Results
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...

The Lion Unit

In my first year of coaching, my staff and I spent the fall focused on math instruction. We finally had an opportunity during the last three weeks before break to...

Three Questions to Open Coaching Conversations

The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.                                                                                  Thomas Berger In an early blog post sharing her ideas for student-centered coaching, Diane Sweeney writes,...

Becoming More Strategic in Coaching Stressed Teachers

Suddenly, I’m a momma to big kids. It caught me off guard and I’m still wondering how it happened, because I'm sure I didn’t blink. In addition to looking up...

Community over Connectivity: Mindful Technology Practices

As a school leader, I don't have all the resources I want, but one of the few I can generally ask for and expect to receive is technology. Whether software...

Helping Teachers Weed Libraries

I am a book collector. I love seeing books on my shelves, books in baskets in each room, book stacks on my desk, and books beside my bed. When I...

Coaching in Proximity: The Sherpa Mind-Set

Standing in the back of the room, I could see and feel the building anticipation. There was the wild-eyed look of a teacher who is no longer sure what question...

More Productive Workshops

As we turn the corner from the beginning of the year, many writing workshops become humming hives of productivity and progress, and some don’t quite get off the ground. What...

The Children Are Communicating. Are We Listening?

“Look at this photo of Cutie Jarius!” Erin’s email read. And there he was, standing proudly in front of “Morning Message” scrawled in a kindergarten hand. Robert Fulghum says all...

Who Are “They”? Word Choice and Student Learning

Like many of us, I first became a student of words with Peter Johnston’s Choice Words; he taught me how even subtleties in language have powerful effects. More recently, my...

No Substitute for Owning the Learning

I love weekends when I’m not in school because I am able to attend a water aerobics kickboxing class. The instructor is knowledgeable, she keeps the class up-tempo, we focus...

Be Someone Who Writes

At a recent roundtable presentation, the facilitator asked us to think about our core beliefs when it comes to literacy, teaching, and learning. Although I agreed that everything I was...

Kid-Watching as a Coaching Move

“So, what do you do, exactly?” people outside the field of education often ask me when I tell them I am an instructional coach. I have been answering this question...

Starting a Coaching Cycle: The First Meeting

First impressions are everything. As an instructional coach, half the battle is getting teachers interested in coaching cycles. The other half of the battle is making a good first impression....

Authentically Curious

When I first received the note from a member of the staff, my initial reaction was shock. "I feel like I don't really know you, nor do you really know...

Coaching Purposeful Classroom Design

Candace scrolled excitedly down the page of the website filled with colorful stools, crisp conference tables with charging stations, and nifty caddies. “Ugh—I could spend my entire paycheck here!” she...

Paraphrasing to Let Teachers Lead

There was a diamond in the rough in the teacher’s lesson. Overall, it was a good lesson. She had provided choice in how students could respond to the whole-class reading...

The Thin Line Between Mentoring and Coaching

The teacher came in to see me, disappointed in his midyear results. “My students aren’t progressing like I thought they would.” His goal: provide more authentic literacy instruction so students...