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Coaching Minute: Collaboration

In this brief video, Cathy Mere talks with literacy coach Kelly Hoenie about collaboration with reading specialists.

Equitable Coaching

We were meeting as a leadership team to discuss the direction for professional development in the second half of the year. Our team is composed of a representative from each...

Helping Teachers Write

Not infrequently, a distant or past friend or colleague will ask me to read something they’ve written. “Will you tell me what you think?” they ask. What they want (what...

Celebration and Reflection for Teacher Growth

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.                ...

Taming the Voices in Our Heads

Our entire lives, [Eckhart Tolle argued], are governed by a voice in our heads. This voice is engaged in a ceaseless stream of thinking—most of it negative, repetitive, and self-referential....

Staff Retreat

If you’ve ever flattened on the couch with a bad cold or an overload of exhaustion, the last thing you want to hear from someone is, “You really should get...

Ending the Year by Looking Forward

In this short video, Cathy Mere asks literacy coach Kelly Hoenie to think about how she will use learning from the end of the school year to plan for next...

Narrative Mini-Charts

I spend a lot of time making charts. I have multiple sketchbooks that I’ve filled up with charts over the years: anchor charts, strategy charts, learning progressions. These books have...

A Peek at a Coaching Notebook

Literacy coach Kelly Hoenie opens up her coaching notebook and shares with Cathy Mere what she writes down during observations and consultations, as well as how she uses the information...

Letting Go: Nurturing Ownership in Writing

Once a month, a group of teachers from across the district gather to take a deep dive into writing instruction. The teachers, a variety of participants from grades K-5 who’ve...

Coaching Minute: Principals and Questions

Jen Schwanke explains why one of the most crucial tasks for a principal is to slow down and ask good questions.

Reframing Data Discussions

“Will you lead a meeting going over ELA benchmark data with second through sixth grade on one of the institute days?” “Sure.” (Please no.) “Which day?” (Please say the second...

Rethinking Homework

Paul Janeczko’s poems are some of my favorites to share with students when I am introducing a poetry unit. I am sad that he passed away recently. Publishers Weekly published...

Coaching Minute: Building Coach and Specialist Collaboration

Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie talk about the importance of more collaboration between literacy coaches and reading specialists, and how to foster it.

The Power of a Rant

“Teachers work so hard each day. They walk out of school burdened with book bags weighted down with stacks and stacks of student papers to read and respond to at...

What Do We Mean by Coachable?

My youngest son recently tried out for and earned a spot on a travel basketball team. As we mused about what being on the team would entail (how many practices,...

Identity and Coaching

What happens when you consider yourself good at something and then your skill is questioned? For example, I consider myself a champion chocolate chip cookie baker, but when I brought...

Coaching Minute: Using Video with Literacy Coaches

Cathy Mere shares four quick tips to help literacy coaches use video thoughtfully in professional development and hone their own instructional skills.

Creative Reading Responses: It Begins with You

I am part of a teacher book club where we gather together in person and online to read children’s literature selections: picture books, early chapter books, nonfiction selections, young adult...

March Read-Aloud Madness

I am always looking for ways to introduce teachers to new books to read aloud to their students. I have given book talks, displayed titles, and even created book tastings...

Helping Teachers Use Their Writing in Instruction

Early in my career, Katie Wood Ray offered this advice to a room full of teachers. It changed me. She said, “I believe we all should make a commitment to...