Partner Spotlight: KIPP Spirit Academy



KIPP Spirit College Preparatory Academy serves 411 fifth through eighth graders in south Houston. The KIPP Houston Public Schools network has been using video enhanced professional development for a while now, finding new ways to make teaching public and share bests practices across campuses. Melodie Blackwood, a member of the team at KIPP Spirit, took the time to answer a few questions about her Sibme experience.


Melodie first used Sibme because it was required but, “after seeing it’s power…I used it very often in my [observations] to show not tell.” Ms. Blackwood feels that one of the benefits of Sibme is the ability to provide differentiated support for teachers based on their needs. For struggling teachers, “I use [Sibme] to show a model or show the actual focus of our development and see the improvement when I do follow-ups.” Melodie feels this use model is also helpful for new teachers. “For master teachers, it’s easy to highlight things they should keep doing and look for additional opportunities to enhance the learning.”


Melodie’s advice to schools and districts looking to get started? “Record EVEREYTHING. Each moment can lend itself a teachable moment, so don’t wait for the scheduled recordings, just go for it and pull what you need. You can’t review what you didn’t record, but you can easily delete what you didn’t need.”


Melodie “absolutely” sees results from her use of video-enhanced professional development. “Though my teachers are still uncomfortable with recording [themselves], they will often find it very helpful to see what I am trying to pinpoint, as opposed to trying to recollect or retell [what was observed.]”


We asked Melodie what some of her favorite features in Sibme were. She shared a couple:

  1. We have created folders to categorize the types of videos recorded.
  2. I enjoy being able to pull up videos from any device as well as put in notes throughout the recording.


Melodie Blackwood is one of hundreds of school leaders, coaches, and teachers using Sibme in the KIPP network. We’re grateful to the thoughtful educators at KIPP, who work constantly to improve teaching and learning for the students and families they serve throughout Houston.



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