s actually in charge of this or how is this going to get fixed? And I don’t have time to learn it.

Having the empathy to if I know I can fix it, I’m going to fix it instead of putting an additional road block in because once I fix this thing, then we can start working together. Then we can start actually making the change that I’m here to make.

I absolutely love your answer with that. I think it also probably comes with a level of understanding of how to, if at any time, negotiate with the districts or superintendents if there are certain curriculum initiatives that you’d like to adjust.

If you need a little bit of support, maybe the teachers are all working together and they really want a certain type of curriculum to be able to be implemented, but they have a very strict policy. And I know that this is district to district how that works. Did you ever find yourself having to have those types of conversations or negotiate as a Tech TOSA?

Becky Keene:
Yes. In fact, you just really dwelled on a really important point that I was talking about the, I’ll call it outward facing. When you work at the district office, they, you’re “they” in the district office and you’re going out to schools, that’s one skillset we just talked about.

Skills of a Tech TOSA

But the second skillset you just mentioned is working in the environment of the district office. So I was called upon, and I was very incredibly fortunate in my career to have people ask me to be an advocate. That was part of my role was to go to meetings at the district office and say what I felt would be in the best interest of teachers and kids. And I was asked to present to the school board and to the IT department and to the instructional services C-level team what do you think is best?

I had to be able to be ready to give a pitch with data, with solid reasoning, with a cost associated with it. I had to write executive briefings, all of those things that are very business oriented. Manage projects, run feedback cycles, all of these things.

When I brought a tool in that I thought would be useful, especially if it had a cost associated with it or a privacy agreement or a data sharing agreement, I had to be ready to support that with evidence, try it out in a small pilot, come back and report how it went. It’s project management.

In a school system that’s using their TOSAs well, I will say, they are covering a wide, a wide range of skills. And being able to talk to district leaders with confidence and a small level of authority, that your opinion matters, and that’s why you have this job is really important.

Advocating for Teachers & Students

Becky Keene:
I know many, many TOSAs who are up against brick walls, but they’re constantly advocating for what they think is best for teachers and kids. And they’re constantly setting up those meetings and raising their hand, they’re not always the one being called on.

I was in an environment that was extremely supportive of my role and welcomed that input and sought it out. But not everyone’s in that position. So knowing how to advocate in a really professional and politically savvy manner in our school systems is really important.

Amplifying Teachers’ Voices

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I think that so many people listening are probably… It’s easy to feel discouraged. With the things that have happened in the last two years, it’s easy to stay in a negative mindset. And I struggle with seeing the silver lining in some of the situations that I have heard about at schools with all the people that I’ve talked to.

However, this is I feel like the teacher’s prime time to actually have their voices heard because the districts are in a position where they need to start listening. And they’re understanding that people are leaving. If there is a change that’s going to happen, I am very hopeful that the next few years is when that big change is going to happen.

So being able to mobilize and advocate. If you can get a large amount of teachers to say that they want something and have an advocate, someone who is able to have these conversations, able to actually articulate it, articulate the pros and the cons, and if there’s a cost associated with it and bring it to the table. I think districts are more willing to listen now than they ever have been.

Understanding the Changing Needs of Teachers & Students

Becky Keene:
I think so too. And we’re noticing that so many teachers are now pushing back on add-ons, on one more thing being asked of them because they’re at capacity. As tech TOSAs, instructional leaders, we don’t ever want to come into a setting and say, “Actually, we could be doing more.” But frequently. It’s about looking at the big picture and being able to understand maybe there’s a separate solution here that would reduce teacher workload or improve parent communication or add efficiency to grading. What are the things that we are seeing?

And to get that information, that means that the TOSA role needs to be a good networker. They need to be given the opportunity by their school systems to go to conferences, whether it’s in-person or virtual to be doing professional learning. They should be on Twitter and LinkedIn and understanding what’s coming, what’s next? What are the things that I can be looking for to then advocate for those things? We don’t know what we don’t know.

