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Where the Magic Happens

Suzy Kaback considers her own history as a learner and the needs of her teenage daughter as she mulls over the best ways to help the new teachers she leads take risks in their teaching.

Six Ways to Empower Teachers to Write

Is there anything riskier for teachers than writing and sharing your writing? Ruth Ayres has tips for helping teachers take this essential leap.

Defining Your Role as a Coach

Dana Murphy finds that coaching is a lot like marriage: it succeeds only when there is a lot of hard work, and actions mirror beliefs.

Meeting Debrief: Coaching Literacy Coaches

Heather Sisson and Amanda Adrian debrief after leading a professional development session for literacy coaches on the Pause Paraphrase Probe strategy.

Coaching Connections

Jennifer Vincent takes on a new role in a new school district. She develops trust with a plan for working with colleagues to set goals and reflect.

Coaching Tool: Evernote

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan describe how they use Evernote to enhance coaching collaboration and organize materials and assessments from professional development sessions.

Engaging Not Blaming: Increasing Parent Involvement

Melanie Quinn and her colleagues try some fresh approaches to tackling the dilemma of low participation in curriculum events for parents.

Master Class: Mentoring New Coaches

Memories are triggered as Jennifer Allen mentors a first-year literacy coach through the anxieties and failures of the first weeks in the role.

Becoming a Literacy Coach: Principles and Mission Statements

Brian Sepe thinks about what has influenced his coaching, and through that process develops a mission statement and a vision statement to guide his work.

Coaching Minute: Baggies

Melanie Meehan shares her bedraggled baggie—the essential tools she carries with her when she confers with students.

No Cutting Corners in Coaching

A home renovation project gets Kathy Provost thinking about what's essential in coaching well.

The Importance of Creating a Literacy Room (Instead of a Tiny Office)

Melanie Swider finds that her first task in moving from teaching to a coaching role at her school is to think through how she will organize and share resources with teachers. Scratch that—her very first task is convincing her principal that a large room needs to be set aside for professional development resources.

Coaching Minute: What’s in My Bag

Melanie Meehan opens her coaching bag to share her favorite on-the-go resources.

Autobiographical Listening

Jennifer Schwanke realizes too often that in attempting to connect with others, we shift the focus away from the person we're listening to. She explains why feedback based on autobiographical listening may be problematic.

Transcribing Conversations During Instructional Walks

Matt Renwick finds transcribing brief snippets of conversation with students during his daily instructional walks ensures the focus stays on students in conversations with teachers.

The Leading Edge

Dana Murphy considers what type of feedback is most helpful to teachers when they are most vulnerable—on the leading edge of trying something new.

On Being Coached

Dana Murphy finds herself analyzing how a colleague encourages her, and in the process reaffirms the value of coaching for everyone.

Voice Notes

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan use voice notes as a way to be more reflective and systematic in organizing materials after professional development sessions.

The Power of Sketchbooks for Coaches

Melanie Swider finds sketchbooks are a nifty tool for creating sample anchor charts as well as conferring with students and teachers.

Coaching Basics: Routines

Ruth Ayres shares a simple protocol for coaches to use with teachers when they are thinking through changes to routines in their classrooms.

Cultivating Natural Mentors

Jennifer Schwanke thinks back to her painful first days as a teacher in a "mentor-free" zone and shares how literacy leaders can cultivate and foster natural mentorships for new teachers.

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