This blog post was written by Amanda Baskett, Director of the Rockdale Magnet School. She will be leading a session at the 2023 Professional Conference on Monday, November 13 at 11 a.m. on the topic of Adapting Agile Software Development Processes to Increase the Collaboration, Transparency, and Effectiveness of a School-based Instructional Support Team.

Hello, fellow educators and STEM enthusiasts! I’m excited to be presenting at the upcoming National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools Professional Conference, and I want to personally invite you to join my session titled “Adapting Agile Software Development Processes to Increase the Collaboration, Transparency, and Effectiveness of a School-based Instructional Support Team.” Ahead of our meeting, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what to expect during the session and why it’s a must-attend for anyone looking to enhance their school’s Instructional Support Team (IST).

What’s the Buzz About Agile in Education?

You might wonder why we’re talking about Agile Software Development and Scrum in an educational context. Well, Scrum and Agile methodologies have been our secret sauce for the last six years, helping us supercharge our IST’s effectiveness. In case you’re unfamiliar with Agile, it’s a project management framework designed to develop, deliver, and sustain products efficiently, even in complex environments. At its core, Scrum thrives on three pillars: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. And these principles can be a game-changer for your school’s IST.

The Agile Twist on IST Meetings

In our session, you’ll get hands-on experience with an adapted weekly Scrum meeting, which has been instrumental in our success at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology (RMSST). It is often said that there are two job descriptions in a school, those who teach and those who support teachers. IST at RMSST is everyone who is not a classroom teacher. During the Scrum meeting, each team member shares their top priorities for the week, identifies any challenges they’re facing, and explores opportunities for collaboration. It’s a dynamic, action-oriented approach that promotes teamwork, accountability, and quick problem-solving.

Experience Agile in Action

One of the highlights of this session is that you’ll get to experience a Scrum meeting firsthand. We believe that the best way to learn is by doing, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and participate actively. By the end of the session, you’ll not only understand the principles of Agile but also have a list of potential Agile tool applications that you can immediately apply to your own IST. While the presentation will mostly focus on its application with adults, we have also had success incorporating Agile into project based learning with students.

Why You Should Attend

Here’s why you shouldn’t miss this opportunity:

Transform Your IST: Agile methodologies have the power to revitalize your Instructional Support Team. They foster collaboration, streamline processes, and ensure that everyone is aligned toward a common goal.

Enhance Transparency: In an era where transparency is key, Agile principles promote openness and clear communication. Discover how we’ve leveraged these principles to keep everyone in the loop.

Empower Your Team: Agile empowers your team members to take ownership of their work, set priorities, and overcome challenges collectively. It’s a recipe for success that you can implement right away.

Adapt to Change: The educational landscape is constantly evolving. Agile equips you with the tools to adapt quickly and effectively to changing circumstances, ensuring that your IST stays on track.

Get Ready to Dive In

To get a head start or delve deeper into the Agile world, here are some additional resources: Educator’s Guide – A comprehensive introduction to Agile principles and practices in education – Learn more about Scrum, its framework, and its applications in various industries

Learn More in Phoenix This November!

I invite you to join me at the NCSSS Professional Conference for a dynamic and interactive session that will transform the way you think about Instructional Support Teams. You’ll leave with practical insights, tools, and a renewed sense of purpose for your team that supports teachers. I hope to meet you at the conference and learn more together!

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