facilitating professional learning for educators in face to face, virtual, and hybrid contexts
crafting and disseminating high-quality, open source curriculum and assessment tools
consulting with administrators and teachers to develop professional learning plans
coaching educators regarding best practices in literacy instruction and assessment
advising educators on current and emerging literacy trends
developing and coordinating statewide participatory research between educators and higher education institutions
For more details, click on the services below.
Not sure where to head next with professional learning for your school or district? The Oakland Schools Literacy Team consults with schools and districts to the support immediate demands of a short term project, as well as to shape, inform, and strategize plans for the longer term. We draw on content expertise and experience to tailor our support to the needs of districts and buildings.
Here are some examples of how we can help:
- Review district/school wide data and current practices to determine area/s of need
- Plan and implement new professional learning based on areas of need
- Develop district/school wide implementation of new curricula or resources
Oakland Schools Consultant Coaching
When requested, consultants from the Literacy Team will support educators’ growth by working in an instructional coaching capacity. Coaching is a growth and empowerment model built on a positive coaching relationship, clear expectations between the coach and coachee, and focused conversations. During coaching sessions, consultants are also able to demonstrate pedagogical moves and provide additional support. If you would like explore the possibility of working with an Oakland Schools consultant in a coaching relationship, please contact a member of the Literacy Team.
Coaching for MiExcel Schools
The Oakland Schools Literacy Team also provides coordination and support for contracted coaching services in schools part of the MiExcel Statewide System of Support. This work is carried out in partnership with consultants from Oakland Schools’ School Quality Department. Educators who serve as contracted coaches are required to complete the Coaching 101 course offered at the state level. Our consultants then help coaches interface with school personnel and plan and carry out their work.
Coaching Training for Educators
Oakland Schools works to develop coaching and leadership capacity among educators across the county. Our coaching approach is based on the Ontological Coaching Model. Les Howard, the literacy consultant who conducts the Oakland Schools Coaching Program, trained under Julio Olalla. Olalla established the Newfield Network and is one of the creators of Ontological Coaching.
A fundamental concept of this model of coaching is that of the “observer.” What we observe indicates what is possible for us. More specifically, we observe and interpret with our body, behavior (moods and emotions), and language. Helping people see and understand what they are observing and its implications opens them to other possibilities. Oakland Schools’ Ontological coaches work with teachers to help them notice what they are observing about themselves as educators and support them as they deepen their understanding of teaching and learning.
Participants in the Oakland Schools Coaching Program learn what coaching is and how it differs from similar supports, such as mentoring and consultancy. The program covers
- coaching relationships,
- coaching sessions,
- coaching conversations,
- and provides strategies and skills that coaches can use when appropriate.
There is no cost for Oakland County educators to participate the Oakland Schools’ Coaching program. If you would like to know more, please contact Les Howard.
Interested in on-site or embedded professional learning?
Consultants from the Oakland Schools Literacy Team are available:
- to facilitate workshops for educators in Oakland County during district provided professional development days, department meetings, and staff meetings. We will work with you to design an experience that best meets the needs of the teachers. Ideally, these workshops will not stand alone, but will serve as part of an ongoing series and process to address a problem of practice or resource implementation effort in your school or district.
- to design and facilitate lab classroom experiences, visit PLCs, and facilitate instructional problem solving. We will work with administrators and teachers to design an experience that best meets the staff’s needs.
To learn more about our consultants and the kinds of experiences they can facilitate for your building or district, Meet the Team.
Interested in on-site professional learning for your special education staff?
Our special education consultants are available to work with special education teachers who supplement core instruction or teach in a self-contained classroom. These workshops and problem-solving conversations can address literacy interventions for students who need more specialized instruction to be successful readers and writers in the classroom. This work can also address literacy instruction for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Oakland County school districts can request professional learning from the Oakland Schools Special Education Professional Learning Unit by clicking here:
Once we determine that we have the resources to fill your request, a confirmation email will be sent to the district Special Education Director. All further planning will occur between the OS staff assigned and the district contact person listed in your electronic request.