Mar 05 2024


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Dialog and Dignity: Creating Classroom Belonging with Touchstones®

Title: Dialog and Dignity: Creating Classroom Belonging with Touchstones®

Date: 3/5/2024
Time: 6-7pm
Location: Online
Presenter: Sharon Thomas
Registration: Click here

Collaborative discussion is a powerful tool to transform students’ individual and collective understandings and their interactions. In this session, participants will engage in a model discussion that uses a developmental approach to inclusive dialogue. In this model discussion, participants are in the role that students are in during Touchstones® discussions. They will learn strategies to build engagement and psychological safety and to overcome barriers to participation. With discussion evaluation tools, educators explore the role of self-reflection and group assessment in a classroom where all students are active learners, regardless of perceived ability or background.

Participants will 
· Discuss traditional (teacher-directed) versus shared-leadership (student-directed) discussions,
· Engage in a discussion where each person is learning to share leadership that advances the whole group, and 
· Self-reflect and collaboratively evaluate individual and collective efforts in the discussion.

Presenter Bio:
Sharon Thomas is a National Board Certified English teacher, instructional coach, student advocate, and writer. She earned a B.A. in English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and an M.Ed. in secondary education at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. A public high school teacher for nearly two decades, she is the founder of the Cecil County [Maryland] Teacher Leadership Network and has presented at conferences and supported schools and school districts across North America on the issues of instructional coaching, leadership support, teacher leadership, and secondary school literacy. Most recently, she was a Senior Consultant at the Instructional Coaching Group, where she co-authored two books involving supporting teachers and schools: The Instructional Playbook: The Missing Link for Translating Research into Practice (Knight, Hoffman, Harris, and Thomas, 2020) and Evaluating Instructional Coaching: People, Programs, and Partnership (Thomas, Knight, Harris, and Hoffman, 2022). She implemented Touchstones in my own classrooms for several years and witnessed its ability to transform class discussion and relationships.