Amy Kines, founder of Ready Aim Teach, wasn’t satisfied with simply knowing that attendees liked her professional learning workshops; she wanted to know what came after. Were teachers implementing their new practices? With KickUp’s help, she set out to determine what impact her interventions had weeks after the workshop.
As the founder of Ready Aim Teach, a professional learning organization, Amy Kines provides workshops, staff developments and coaching to educators, drawing from over 20 years of experience as a teacher, staff development practitioner, and instructional specialist.
Prior to working with KickUp, Amy gathered feedback at the end of her workshops, but found she wasn’t getting the data she needed. She knew people left feeling inspired, but she didn’t know how it actually looked back in the classroom.
“At the end of the workshop immediately following the learning people are excited so you get the feel good data,” Amy said. “Everyone’s hugging you and saying it was the best workshop ever but you want to know what happens after they go back to their classrooms.”
Amy wanted to know specifically:
Amy started by collecting information about teacher instructional practices and student outcomes to give herself a baseline, planning to collect similar information at the end of the workshop and 5-7 weeks post-workshop.
Having the post-workshop questions in mind helped Amy as she finalized the workshops, and she was able to tailor her workshop to the specific needs of her participants.
“Knowing the questions you are going to ask ahead of time makes you design your workshops with that end result in mind – it’s such a model for instruction that we ask our teachers to use,” Amy said.
Two of Amy’s most popular sessions are Dynamic Teaching and Proactive Teaching, which focus on setting up teachers with implementable strategies to ensure all students are engaged and comfortable in the classroom. Drawing from Guskey’s 5 levels of professional learning evaluation, we were able to delve past participant learning and get information on participant use of new knowledge and skills as well as student learning outcomes.
Amy gathered a follow up data collection 5-7 weeks later after teachers had the chance to implement strategies in their classrooms (post-workshop).
Amy was able to demonstrate clear differences in student outcomes pre and post workshop, as well as capture if teachers had implemented the practices and what exactly they had implemented. Teachers reported increased success in every area; for example, teachers reported that student enthusiasm increased by 40% from pre to post workshop. For districts who have continued interactions with specific teachers, KickUp suggests also following up with walkthroughs to get a more detailed picture of what is happening at the classroom level post-workshop.
“This allowed us to get the honest data – what truly worked and what didn’t,” Amy said. “You get the reality of the teaching versus what you want to hear, and that’s what we really want.”
To learn more about Amy and her organization, visit readyaimteach.com.