Results
Celebrations Across the Year

“Any quick wins?” I inquired as we began to get our bimonthly meeting of literacy coaches under way.  Quick wins as stated in Read, Write, Lead:  Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide...

Encouraging Teachers to Write

“You use your own notebook a lot during conferences,” Mrs. Bean said to me. I looked up from writing conference notes and considered her statement. “Yes, that’s true.” “So I...

Finding Time for Classroom Walk-Throughs

As school leaders, we know our time is precious. It can be hard to prioritize our days with all the duties we are expected to complete. At the top of...

The 15-Minute Meeting

In The 30-Day Productivity Plan, Damon Zahariades makes the assertion that meetings last as long as they are scheduled for. If we want to increase our productivity, he believes, we...

Meeting with Building Leaders

“I want to meet again every month,” Maggie said. “Just like last year.” Maggie is the principal of one of our five elementary schools, and last year, we committed to...

A Literacy Foundation

    I lead a school in a building with a lot of history. Veteran teachers currently working in the building can recall their first day of kindergarten in the...

Classroom Visit Protocols

I have a friend whose mother-in-law has a tendency to just drop in for a visit . . . and stay. All afternoon. Nana never calls to announce that she...

Outreach by Reaching Out

Standing on the curb on a late-October Monday morning as the bitter-cold Chicago wind sank its claws into the always unsuspecting midwestern suburbia, I was not ready to battle these...

Literacy Audit (Part 4): Building a Strong Team

I’m always inspired by the thinking of Milton Olson, adapted by Angeles Arrien, which highlights the teamwork qualities of geese. Geese fly in formation, rotate leadership, communicate well, and always...

Rethinking Morning Announcements

“Are you going to share one of your stupid quotes again?” This came from a frequent flyer sitting in the lobby area as I was leaving my office. I had...

Literacy Audit (Part 2): Taking Your School’s Pulse

When I go to the doctor for my annual wellness check, the intake nurse starts by taking my pulse. It is the simplest of procedures—there is no medical equipment needed,...

You’re New to Coaching. Now What?

I’ll never forget my first year as a coach. My position was in a district new to me where I would be teaching kindergarten for half of the day and...

You’ve Done It. What Happens Next?

You’ve done it. You’ve flexed your educational muscles and potificated upon your beliefs and perspectives. Sent the thank-you cards or emails.Then spent the next few days waiting, checking your phone...

Celebrate and Reflect

Have you paused yet to celebrate all you’ve accomplished with teachers this year? Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenle take a few minutes to reflect on what has gone...

How Principals Can Help Build Teacher and Coach Connections

Today I visited a classroom because I needed to talk to a student about something that happened at recess. I walked up to him and whispered, “Hey, can I talk...

Developing a Principal and Coach Partnership

One of the most welcomed changes I have experienced as the principal in my new elementary building is having an instructional coach. In my prior district, there were coaches assigned...

When Email Isn’t Enough

I am my most concise and thorough when I communicate in writing. Experience also tells me it is important to document and archive information. Other people feel this way too,...

Professional Learning Beyond PLCs

Professional learning communities, or PLCs for short, is a framework for professional collaboration and data analysis. The structure this approach creates allows for collective inquiry around student learning. Since coming...

Learning and Leading Through Teaching

Covering for a teacher is more valuable than any observation. Putting myself into the shoes of the adult in the classroom is both revealing and humbling as a building principal....

Using Digital Tools for Instructional Walks

For a while, I avoided technology when visiting classrooms for instructional walks. I thought these tools evoked anxiety in the teachers, who might associate digital tools with formal observations. My...

Preparing Teachers for Reading Over Breaks

I have been following the clean eating trend for quite some time and finally took concrete steps to clean up my diet to better protect my health and well-being. I...