Teacher Casebook Roundtable: A GCTE19 Reflection

Six of the original case writers for the Teacher Casebook interact during a roundtable at GCTE

The Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) annual conference once again re-energized and rejuvenated me as another spring semester begins. I love this conference for many reasons, but none more important to me than the conversations I have with fellow teachers outside of the school setting. The conference reminds me every year how much I take for granted teacher discourse across contexts and experiences, which is so valuable and energizing to my own practice.

This year Nick Thompson and I conducted a roundtable discussion with six of our original case writers for the Teacher Casebook project we launched just a few weeks ago. Inside the post is my reflection of the experience and what we hope are the next steps in the project.

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See You @ GCTE 2019!

If you’re in Brasstown Bald this weekend for the Georgia Council of Teachers of English annual conference, be sure to come find me.

I’ll be facilitating our first ever roundtable for the Teacher Casebook on Friday at 1:00PM.

Saturday, I will help facilitate the second year of “The Future is Now” roundtable where preservice teachers share their experiences and research during student-teaching.

I look forward to catching up with many and enjoying some much needed, personalized PD!

See You @ JoLLE 2019!

The University of Georgia is holding their annual Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JoLLE) this Saturday, and my co-creator and friend, Nick Thompson, will be presenting on The Teacher Casebook project.

Here’s our info on the session in case you are going to be there:

Breakout Sessions 1, Saturday, 9:35 – 10:25 am

The Case for Teacher Case Reports: Connecting Teacher Experiences to Teacher Research

Kyle Jones (Gwinnett County Public Schools) & Nick Thompson  (The University of Georgia)

Keywords: Teacher Case Report, Education Research, Teacher Writing, Professional Development

Abstract: Teachers can feel their experiences in classrooms and schools are isolated, unique, or disjointed from the experiences of others. Bringing educators’ stories and experiences into an open, public forum, this session introduces participants to teacher case report writing. These cases share teachers’ lived experiences in lesson planning, teaching, and relationships, couching these experiences in current education research. Participants will have an opportunity to write their own case and learn more about the ongoing project.

Introducing the Teacher Casebook

Today I get to let you in on a project that I have been working on with my friend Nick Thompson (The University of Gerogia) for the last several months. The project is the Teacher Casebook, a website that will act almost as an academic journal in the public sphere, inviting current classroom teachers to share their experiences through writing case reports to share with the world.

The project is inspired by the work Shulman and Colbert (1988) conducted in the late 80s/early 90s where student teachers and mentor teachers wrote case reports that reflected on their instructional practices and relationships in the schoolhouse. Their work, coupled with discussions with friends and family who are in professions outside of education, is our catalyst!

The Teacher Casebook seeks to build a repository of teachers’ stories that are concise, powerful narratives that are couched in current education research. The research component is what is most important about these case reports. Teachers discuss and even write about their experiences frequently, but how often do we look at those experiences through the lens of research and what the field says about our experiences. Consider the benefits of finding cases that speak to your own experiences–the realization you are not alone and there others concerned or experiencing the same or similar schoolhouse moments. Consider the benefit of seeing that there is research to speaks to those moments as well. Consider how case report writing and reading are similar to what professionals in the medical and law fields participate in writing and reading. Consider being able to read and digest this kind of writing in mere minutes!

Each case is limited to approximately 1,000 words and is identified as either an Instruction-Type Case (experiences related to lesson planning, classroom instruction, pedagogical moves) or Relationship-Type Case (experiences related to interactions with students, parents, colleagues, and communities at-large). Currently, there are only a few cases written and available, but the hope is to grow the collection and push beyond language arts teacher contributions, creating a public, digital space for educators to seek out and share experiences connected to one another.

If you want to take a look for yourself, here’s the web address:
https://teachercasebook.com

And here is a link directly to a case I wrote as an example:
https://www.teachercasebook.com/casebook/using-banksy-s-art-to-inspire-new-approaches-to-literacy-instruction

If you’re interested in writing a case and being part of the project, click here: https://www.teachercasebook.com/submission-guidelines

If you want to learn more about the project beyond the website, you have a chance to see me and Nick present the project at the JoLLE conference in Athens the first weekend of February as well as see a roundtable discussion with a few of our original case writers at GCTE in Brasstown Bald the second weekend of February.

I also invite you to tweet at me (@theprofjones) or email us at teachercasebook@gmail.com.

Please spread the word! If you know a teacher who would love this sort of opportunity, pass along the information and share, share, share! We are out to create another professional development opportunity empowered by teachers and the research that speaks to teaching experiences.

Shulman, J. H., Colbert, J. A., ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education, W. D., Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, S. C., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, E. O. (1988). The Intern Teacher Casebook.