In a time when lives are showcased on highlight reels of social media, Gwen Blumberg reminds us of the importance of highlighting ordinary moments as worthy writing topics. She offers common topics and extraordinary mentor texts to help capture the ordinary, and beautiful, writing topics.
Helping students tune into each other is both an anchor for building classrooms where caring is common, and where, as a result, learning blooms. Suzy Kaback gives suggestions for creating conditions where students can get to know each other more throughout the school year.
Ruth Ayres is reminded by her own coach of the importance of doing things that make us come alive. Instructional coaches have the opportunity of helping others find the things that make them come alive.
David Pittman addresses the unintended messages coaches send when they are too eager to help. David offers practical suggestions to ensure coaching validates and encourages rather than disempowers teachers.
Joanne Emery lets poetry be her guide when writing reflective notes to teachers after spending time in their classrooms. This creative kind of feedback softens hearts and opens doors for conversations.
Stella Villalba works with teachers to create classrooms that nurture and develop students’ identities. With this in mind, she leads teachers in building units that celebrate and affirm students while also meeting the expectations of standards. Included is a list of resources.
Learning in communities, about communities, and from communities is the driving force behind Stella Villalba’s commitment to continually expand her knowledge of many cultures. In this article, Stella curates multimodal ways to expand your own experience and understanding.
David Pittman led a divided staff in determining a list of classroom instructional agreements. Rather than becoming contentious, the committee found consensus through connection and understanding. David shares the process for establishing common ground and respect for colleagues while completing the task.
Lisa Mazinas offers a variety of “viewing lenses” for coaches to use when working alongside teachers. She shares practical advice as well as a variety of possibilities to help instructional coaches tailor their feedback in specific and useful ways.
Stella Villalba suggests that we consider how to continue creating spaces where learning is co-created with a community. She encourages instructional leaders to share the ways they are learning (and unlearning) ideas for stronger literacy practices.
Stella Villalba reclaims what it means for students to flourish by crafting a guidepost and action steps as a path to overcoming the deficit mentality that is too often part of conversations about learning.