Teacher Support Jobs: Educational Consulting

Daphne Gomez:
I 100% agree. I’d like to talk a little bit more about your role even outside of the school district because you then went on to … During the time you were a tech TOSA, I believe you were an educational consultant at that time. Is that correct?

Becky Keene:
That is correct.

Daphne Gomez:
Can we talk a little bit about what that looked like? Because there are different types of educational consultants. It’s a very vague title where I was an educational consultant, but I was a salaried position for a fortune 500 company. And then there are educational consultants, the majority of them are freelancers who either create their own PD or work with companies like i2e and present professional development. So where did you land in the realm of educational consulting?

Becky’s Transition into Educational Consulting

Becky Keene:
Well, I’ve been probably in every category you just checked on. I was a site admin for our LMS with my school system. A neighboring school system had met with me to learn about how we set up our LMS and what are some things at the server level and what vendor are we using and all of that. At the end of the meeting, someone said to me, well, could you come do that for us as a consultant?

At the time, I was not working a full-time schedule because I had just had my first child. And I thought, oh, I do kind of have a little extra time in the week if I wanted to do that. I got a business license and got on their books. And so I started getting you paid to do work outside of my own school system.

Establishing Yourself as an Expert

I kind of stumbled into that opportunity, but I also had established myself in the space as an expert and then reached out to neighboring school systems. So there’s opportunity and there’s also – go get ready to knock on doors. So kind of a mix of that.

And then I started speaking, well, I had been speaking at conferences about the work that we were doing and one-to-one and project based learning, and what does it look like to really do education differently? And so I had built a network outside of my school district of people who then started to say thing like, “Hey, do you want to come teach at our regional center? We’re looking for instructors.”

Finding Job Opportunities in Teacher Support

Becky Keene:
I’m a big fan of saying yes to things, not to an overwhelming level, but it’s okay to try something new, say yes. So I go, “Oh yeah, I’m open to that.” And I would try it out, and that went really well. Then I met more people and so on. And so it just kind of grew. Again, the pebble in a puddle where as I met more people and got exposed to more opportunities and said yes to the ones that felt like a great fit, I then got to do more and more.

Eventually Kim West who is the CEO at i2e where I work, she and I had worked together at Kent School District, so we’d known each other for a long time. But she had gone on to another district and then founded the EDU side of i2e. And she just kind of said to me, “Hey, you want to come work together and see what we can do with education and with the partners that have in our network?”

Teaching Support Jobs: Working with Insight2Execution (i2e)

Becky Keene:
That was really exciting. So I joined i2e as a consultant first, which we now staff 30 to 40 of those around the United States and internationally as well. And then came on staff six years ago. So now I do that all the time. I still have my own business because I still get asked to go keynote things and do different events. And sometimes I put them through my own business and sometimes I put them through i2e. It just depends on what it is and what the contract looks like. And then we did the book, which is kind of my own thing. So it’s been a journey.

And I would say I get reach-outs a lot for people to come work for us at i2e, which is a huge compliment. But there are also people in my community like me who have their own side hustle, side gig. When they meet people that say, “Oh, you were great at that presentation.” People just need to have faith in themselves because my response usually is, “I’d love to come share with you.”

Teacher Support Jobs: Freelancing

I think people sometimes don’t realize you can offer, you can offer that. I had a couple people recently ask for my slides, and I said, “Well, invite me to come speak, and you can have them.” Just that mentality of I’m worth it, you are worth it. So be willing to have those opportunities, but also open yourself up to them by saying, “I’d love to come speak with you, did you know I do that?” That kind of self-advocacy is really important.

Daphne Gomez:
We have a past episode all about freelancing and about mindset that comes with freelancing. And I also struggled with the imposter syndrome. Even the component of putting a price to anything that you do especially as a former teacher is very, very challenging because we’re used to just volunteering our time until we have no time for ourselves or our family.

