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Worth the Investment

Melanie Quinn finds it is worth taking time for community building in schools and classrooms, because the practice pays dividends all year long.

Hindsight: What I Wish I’d Known Before My School Burned Down

Melanie Quinn shares lessons from the fire that burned down her school.

Loops and Blended Classrooms: Practical Tips to Start the School Year

It can feel like “old home week” when you have students returning to your classroom for a second year. But blending and looping both present their own special challenges during the first days of school. Melanie Quinn has advice for getting the year off to a good start.

I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Have you ever had a teacher enthusiastically embrace a new “magic bullet” instructional program that includes scripted or rote elements that concern you? Melanie Quinn considers this sticky situation instructional coaches sometimes find themselves in, and comes up with some starting points for conversations with colleagues.

Supporting New Teachers and Appreciating Their Gifts

Melanie Quinn thinks through the two common "phases" of early career teachers, and creates a checklist of guidance they will need from literacy leaders.

Trying to Coach Without the Budget in Mind

Melanie Quinn makes a somewhat surprising discovery in the midst of the budget cutting season.  The best way to justify her literacy coaching position is to do less – but do everything extraordinarily well.

Keeping It Real for Students: Never Underestimate the Power of Reflection

Melanie Quinn consoles a teacher who is recovering from a disastrous lesson captured on video, and shows the power of a "do-over" for both teachers and students.

Best Practices All Day Long: Balancing Personal and Professional Success

If you’ve ever experienced that disequilibrium of feeling completely organized in your professional life, and hopelessly scattered during your personal time, you’ll enjoy¬†Melanie Quinn’s reflective essay.

The Power of Linking Words and Perceptions

Melanie Quinn relays a powerful practice for staff members to reframe language and perceptions while putting common labels for students in a whole new light.

From Teacher to Coach: Building Community in the Early Days

The transition from teacher to coach is tricky. Melanie Quinn has advice for building relationships with colleagues in the first weeks of school.

Coaching Beyond the Curriculum: Reframing Our Talk and Attitude Toward Difficult Students

What role should literacy coaches have in helping teachers manage unruly students? Melanie Quinn settles into a morning of poring over assessment data, only to have it interrupted by a child who has been disrupting his class. Her interactions with Darren and his teacher lead to strategies for helping colleagues take an inquiry stance with challenging children.

What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About . . .?

Ruth Shagoury and Melanie Quinn asked their colleagues to share the “most beautiful thing” about the puzzling student each of them is looking at closely in their study group. This is a great activity you’re looking for a quick and easy icebreaker to spark some positive energy in your next study group or staff meeting, and remind everyone of the joys of our profession.

New Teacher Conversations: Breaking Through Roadblocks and Sustaining Support

The roadblocks activity can easily be adapted for study groups looking at almost any topic.

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