Results
Choice, Voice, and Rejoice: Looking Back and Looking Forward

In speaking with my colleagues and “teacher friends” these past few weeks, I keep hearing the same thing again and again. After the year we’ve been through, many teachers are...

Books Need Space

I’ve always personified objects. I grew up on a farm, and on those stifling hot summer days baling hay, I would beg my father to give the tractor a break....

How Well Do You Know Your Team? Checking In On Our Relationships with Teachers

It’s all about relationships. Take the time to create and nurture your relationships with teachers. Creating relationships is top priority. I recall words such as these flowing repeatedly from the...

The Daily GIF

Each morning, our school’s administrative assistant, Jenni, sends out an email with the morning’s daily update. It summarizes the day’s staff absences and reminds everyone of any big events for...

The Power of a Confession: What Readers Really Do

Wait time can totally be the worst. Or maybe I should revise that sentence to say that 24 years into teaching, I am still impatient with silence. Two weeks ago,...

Virtual Icebreakers: Maintaining Human Connection (Part 2)

In a world of algorithms, hashtags and followers, know the importance of human connection. —Mama Tribe Marketplace If you are looking for ways to inspire teachers to think outside the...

Plan It, Don’t Wing It

Plan it. Don’t wing it. I drive by this message daily, posted in big, bold print across a billboard. This message is brought to us by a local bank with...

Defining Through Experience

The topic for our professional development: providing feedback to our students to help them persevere through any complex task. Up to this point in the year, our staff had experienced...

Saying No

Before leaving work, I sat down to review the various meetings I’d attended and the tasks I’d done that day, jotting a few notes and follow-up emails I needed to...

Maintenance as Leadership

Every August, a calendar event reminds me to check for hornets’ nests on the playground. I go outside and investigate each slide, swing set, and jungle gym, sometimes kicking equipment...

Flipping Negative Stressors

One summer, in a frigid conference room in suburban Florida, I stood in front of a room full of educators to discuss how to manage the stresses of being an...

How Do Literacy Leaders Supervise and Support Online Instruction?

In our district, we have been talking about reentry in the fall for months now. How many kids can we physically have in the school? Will students need to wear...

Developing Literacy Traditions and Rituals

On Saturdays during the spring, summer, and fall, my family and I like to go to the farmers’ market. It’s just down the street at the city park, one block...

Priming the Pump

The morning dew had just started to evaporate as bright summer sunbeams had begun to peek over the trees. A jogger and his dog were making their way down the...

Second Chances

In professional conversations, we have a finite amount of time to say what we want to say. Our turn lasts only so long, right? Meetings, conferences, and presentations require back-and-forth...

Family Literacy Breakfasts

Max arrived at school early and alone this Friday morning. It happened to be a morning we were having a family literacy breakfast, an event that we run a few...

Literacy, Phys Ed, and Workshops Across the Curriculum

This past spring, I had the rare chance to hire a physical education teacher. As most principals know, this opportunity doesn’t come along often; most schools have one P.E. teacher,...

Field Notes: Where’s My Language?

West Noble Elementary School has a dual-language program. Some students spend equal amounts of time in Spanish-speaking classrooms and English-speaking classrooms. Half of the class is made up of native...

Hard Topics in Reading

Using books with dark themes or settings in the classroom can give students the language to express their emotions, models for how to discuss and engage on these topics with...

Smile File

Smiling makes people feel good and positive, conveying a sense of goodwill, rapport and trust.                                                                           Dr. T. P. Chia “Everyone needs a smile file!” I heard the radio deejay...

The Toll of Constant Interruptions

Not long ago, a teacher marched into my office, closed the door, and sat down. She covered her face with her hands. I was taken aback. She was one of...