Neighborhood Networking

TxDHH Learning Bites 2/12/18


Learning happens anytime we reflect on something we have experienced. That experience could be a formal professional development workshop we have participated in, or it could be a quote we heard or read, a video we watched, or book we read.

The TxDHH Learning Bites addresses a topic relevant to deaf educators by providing resources in various sized bites! Whether you have 1, 5, or 15 minutes, or you choose to dig much deeper, you will find resources to help make an impact on you and your students.

For more information, check out our Video!

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Why this topic?

Collaborating with one's professional peers is important; however, the true impact of this process occurs not when teachers simply plan together, but when they truly learn with and from each other. Impactful collaboration happens when teachers observe each other in action. Then ideas are shared, teaching strategies are dissected, outcomes are analyzed, and participants have the opportunity to reflect on teaching and learning with each other in order to modify, redesign, and improve.

“When teachers work together with their colleagues to look at student learning data, use it to determine student learning needs, and then determine their own learning needs based on what students need, they design programs that really help improve instruction. That’s social capital at its finest.”

Killough, Laurel. “Research Shows Teacher Collaboration Helps Raise Student Achievement.”BlogCEA, Connecticut Education Association, 30 Sept. 2011,

How will this work?

Below are four different learning opportunities on the weekly topic, each requiring a different level of time commitment and involving different types of materials. Think about how you prefer to learn and how much time you want to commit. Then choose one (or more) of the activities or articles below.

If you prefer a topic other than the weekly topic, we have included Mental Health Musings, Terp Topics, and Learning Tech Bytes for you to consider.

When you complete your PD, follow the directions at the bottom of the Learning Bites Smore to apply for your Continuing Professional Education credits.

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Just a Minute PD

Read the quote below. What does it mean to you? Think about what it says as you answer the reflection questions below.

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Prefer to Read a Blog?

Improving Teaching through Classroom Observation

"This study examines the possibility of adopting action research-Iesson observation as an alternative approach to traditional appraisal lesson observation for improving the quality and effectiveness of teaching. It explores and tests the appropriateness of such an approach by inviting 20% of the teacher population to participate in two rounds of lesson observation and follow-up measures, such as: self-reflection, exchange of professional ideas and walk-through observations."

~Read more~

Want to dig deeper?

Dive into this book: Building Teachers' Capacity for Success

by Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral

"Educators know that teachers are a school's most essential strength. In Building Teachers' Capacity for Success, authors Pete Hall (winner of the 2004 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award) and Alisa Simeral offer a straightforward plan to help site-based administrators and instructional coaches collaborate to bring out the best in every teacher, build a stronger and more cohesive staff, and achieve greater academic success. Their model of Strength-Based School Improvement is an alternative to a negative, deficit-approach focused on fixing what's wrong. Instead, they show school leaders how to achieve their goals by working together to maximize what's right.

"Filled with clear, proven strategies and organized around two easy-to-use tools--the innovative Continuum of Self-Reflection and a feedback-focused walk-through model--this book offers a differentiated approach to coaching and supervision centered on identifying and nurturing teachers' individual strengths and helping them reach new levels of professional success and satisfaction. Here, you'll find front-line advice from the authors, one a principal and the other an instructional coach, on just what to look for, do, and say in order to start seeing positive results right now."

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Mental Health Musings

Authentic collaboration requires trust, and trust must be earned. As you strive to authentically collaborate, think about how you build trust when you show appreciation for your professional peers.

  • How do you show appreciation for those with which you work?
  • How do you prefer for others to show their appreciation of you?

Discover your personal love language by taking the Five Love Languages Quiz, and then share the results as a team, department, or collaborative group. Learning about each other is an important part of building trusting relationships.

BONUS: Happy Valentine's Day! You can share this quiz with your significant other and your family, too! Enjoy!

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Finding Interpreter Resources - Padlet

Click on the image below to access the Padlet where you can read and post some ideas to share with other interpreters about finding resources. To add to the padlet wall, simply click the small pink circle in the lower right corner.
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Are you looking for a web-based tool to help facilitate meaningful collaboration?

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What does this look like in action for me?

For any learning experience, our learning is equal to our effort. In order for us to grow from our learning, we need to take the time to pause and reflect. How does our new learning fit in to what we already know and do?

Each of you reading this has a different role, with different responsibilities. Think about what you learned today through the lens of your particular role, as well as your personal and professional learning needs. This is an important part of the learning process!

Take the time to think about a new idea you learned, a new approach you want to try, or a new skill you have acquired. Consider how to put your new insights, skills, and abilities to work! That's where the real learning happens.

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Texas Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

Susie Tiggs, State Lead DHH Services

Anne Darr, ESC Region 11 DHH Services

Twyla Loftin, Texas DHH Services

Danielle Battle, Sensory Impairment Services Birth to Three

Miriam Ackerman, DHH Services Technician