And then when you start to see how other sustainable business models work, you realize I have to have some sort of return on this time investment. And a lot of times it does have a price associated with it. If I am going to research something for three months to develop a presentation on it and someone wants to learn from this presentation, there is a cost associated with having me come and present it and then walk everyone through it. And I know that is a challenge. What types of other types of tasks do you find yourself doing as a director of operations now that you’ve worked yourself up to this title?

Becky’s Job Responsibilities as Director of Operations at i2e

Becky Keene:
Yes. So I like to tease, the title sounds incredibly boring I think, but it doesn’t bother me at all because this is what I do. I oversee our people, projects, and processes at i2e. Kim now oversees our growth strategy, and I manage all the daily business. I write a lot of contracts, I review a lot of contracts, I approve a lot of things.

Our team, we’re a small team, a very nimble team. We do a lot of work with some very large ed tech companies. And we do that because we communicate, and we’re efficient. So people run things by me. I’m a quick decision maker by nature, and so I trust our team to put in lots of thought and energy and research. And then when they come to me with A or B, it’s very quick for me to be able to say, “Okay, A, I like it,” because they’re not going to give me bad options.

I do a lot of client meetings, a lot of making sure our clients are thrilled with our work. Which is why we have so many return customers because they love what we do because we pay a lot of attention to making sure that that is the case. So I get to work with people all over the world, which is very fun and try to understand what they want to achieve.

Thoughtful Staffing & Delegation

One of my favorite things in what I do now is staffing. And I know that probably sounds, again, very boring, very HR. But I love to listen to our clients, understand what their goals are for a particular project or service and then pair exactly the right people in our team or in our network.

I’ve been absolutely known for, with our clients saying, people go, “Oh, do you have someone for X, equity, accessibility, pedagogy, projects?” And I always say mm-hmm (affirmative). The answer will always be yes because if I don’t already have exactly the right person, I will go find exactly the right person for you. That’s part of the joy for me is making sure that I pair the right people with the right things.

And a lot of our consultants are so energized. This goes to your point, Daphne, so energized by the work they do for us because it’s different, it’s really rewarding, it gets published broadly. It feels like there is a different purpose than their day job, and that’s really fun too. A lot of our consultants will comment that working with us is a highlight of their year, their month, their week. Because it’s different and it’s rewarding, and it’s highly collaborative. And the products we put out we hope are beautiful and reach educators. Mostly our audience is educators.

Building a Team with i2e

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah, there was a lot of buzz about working for you. Not to be a fan girl for you. But there were multiple times where I thought, do I have the bandwidth to apply to this company? And I never actually did, so we don’t have the awkward conversation right now if I applied.

Becky Keene:
I always tell people we’re always hiring and never hiring all at the same time. I’ve never had to put out a we need you, but I’m always open. I keep a little folder of people who have sent their resume or things because you never know when that perfect fit is going to happen. And that’s really fun. And we do try to take really good care of our team.

Daphne Gomez:
Yes. Everyone who works for you, I know many people personally that have worked for you, and they all have great things to say about it. I know they probably share the same passion for education that you do, but I want to hear it from you.

Teacher Support Jobs: Becky’s Passion for Staying in Education

Daphne Gomez:
You clearly have so many talents that could go to any industry at this point. From a directors of operations standpoint, you could be moving to the head of learning and development departments at any companies. There’s project management, there’s so many components of what you are doing that you could leverage in any industry. Why you so passionate about staying in education?

Becky Keene:
Oh, because it matters. It matters more than all the other things. First of all, I love the job and I love what I do and the people, and that’s a huge draw. I have children and a lot of people I know have children, there are millions of children in this world. Who all deserve a great education and a great experience. And we’re not there yet, we’re so far away.

Working to Create a Positive Impact in Education

Even though both of my children have, I will say, only had excellent public school experiences. We are so fortunate to have these amazing teachers who just pour into them and their classmates. But there is so much work to be done. The school district I live in adopted a math curriculum this year for elementary. In a post pandemic, we’re barely holding it together, what were they thinking? And I’ve been outspoken about that, what are you doing?

