Results
Creating Coaching Visions

I have always been a should have kind of person. You know, the kind of person who overthinks everything and spends far too much time thinking about what I should...

Brain Dumps for Clarity in Coaching

I stepped into the room and was immediately reluctant to interrupt the controlled chaos before me. Diane was buzzing about the room. She cleaned up student work at one table,...

Unleveling Classroom Libraries

Over the last two school years, we’ve followed the buzz around the dangers of a leveled classroom library. We’ve read articles and tweets, listened to podcasts, and talked to our...

Best Intentions with No Assumptions

I arrived at the high school to pick up my son from maker club. As I was walking toward the front doors, a woman standing in the parking lot asked...

An All-School Writing Project: Six-Word Memoirs

I’ve long heard inspiring stories about schools who adopted a “One Book, One School” experience, exposing all students to a text and then using it to launch conversations and connections....

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...

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...

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...