Kim Cofino

Kim Cofino

Shifting Your School: Creating a Community of Empowered Teachers

All of our schools have exceptional teachers who are doing fantastic things in their classrooms! Many times only the grade level or department colleagues actually have a chance to benefit from their expertise, and those teachers may not even realize how much they have to share. For those who want to create a more collaborative learning community where teachers feel empowered to make change, share learning, and continue to grow professionally, it may be hard to know where to start.

This session will focus on building an empowered learning community in your school that can elevate conversations, shift pedagogy, influence future directions for your school, and take risks in a safe environment. Based on strategies implemented at Yokohama International School, Japan and International School Bangkok, Thailand, both teachers and coaches will walk away with lots of great ideas for creating a connected community of learners that can help influence teaching and learning at your school.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • understand the benefits of collaborating outside your department or grade level to bring sustainable change to your school.
  • review (and share your own!) examples of empowered leadership from the ground up from several international schools, including YIS, Japan and ISB, Thailand.
  • explore a range of strategies for creating connected learning communities including: Tech Pilots, SpeedGeeking, Labsites and networked professional development (both within and beyond your school).
  • reflect on the structure of your school and apply research on implementing change appropriate for your setting.
  • develop and share an action plan for bringing relevant ideas back to your school to implement on Monday.
Intended Audience

This extended session is best suited for:

  • classroom teachers who love learning with others and want to have access to collaborative professional development all year round.
  • tech or instructional coaches who would like to empower the learning leaders in their school.
  • PD coordinators or other administrators who are interested in strengthening their collaborative learning environment.
  • teachers or coaches looking for ways to connect with other colleagues to better understand what’s happening in your school community.
  • Basically, everyone!
About Kim

Originally from the US, Kim is an enthusiastic and innovative globally-minded educator. Kim has been teaching internationally since 2000, first in Munich, Germany, then in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, next at the International School Bangkok in Thailand, and currently at Yokohama International School in Japan.

An Apple Distinguished Educator, her work focuses on helping core subject teachers authentically embed current and emerging technologies in the classroom to create a global and collaborative learning environment. Her inquiry-based, constructivist approach to teaching utilizes project-based learning experiences developed using the Understanding by Design process combined with the MYP Technology Design Cycle.

As a Technology and Learning Coach, Kim collaborates with all community stakeholders to create an inclusive, open and involved learning environment. At YIS this includes developing and evolving the Connected Learning Community (1:1 program) which features a whole-school blogging platform (for students and teachers), regular parent sessions, empowered teacher leadership, and an integrated digital citizenship program.

Kim is a COETAIL co-founder and regularly consults with other international schools. Her work has been widely published in educational websites, journals and books. She is a member of the K12 Horizon Report Advisory Board (2008 – present) as well as a regular presenter and keynote speaker at conferences and professional development sessions worldwide. She occasionally blogs at Always Learning and you can find her on Twitter @mscofino.

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