Results
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...

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...

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...

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...

Revising Bookrooms to Support Engagement and Instruction

When we think about the school bookroom, the first word that comes to mind is options. Bookrooms can include texts for all aspects of reading and writing workshop so we as...

Reflections on the First Six Weeks Coaching

Samantha Munnecke chats with Heather Rader about learning and surprises from her first six weeks as a literacy coach.

Advocating for English Language Learners

I recently worked with a team of teachers on a committee to interview candidates for an open position working with English language learners. We all gathered around a large conference...

Hiring Teachers for English Language Learners

As our schools become more and more diverse, educators have had to prioritize the needs of students who have limited skills with speaking, reading, and writing in English. As a...

Back-to-School PowerPoints

I remember my husband gently grabbing my arm as I started to raise my hand to ask a question at my daughter’s Back-to-School Night. We had clearly been instructed that...

Coaching Minute: Working with New Coaches

In this brief video, Amanda Adrian talks about the importance of considering how to integrate new coaches into ongoing study groups and teams that have worked together for years.  

Coaching New Teachers

Coaching is an opportunity to be a "thought partner" in a challenging and rewarding profession. The majority of educators with whom I connect on a daily basis understand my role...