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Trust Your Tools. Trust Your Teachers

A teacher asked me if she should have her students journal digitally or in print. “Which do you think is best?” she asked. We were meeting for our fall individual...

Coaching Minute: Language of Reading

In this brief video, Cathy Mere talks with Andrea, a literacy coach and reading specialist, about the importance of common language during debrief sessions when talking about reading.

Followership

I was sitting down with one of our teachers for his final summative meeting as part of his evaluation. In my office, he showed on his laptop a digital rendering...

Prioritizing Presence

I was so excited to be invited to a coaching cycle with Angie. Angie was a strong teacher, the quiet leader type, who was respected by peers and who just...

Feedback That Fortifies

Feedback that fortifies is a critical part of useful formative assessment. It comes at a time when the learner needs it most to improve performance or product. In the most...

Find Friends

Lean on me, when you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on For it won’t be long ‘Til I’m gonna need Somebody to lean on...

It’s Not You, It’s Me

My boyfriend and I both like to run. We both like the physical challenge of running, and we both love the mental headspace it gives us. We’re both runners, so...

Coaching Minute: Advice for New Coaches

In this quick video, Cathy Mere shares some advice for new coaches.

Nice to Meet You Again

Recently, I went on a weekend trip with two dear friends whom I have known for years. We spent three days doing what we love most: eating and talking. On...

Coaching Minute: Collaboration

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

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

Analyzing Student Work: Beginning with Strengths

“I don’t even know where to start,” she mutters under her breath as her eyes widen at the sight and her shoulders slump. They lie there, a stack of notes...

An Ounce of Doubt

In my daily instructional walks, visiting classroom after classroom and engaging in the teaching and learning, I have started getting more interested in the why behind our practices. One area...