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Grammar Instruction in Fourth Grade

Melanie Meehan coaches a fourth-grade teacher who is trying to improve his grammar instruction.

It’s Not About Us

One of our teachers scheduled an appointment with me. Assuming she wanted to discuss her midyear professional goal, I was surprised when she came with guided reading resources. “I wanted...

Choosing Our Words Carefully

At the start of our collaboration session, Kathy shared, “I have really been thinking about the word unfortunately and how I have seen it being used lately.” She proceeded to...

Learning Through Listening

As we read Marie Clay’s words, we thought about how this quote pertains to coaching too. The more years we work in schools and coach alongside teachers, the less we...

No More Whack-a-Mole Coaching

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games at the arcade was Whack-a-Mole. There was something about having a giant club that seemed empowering. Little plastic moles would...

Maintaining Teacher Ownership in Coaching Conversations

I was sitting across from the literacy coach when I said, “Thanks for taking the time to meet this morning. Since I missed the post-conference you had with your teacher,...

Making Classroom Visits a Habit

In a previous article for Lead Literacy, I outlined my plan for becoming more organized and intentional as a school principal. I will check email only at certain times of...

Helping Struggling Writers in Second Grade

Melanie Meehan chats with second-grade teacher Nadia Egan about creative strategies for helping struggling writers.  

Making Coaching Meaningful: Establishing Goals and Roles

When I first became a coach, I made some big stumbles. Full disclosure: I still do. They’re just new ones. More than once, these stumbles were caused by a failure...

Planning a Coaching Cycle

Kathy Provost works with a third-grade teacher to plan long-term and daily goals in a coaching cycle.

Every Classroom, Every Day

In an article for Educational Leadership titled “Every Child, Every Day,” Richard Allington and Rachael Gabriel offer six essentials every student should experience in his or her classroom on a...

Dear Coach

Dear Coach, Two years ago I found out that elementary teachers across our school district would have the opportunity to work with literacy coaches. Knowing that our district valued literacy...

Being Present

“Look at me. Hey. Hey! Mom! Look. At. Me!” I glanced up from my phone and met my daughter’s narrowed, brown-eyed stare. Her face barely peeked over the counter, but...

Coaching for Kindergarten Writing

Melanie Meehan meets with kindergarten teacher Katie to talk through the needs of two children who are just beginning to learn how to transfer their stories from home to the...

Kindergarten Writing: Helping Advanced Learners

Melanie Meehan meets with kindergarten teacher Hayley to examine student work and talk about how to help young learners who are still in transition from home to school environments.  

New-to-Grade-Level Teacher Tool Kit

As the end of the year approaches, a few of the teachers in our district have been notified that they will be changing grade levels in the upcoming year. Part...

Starting with Core Beliefs and Values

Working with a leadership intern this year brought back memories of student teaching, working with a mentor my first two years of teaching, and hosting practicum students. I’m thankful for...

Improving My Feedback

I’ve spent most of my career dreading the feedback portion of my relationships. It felt as though my actions were just being checked off of a list. The feedback always...

The Importance of Encouragement

Like many school districts around the country, we have been cultivating a learning culture, and instructional coaches are playing an increasingly important role. In our district, instructional coaches make up...

Ending Coaching Cycles with Reflection

I am approaching the end of a coaching cycle with a fifth-grade teacher with whom I’ve been working throughout her information-writing unit. Her students are highly engaged, so we have...

A Coach’s Toolbox: Transcribing Talk

Most of my time in classrooms is spent coteaching or teaching a demonstration lesson. My role as a literacy coach is a nonevaluative one, so I aim to be actively...