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Let’s Upskill: How to Revive and Transform Instruction to Serve Today’s Learners

Jen Schwanke offers clear and practical steps teachers can take to modernize how to meet the needs of today’s students. Following these steps will help ward off the risk of being too comfortable in old routines.

How to Respond When Books and Curriculum Resources Are Challenged

Jen Schwanke addresses the fact that educators, books, and curriculum resources are under increased scrutiny. She offers practical and wise steps to take when resources are questioned by concerned stakeholders.

Combating Leadership Loneliness

Gwen Blumberg addresses the issue of loneliness in literacy leadership. She offers a variety of ways to create connections that will nurture and sustain leaders.

Slicing Up the Pie

Matt Renwick masterfully outlines a complexity of public education: We are constantly making decisions on behalf of our students, and they rarely fully meet every kid’s needs. Knowing these limits and keeping students at the center of decision making (as opposed to the loudest calls to action from parents) ensures a more equitable educational experience for all.

Coaching Minute: Keep the Focus on Students

Inga Omondi suggests keeping the focus on students in order to entice apprehensive teachers into a coaching relationship.

Coaching Minute: Navigating Tough Conversations

Instructional coach Holly Wenning shares advice for navigating tough conversations.

What Happens When Teachers Receive Conflicting Advice?

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills help navigate the tricky situation coaches can find themselves in when their advice to a new teacher may conflict with other voices. By emphasizing the value of different voices, we can empower educators to do the work that best aligns with their beliefs and suits their learners.

How to Let Go of Outdated Literacy Practices

Matt Renwick shares research, experience, and practical application to disrupt outdated literacy practices and make room for new ways of teaching and learning.

Coaching Minute: Listen Deeply

Instructional coach Staci Revere shares a key mantra to use when working with teachers, especially those who do not want to work with an instructional coach.

Offer a Mirror: How Coaches Empower Reflection

David Pittman unfolds a coaching process to provide teachers with a mirror so they can reflect deeply and discover their next instructional moves.

Have Coach, Will Travel

Stephanie Affinito is a traveling coach, with no office to call her own. She shares tips and tools for organizing and streamlining materials when you are constantly on the go between classrooms and schools.

Competitive Comparisons

Jen Schwanke explores the insecurities and fear that can set in when teachers tackle distance learning, as well as how to overcome them.

Remote Learning for Our Youngest Students

Jen Schwanke reflects on the challenges of helping our youngest learners with distance learning, and shares examples of how teachers she works with are meeting them.

Professional Renewal: Facilitating Change Within Ourselves

If we want others to change, we first have to be open to change within ourselves. But what does that look like, and how can we embrace the tension that change brings? Matt Renwick explores change from within for literacy leaders.

You Don’t Write? No Worries

“You don’t have to write to teach writers.” Cathy Mere finds is shocked when she hears a literacy coach make this statement. But the more she allows her conventional wisdom to be challenged, the more insight she has into helping teachers who don’t see themselves as writers.

Where Confidence Begins

Learning new things is sometimes hard, if only because it brings out our vulnerabilities and insecurities. This is particularly true for leaders, who are already supposed to know everything. Matt Renwick uses the experience of learning to build a fence to model learning for teachers.

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.

Rethinking Homework

Melanie Meehan explores research findings on homework, and provides a series of prompts for thinking through with teachers how to revise homework practices to be more relevant and helpful for students and families.

What Do We Mean by Coachable?

We think of teachers who are easy to persuade and work with as being the most “coachable.” Stephanie Affinito explains why the teachers who challenge us may teach literacy coaches more.

Field Notes: Stories and Courage

Ruth Ayres shares how a principal changed the literacy story of his school from failure to success by having the courage to cultivate “lone nut” leaders.

What Happens Next Is What Defines Us

Stephanie Affinito reminds us that we all face challenges and discouraging situations when guiding teachers. What happens next when you pause and reset defines who you are as a literacy coach.

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