Hi Everyone and welcome to COETAIL! Tara and I are excited to learn with and from you throughout your COETAIL journey. Tara and I were actually in the first COETAIL online cohort (2012-2013) and were beginning our own COETAIL experience about this time 9 years ago! As Tara has shared, “COETAIL is an ongoing, sustainable, fantastic journey of learning, inspiration, and reflection. You take what you’re learning and make it relevant to your context so that you can have a greater impact on your students and our profession.”
Tara, a “Third Culture Kid” (TCK) herself, began her teaching career in Phoenix, Arizona before moving into international education where she has spent 20+ years in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Taiwan serving in numerous roles. Currently, she serves as the Head of School of Riffa Views International School and she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Education for Social Justice through the University of San Diego.
I’ve had over 20 years of experience as a teacher, mentor, and coach in the United States, Japan, China, and Qatar. After nine amazing years teaching abroad, I have returned to Denver, Colorado. In addition to facilitating COETAIL, I am also the Academy mentor for The Coach microcredential (Eduro Learning) and an ed tech consultant for the ESL & Dual Language department at Jeffco Public Schools in metro Denver.
The COETAIL community is a truly global one and we encourage you to get active in conversations with your Online 13 cohort. Twitter is an amazing tool for educators to connect and share, and it’s a big part of how we can stay connected with each other. The #COETAIL hashtag is very active, and a great addition to any of the posts you are sharing. Some of you have shared your Twitter handles on the Online 13 blog list. If you are not familiar with or active on Twitter, we’ll be exploring ‘getting connected’ in Week 1 of Course 1. My Twitter handle is @dianabeabout and Tara’s is @tarawaudby and I’ve started a Twitter list for Online 13 if you’d like to follow it.
COETAIL courses are organized by weeks so it’s important to start working out a routine that works for you. As you are finishing up the orientation course you have had the opportunity to build an understanding of the schedule, requirements, and tools at your disposal. Once COETAIL officially gets underway your typical week will likely include:
- Checking your RSS Reader
- Checking in with the My Courses tab to see if something is new.
- Completing the weekly readings.
- Writing a weekly blog post & completing any assignments
- Interactions or sharing via Twitter (not mandatory but definitely helps in building community connections).
- Writing a weekly comment on another cohort members blog post.
- At least one that you’ll record on the spreadsheet, but the more you engage with each other the stronger the experience becomes.
- Documenting your work on your Grading Spreadsheet (links to the blog post and comment) for assessment and feedback.
A few thoughts about writing blog posts…
During each course, you will be asked to submit weekly blog posts based on your readings and/or assignments. If you’re new to blogging don’t worry. It will get easier. Try to find your own voice and style as you write. Remember, in most cases, the writing prompts are suggested topics for getting you started. You don’t have to respond exactly to the prompt. If you have an idea or connection that came to you based on the week’s readings, go for it. This is about you and your learning experience!
As your COETAIL instructors, our role is to support and guide you through this learning experience through feedback, assessment and communication. We will assess your assignments including your blog posts, comments, and projects.We will also assign a final grade and leave formative and summative feedback. The majority of the feedback will take place on your grading spreadsheet. If you ever have questions about assessments and/or feedback on your Grade Sheet, please feel free to let us know – you can e-mail us or even leave a comment on your gradesheet, whatever you feel comfortable with.
We will communicate frequently with you regarding anything that will affect the course via emails and our cohort blog. We will also let you know when we will be unavailable for timely responses (i.e. when we are at a conference, on break).
Our Cohort Blog
We’ll post here at least once a week with highlights from your posts, thoughts on the coming week and any tips or instructions you might need. We’re really looking forward to reading your blog posts and hearing your perspectives on the course content. As COETAIL graduates, We are also looking forward to seeing how each of you experiences growth both personally and in your practice during this journey.
You’ve been receiving a lot of information in preparation for COETAIL and the focus for this week is getting oriented, organized, and connected. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support you throughout this journey and help make this a meaningful experience
This is going to be a fantastic learning adventure for us all! Let’s get started!