Photo: jnadine9, Instagram.
I recently sat down with a group of teachers who just finished their Institute experience in the Delta. What caught my attention was how fondly they reflected on the relationships they had built with their CMA.
The bags under their eyes seemed to disappear as they enthusiastically rattled off details from their “personal and purposeful” content sessions, the virtually “instantaneous feedback” they received on their lesson plans, and the cumulative hours and hours of “meaningful conversations rooted in who we were becoming as teachers.” It’s not the case for everyone, but the role a good CMA plays in our development throughout institute is undeniable.
But what happens once you’re out of institute? While we’ll all hopefully have an equally amazing relationship with our MTLDs, their support will be decisively different. Gone are the days of 24-7 lesson plan support, personal counseling, and daily in-class coaching. So what to do?
Quite simply: Find your surrogate CMA.
In addition to the ongoing support of your MTLD, having someone else to turn to in a pinch will be a tremendous asset. Perhaps there’s a particularly strong teacher who you worked with or observed. Perhaps there’s a group of teachers that you collaborated with during Institute or at Kickoff. Maybe you’ve met an experienced teacher at your school with whom you connect, or know of an administrator who you feel particularly supported by. Whoever it is, make them your surrogate CMA. Hound them (respectfully, of course), question them, collaborate, share, and reflect with them.
Below, I’ve outlined a few ideas to get you started.