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Coach spots an opportunity to collaborate, with powerful results

When ANet coach Annie Augustus began working with six of the 90/90 schools in Detroit at the beginning of the school year,  she saw six schools all working on similar instructional priorities. “The schools were facing the same challenges,” Annie recalls. “And they had many of the same goals, such as increasing the alignment of their math instruction to the demands of the standards.”

While continuing to work with each school, Annie deepened her collaboration with the district coaching and instructional team. “As our partnership grew, the whole team realized, ‘We can work on this together,’” she says.

She began by checking in with partners that supported schools in her caseload, then organized regular meetings that brought ANet coaches and the district team together. “Having a large content team was a big adjustment for the district,” Annie explains. “At first, each school tended to reach out to me independently, instead of talking to the team.”

As the year progressed, though, the team began to coordinate on a more system-wide level, working together to share experiences and tackle similar problems.

We can all benefit from talking about what works and what doesn’t.

“Everyone can see that the change was worth it,” says Annie. “We all benefit from talking about what works and what doesn’t.”

The change was evident during this spring’s network meeting. “Coaches were trading notes and resources across grade levels on work they were doing with their ANet coaches and district C&I directors,” Annie shares.  And the C&I directors led a showcase of their coaching work within the district—together.

“We’re making progress toward a truly collaborative system,” says Annie. “We’re seeing how powerful it is to work together on the same team.”

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