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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.

Overwhelmed Coach

When literacy coach Brian Sepe realizes he’s wearing thin, he adopts some practical strategies to deal with feeling overwhelmed.

Collaborating When the Going Gets Tough

Literacy coach and high school English teacher Ellie Gilbert finds her ninth-grade teaching team is at odds when they work together to plan a new curriculum.

Katherine Casey on Sharing Blunders with Colleagues (PODCAST)

Katherine Casey explains why she shares her teaching blunders (on video, no less) with colleagues, and what she has learned from the process.

I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Have you ever had a teacher enthusiastically embrace a new "magic bullet" instructional program that includes scripted or rote elements that concern you? Melanie Quinn considers this sticky situation instructional coaches sometimes find themselves in, and comes up with some starting points for conversations with colleagues.

What is the Evidence?

Heather Rader shares her experiences working with a teacher team led by an outspoken leader. With listening and support, the team examines evidence in a new way.

Not That Into Me

If you’re a literacy coach, those teachers who don’t want to work with you can make you feel like the wallflower at the prom or the last kid picked for the basketball team.  Heather Rader has positive, proactive suggestions for making the best of an awkward situation.

Eight Tips for Building Relationships: A Tale of Two Literacy Coaches

Shari Frost presents a tale of two literacy coaches — one who has had success building close relationships with colleagues, and one who has struggled. In analyzing their experiences, she presents eight practical strategies for building relationships over time.

Ways to Avoid Coaching Traps

There are many traps for new literacy coaches that are rarely discussed. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share the most common four they try to avoid.

Troubleshooting Coaching Cycles

Shari Frost finds "coaching cycles" are a valuable way for literacy coaches to work with teachers over time, but the first year of implementation was bumpy for her coaches. She shares some of the struggles her colleagues encountered in implementing cycles, as well as advice for overcoming these hurdles.

Three Little Phrases No Literacy Coach Can Live Without

Brenda Power shares trade secret phrases for communicating with colleagues.

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