Results
Have Coach, Will Travel

I have a confession to make: I secretly pine for the beautiful literacy coaches’ spaces that I see on social media and wish that I could re-create them for the...

Competitive Comparisons

We’re deep in the brave new world of remote online learning, and it has revealed a long-kept secret about education: Many of us are quietly competitive and make constant, relentless...

Remote Learning for Our Youngest Students

I’ve been reflecting on the events of the past few weeks, a still-fresh alternate reality in which I’d wake up in the morning with one plan and have it changed...

Professional Renewal: Facilitating Change Within Ourselves

One of our friends recently shared that her family wanted to go plastic-free in her household. Naturally, I had lots of questions about how they would accomplish this. “How will...

You Don’t Write? No Worries

“You don’t have to write to teach writers,” the literacy coach said pointedly as we planned to lead a session on using mentor texts to support writers in our classrooms....

Where Confidence Begins

Our neighbor Ed is handy. A couple of weeks ago, he showed us pictures on his smartphone of the additional room he created on the backside of his garage. “Yep,...

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...

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...

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,...

What Happens Next Is What Defines Us

My own children have been my greatest teachers. For me, one of the most challenging aspects of parenting has been to help pick them up after a disappointing event in...

Tackling Coaching Challenges

One of Merriam-Webster's dictionaries defines a nemesis as a "formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent." As a literacy coach, I find that my biggest nemesis is professional development. I...

Aligning Commercial Practices with Excellent Literacy Instruction

“So, what are you guys using for literacy?” I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked that as a school principal. It’s not a bad question or something...

The Hole in Your Swing

I am a baseball fan. I played the sport through high school, spent a couple of years riding a bench in college, and now enjoy it mostly from the confines...

Clearing the Plate: Helping Teachers Feel Free, Not Full

“David,” she said, “I’m so sorry. I just can’t do our session today.” Her tired expression, slumped shoulders, and weak voice had told me that already. “Don’t worry about it,...

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...

The Third Rail: Coaching and Instructional Assessment

As I reflected with Joy about our recent coaching cycle, we looked back to our original goals and the pre- and post-data about her students' work. We had seen more...

Know Their Story

Sally was a veteran teacher. That’s what I was told. She’s one of our vets. As a younger educator, I had heard that phrase several times to describe teachers who...

Ms. Perfectly Nice

We all know that teacher. The one who is agreeable, pleasant to work with, quiet, and perfectly nice. Heck, I think I’ve even been that teacher. I have sat in...

I’m Already Doing This

I glanced up from my notebook where I was taking notes and smiled at the teacher sitting next to me. She didn’t smile back. I bent my head back down...

Whenever They Are Ready: Building Trust for PD Success

It’s a paradox of school leadership that we generally know what we need to do to ensure every student is successful, yet we fight with each other and within ourselves...

Resisting Traditional Definitions of Productivity

The first day back at school after spring break felt like stepping on a treadmill at full speed. Testing season was upon us, a school recognition application was due, and...