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Engaging That Class

Jennifer Brotherton has flashbacks to her own teaching experiences with a challengng class as she coaches an eighth-grade teacher using a seminar format with students.

Reaching Boy Writers

Principal Jodi Mahoney and teachers in her school embark on a quest to understand boy writers better, and re-evaluate their writing workshops as they read, talk, and take some risks together.

Coaching Minute: 100% of the Time

Do all teachers need a literacy coach’s support? Heather Rader has wise words of advice in this quick video tip.

Coaching Excellent Teachers

Do even the most accomplished teachers need a literacy coach? Shari Frost believes they do, and has suggestions for making these coaching relationships work.

Instructional Coach: A Position of Contradictions

Ruth Ayres writes about the inherent tensions in coaching, and ways to deal with them.

Quick! Hide the Chocolate: Challenging Coaching Relationships

Heather Sisson works through the challenges of helping a teacher who spends most of her time complaining about colleagues.

Reluctant Teachers and Nonfiction

How do you work with teachers who refuse to change the quantity or quality of nonfiction reading and writing in their classrooms? Jennifer Schwanke has some suggestions.
 

No Time for Collaboration

How can teachers and specialists collaborate when they are already stretched so thin for time? Shari Frost presents a case study from fifth grade.

Coaching Minute: Use Soft Words and Hard Arguments

Heather Rader explains the importance of using gentle words when giving honest but difficult feedback in this quick video tip.

The View from a Principal’s Window

Jennifer Schwanke writes about professional insecurities, and connects her experiences to building confidence in young readers and writers.

High Schools, Scale, and Reluctance: A Podcast with Diane Sweeney

In this 18-minute podcast, Diane Sweeney talks about the challenges of coaching at the secondary level, and shares advice for working with reluctant teachers.

Coaching Minute: Venting and Rant Ruts

Heather Rader explains in this one-minute video the difference between healthy venting and "rant ruts," with advice for how to help colleagues move beyond unhealthy talk patterns.

Coaching Minute: Different Philosophies

What do you do when the teacher you are coaching has a different philosophy? Ruth Ayres advises you to find common ground in this coaching minute video.

Why I Hate Homework

Tell us how you really feel! Jennifer Schwanke shares her passionate views about homework as a principal and parent. When is the last time you’ve talked with teachers about homework demands? This is an article you might use to open up some lively discussions.

Phasing in New Initiatives: Keep the Baby!

What happens when an adminstrator tells a literacy coach that she and the teachers she works with must abandon a successful and popular literacy program? Shari Frost advises a coach in this difficult and all-too-common situation.

Turning “Unfortunate” into Good Fortune

Is this your worst professional nightmare? Ruth Ayres accidentally sends an email with the unvarnished truth to the whole school staff, instead of the administrator it was intended for. What happens next includes a surprising amount of learning.

Improvement Plan

Have you ever had to develop and implement an improvement plan with a struggling teacher? Jennifer Schwanke not only faced this challenge — she had to mentor a teacher who was two decades older and resistant. She explains how her work with the teacher and the plan evolved over two years of collaboration.

Some Study Group Participants Aren’t Reading the Book

Have you ever experienced the strange phenomenon of having colleagues show up for book study groups and gab away, even though they haven't read the text? You may be a victim of "bullcrit"—the willingness of some people to critique movies they haven't seen, music they haven't heard, and books they haven't read. Cross-posted at Choice Literacy.

Making Assumptions

The shift from teaching children to mentoring adults can be difficult for many educators. Ellie Gilbert chronicles the biggest assumptions that harm collaborative relationships with colleagues.

Walk-Arounds: Gathering Data to Test Assumptions

Do you have a tattler in your midst? Not a child, but a teacher complaining about the work habits of a colleague? Jennifer Jones explains her proactive use of walk-arounds to gather data and confront misconceptions.

Busywork?: From Classroom Assistant to Agent of Change

Ruth Ayres deals with the conundrum of wanting to assist teachers to build relationships as an instructional coach, yet not accepting all menial task requests.

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