David Pittman

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David Pittman has been in education for 10 years, mainly as a fourth-grade teacher and curriculum writer.  He is currently an instructional coach for an elementary school in the suburbs of Chicago.

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Brain Dumps for Clarity in Coaching

Too much email, too much paper, just too much. David Pittman finds “brain dumps” are a useful tool for helping teachers sift through and clarify what’s important to work on with a literacy coach.

Portfolios for the Coached

This is an idea you’ll want to try if you’re a literacy coach. David Pittman creates simple and elegant portfolios with the teachers he coaches of their work together, documenting plans, milestones, and final reflections.

Integrating PD into the School Calendar

Nothing takes the wind out of a coach’s sails more than flat PD sessions. David Pittman realizes the problem sometimes isn’t what is offered, but when it is provided. He works to create a calendar for the year that reflects the ebb and flow of teachers’ stress levels.

Equitable Coaching

David Pittman is asked about the needs of primary teachers in a leadership team meeting. He suddenly realizes he has spent more time with intermediate teachers. This experience sets him on a quest to be more equitable with his coaching time.

Understand, Uncover, and Undertake

David Pittman works with a teacher who is overwhelmed by all the notebooks, forms, calendars, and notes she is taking to document and assess student progress. He helps the teacher streamline and organize a new system tailored to her needs and strengths.

Reframing Data Discussions

David Pittman humorously conveys the dread he experiences when he is assigned to lead an inservice session focused on data. He then finds creative ways to reframe the discussion.

Analyzing Student Work: Beginning with Strengths

David Pittman coaches a fifth-grade teacher to look beyond the sea of grammar and spelling errors in student work, and instead start with strengths to analyze where to go next in instruction.

Pick a Poem

David Pittman delights in a student’s enthusiasm for poetry, leading him to reflect on how teachers often need to overcome their own negative history with poems to spark student love of the genre.


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