Results
Engaging Not Blaming: Increasing Parent Involvement

“Why don’t we have a good turnout at curriculum night? Don’t our parents care about their child’s education?" It’s human nature, unfortunately, to resist holding up the mirror when our...

Master Class: Mentoring New Coaches

Recently I went to see the play Master Class. The play is based on the life of famous opera singer Maria Callas—specifically, a snippet of her life when she taught...

No Cutting Corners in Coaching

Recently, my husband and I decided to give our bedroom a much-needed makeover. We bought our current home about six years ago, and every summer I have chosen one room...

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

This past spring, I was asked if I would be willing to return to a literacy coaching role in my school. I was in that role for three years before...

Becoming a Literacy Coach: Principles and Mission Statements

When I think back to becoming a literacy coach, I can remember worrying about many parts of my new career. How do I develop my schedule? How do I get...

Coaching Minute: Baggies

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

Coaching Minute: What’s in My Bag

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

Autobiographical Listening

I recently attended an excellent three-day leadership conference that was by all measures a success: I met some great people, got some much-needed inspiration, and came back with a notebook...

Transcribing Conversations During Instructional Walks

As a principal in a high-poverty, low-resource elementary school, I do not have access to an instructional coach to work with our teachers or with me on our schoolwide literacy...

The Leading Edge

Learning curves come in all varieties, don’t they? Sometimes, the path to learning is straight and quick. Other times, the learning curve is long and steep.   The steepest learning...

On Being Coached

My daughter Maddie does not properly pronounce her L sound. She uses a W or Y sound instead. She “yikes” the color pink, she “yuvs” her “wittle” sister. Cute, but...

Voice Notes

As coaches we plan so many professional developments sessions that it is difficult to remember the content we discussed, the things we decided to skip, the opportunities we noticed for...

The Power of Sketchbooks for Coaches

I used a variety of sketchbooks as a classroom teacher to brainstorm possible charts to create for read-aloud, minilessons, and small-group instruction. However, I never really found one I loved...

Coaching Basics: Routines

“I can’t take it anymore!” When conversations start like this, I perk up and listen closely. It’s critical to be an active listener as the teacher elaborates. The listening becomes...

Cultivating Natural Mentors

When I was hired as a junior high English teacher, my principal was just one year from retirement and had the proverbial “one foot out the door.” He spent his...

Transitioning from Teaching Children to Adults

This past year, I stopped working as a middle school teacher to stay home with my new baby. I wanted to stay involved in education, so I worked part-time with...

Matching Resources to Teachers: Tools for Coaches

Talking with a teacher who has a long-standing coaching relationship with me, I was surprised when she said, “I guess I keep Googling to find the latest and greatest. I...

Systems for Keeping the Bookroom Organized and Manageable

A place for everything and everything in its place.                                                                                 Ben Franklin We know Ben Franklin wasn’t referring to bookrooms when he said these words, but we think his wisdom...

My New and Improved Writing Toolkit

Over the last couple of years, I have been developing a toolkit that I can take along with me when I am working in classrooms with teachers. One of the...

Working Together to Expand the Bookroom

The process by which decisions are made is even more important than the actual decisions. We’ve never found a source for this quote, but it has helped us countless times...

Organizing Mentor Texts

If you are a coach like me, you have several hundred picture books and other mentor texts you use as coaching tools throughout the school year. Over the years, I've...