But there’s so much work to be done. And I think that being a part of that for me is … I enjoy that ripple effect. I was at FETC last week, and I enjoy that people come up to me at the conference and say, “Oh, I just did your 21st century learning design series, and I changed the way I teach unit six because of it.” That’s why I stay because it’s the most impactful thing we can do for future generations is to help their education experience be the best it can be.

Daphne Gomez:
I remember feeling the same way as an educational consultant. I had the same types of aha moments with teachers that I saw with my students. And it was very intrinsically motivating. I still get that with this podcast when I teach teachers about different careers and I start to see them have these aha moments of, oh, this is a possibility for me or that’s a possibility for me. But really when I was in a classroom doing the professional development for teachers, seeing their eyes light up and say, “I just realized something I could be doing easier.” Or, “I just realized something that I could be doing that would be a little bit more impactful.”

Teacher Support Jobs: Educating Teachers on Game Based Learning

Daphne Gomez:
And having an impact on education was really important to me. I know that there are so many people who are listening who feel that exact same way of I cannot leave this industry. I cannot leave this mission. But I do need a change, I do need something that’s different. And maybe it is working with teachers instead of necessarily in the classroom themselves, they might be working at a district level. Going to your favorite types of pedagogy, I know that you are the game-centered authority to talk to, the game-based learning. Tell me a little bit about why you are so passionate about game-based learning.

Becky Keene:
Well, so this is such a fun conversation for me because I don’t identify as a gamer. I think that’s really important to say at the outset because so many people in the gaming industry are all in, which is wonderful. I would rather have a book or a board game than a video game.

I’m 100% on board with gaming, however in education. And that comes from being around a community of people who welcomed me. Who showed me the way. I went to things at conferences, I watched it in my own kids. I volunteered in my kids’ school, I ran a Minecraft club. I’ve done things to set me up to understand the power. And that was a professional growth moment for me. It’s why I got my master’s degree in literacy not ed tech because I was like, “I need to grow in this area, I need to grow as a literacy teacher.” So that’s what I pursued.

Casting a Positive Light on Gaming & Game-based Learning

The last, well, it’s been about seven years, which is crazy, I’ve been targetly focused pursuing… Targetly is not a word, but I’m going to pretend it is. Pursuing game-based learning as a pedagogy. And I’m all in, it’s engaging. It does more to allow our students to demonstrate their understanding than a lot of other mediums. It should be an option on the table when we give kids those choice menus, and we say, oh, write an essay, write a song, make a poster. Build it in Minecraft or build in an Age of Empires or show me what it looks like in your game of choice should be an option. ESports is a massively trending topic right now, as it should be.

I’ve gotten to be more and more involved in eSports, we are offering eSports support packages now. I’ve been in the eSports community for a while. And those types of experiences if you read a book like Reality Is Broken by Jane McGonigal helps us understand that games give humans an experience that they crave that they cannot get in reality.

That’s why we use books, that’s why people surf Pinterest for their dream home. So playing a game while many of us, I will say “us,” view that as a time waster or too much screen time or it’s violent or it’s this zombie brain. Those unfortunate side effects would’ve been happening in another medium because those are side effects of any character.

Integrating Game-based Learning into Education

Becky Keene:
The games themselves can be used in such a positive light in a way that we don’t have in any other capacity. I think it’s one of our toolkits, I think kids should still be writing essays and publishing books because I’m a literacy person. I think they should be designing posters, but they should also be involved in digital gaming. And there’s so much more to it, I’ll just soapbox for a half a second longer. And I was at fault, if I was to go back to teaching, the list of things I would do differently. This is one of the things on it, I wouldn’t give homework, I wouldn’t take away recess. I was like, “I’ve learned something in 20 years.”

But one of the things I would do if I got to go back full-time is I would use games more intermittently for building experiences and for building knowledge. I’ve just learned a lot about the way a game that doesn’t seem to be instructional can be used in a very instructional way. Whether it’s executive function or content or 21st century skills. There’s just a lot more to it.

I love speaking about games because I feel and I’ve gotten great feedback that my story resonates with a lot of educators who aren’t necessarily gamers. But they want to see the value. And they want to help kids get more interested in their content. So it’s a perfect pathway.

Integrating eSports Programming

Daphne Gomez:
I agree. I will not go on too long of a tangent, but in my own experience of working in … No, I mean you are fine doing it. But with my own experience of working with school districts that were implementing eSports into their programs, I saw things that I was really surprised to learn about. About how they were actually doing creative things with the eSports team.

So for example, there was one school district that I was talking to that had someone who was a journalist just for eSports and someone who was video editing just for eSports. In addition to the eSports team, there were all these other little passion-based mission projects that students were doing. But because they were excited, maybe they weren’t the best ‘gamer’, but they were really excited about watching and using their own unique talents to have something to do with it in a way that if it was potentially something that they were not interested in, they may not have had that same engagement, that same passion for it.

Reflecting on Professional Development Opportunities

Daphne Gomez:
And I 100% agree with there are so many creative unique things that there are school districts that are doing right now. And it is hard to not look back at my own teaching and see where the gaps were in my knowledge. But that also comes with, not to point fingers at any specific school districts, but back to that coaching aspect of what were the coaches talking about, what were they teaching? What were they focused on at the districts that I was working at? What types of professional development were they really focused on having us do, and were these opportunities or resources available to us?

There are people who are making the shifts in helping reimagine what teaching and education can be like, and you are one of the people that came to mind when I wanted to have the discussion all about how there’s a change going on and a shift in making education fun again.

But also in a way that is empathetic towards teachers’ needs. And making sure that they’re not overwhelmed with learning too many new things. Making it forced or stressing them out – when they need maybe some different support at certain times of the year as well. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing this. Where can teachers who are excited about learning more, where would you recommend they go to learn a little bit more about what you are focused and passionate about?

Learning More about Teacher Support Jobs

Becky Keene:
Goodness, Twitter. I’m just going to be honest, educators should be on Twitter. It is the number one fastest, easiest way to get information about any instructional topic, concept, tool, PLN. Teachers reach out and will post one thing and they’ll get all these responses. There’s a lot of instructional coaching communities.

Tech TOSA Roles

There’s a hashtag TOSAChat that happens, and I’m blanking on when it is. But if you go to Twitter and you don’t know how to use Twitter, you just type in TOSAChat, all one word as a hashtag or a filter and that will come up. There’s just a lot of ways to engage with other people and get resources. It’s the number one place I go every day to get updates and information and things like that.

Instructional Coaching

And then I would also say there’s a lot of good information out there on how to be an instructional coach. ISTE has a whole set of coaching standards and curriculum that goes along with that or support networks that go along with that. And I think that’s something that is also good to take a look at, what would I really be doing as a coach? It’s different in every school district but those are a couple of places to start if you’re just thinking about it.

In Closing

The other thing I wanted to point out is that teachers need permission to do the new things or give up something old. And so often they don’t feel like they have permission from an administrator for whatever reason. Or from a school system level. And so the TOSA can also be a permission giver, I just want to throw that in. Someone who says, yes, oh, you could do that! And then if someone gets mad at you, you go, “Oh, Becky told you. Oh, Becky told me I could.” I’ll take the fall for that.

Daphne Gomez:
Well, thank you so much for coming on. This has been such a great interview and I just really appreciate you taking the time from your busy schedule to speak to us and to share all of this.

Becky Keene:
I so appreciate you having me. And thanks for asking and all the kind words that you said. It’s been a joy knowing you, and I love the work that you’re doing helping people. So it’s reaching many.

Daphne Gomez:
Thank you so much.

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