Rigor of Vigor

Instead of creating lessons of rigor, why not create lessons of vigor? Lessons of vigor encompass three distinct thinking components: Thinking Critically, Thinking Creatively, and Thinking Flexibly thereby creating classrooms that are stimulating, engaging and supportive.

Read: Rigor of Vigor



Cell Phones in Class: Yes, it Can Work

What might happen if we decide to empower students to utilize self-management – to actually allow students to use their phone for discretionary purposes, but under a watchful eye and within a structured time? 

Read: Cell Phones in Class: Yes, it Can Work

Learning to Teach

As a student teacher, I was so consumed by wanting to do a good job that while my heart might have been in the right place, I was overlooking the pedagogy behind the teaching.

Read: Learning to Teach

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Getting Comfortable Saying No

Turning down a new responsibility at work can be tough, here's some advice for how to do it and not feel guilty!

Read: Getting Comfortable Saying No

On Being An Instructional Coach

Being an Instructional Coach means that I am available for teachers, accessible to change and open to feedback. For those who are new to the coaching role or who have moved from teaching to coaching, or those veteran coaches who might feel your practice needs a tweak, here are some suggestions,

Read: Being an Instructional Coach




Encoding Literacy in Computer Science

An instructional coach shares how she and a fellow teacher embedded literacy lessons in his computer science class.

Read: Encoding Literacy in Computer Science


The opportunity to share my writing experiences with students takes the mystery out of the process. Writing, for the most part, is not innate. It is hard work that starts with a purpose, moves toward a plan, and proceeds to a process. It is seldom, if ever done, but, is reclaimed, re-purposed, and recycled.


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Effective PD Within the School Day

Six tips for ensuring that professional development delivered during school hours is genuinely useful to teachers.

Read: Effective PD Within the School Day

Coaching the Veteran Teacher

Our veteran teachers want to plan specifically, give directions explicitly, and offer student support intentionally, we also know they could probably offer teachable moments to the novice teachers as well as the instructional coach.

Read: Coaching the Veteran Teacher



Coaching the Novice Teacher

For an instructional coach, it may seem daunting to coach the new teacher. Where does one begin to assist him or her in creating the best learning experience possible for students, parents, and colleagues?

Read: Coaching the Novice Teacher

Embrace, Expect, Engage, Encourage: The E4 Approach

International Literacy Association August 2, 2017

Use this reflection tool as a way to observe peers in a non-threatening way. The Guiding Questions encourages honest, non-evaluative discussion.

Read: Embrace, Expect, Engage, Encourage: The E4 Approach


Knowing One’s Place: Or What is Co-Teaching?

ASCD Inservice March 17, 2017

“Co-teaching” has become a buzzword in education; but, the key to successful co-teaching is the respect toward each other’s skills and knowledge. That respect translates to student success and empowerment in the classroom and beyond.

Read: Knowing One’s Place: Or What is Co-Teaching?

What Do You Stand For?
Literacy Daily January 17th, 2017

After 25 years in the education “business,” I’ve learned that visionaries are rare. I’ve also worked with resume-padders, limelight-grabbers, and narrow-minded ninnies. Some were more concerned about their own personal agenda than about personnel.

Read: What Do You Stand For?

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Why I write 

Literacy & NCTE October 26, 2016

I write because I have to. 

Read: Why I Write

Teaching means having to say you're sorry

Literacy Daily October 25, 2016

By owning our mistakes our students see us as empathetic humans that want to do well.

Read: Teaching means having to say you're sorry

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Being Respectful of Student Gender Identity

Edutopia October 13, 2016

Asking students how to address them is not only respectful and compassionate, but also socially just.

Read: Being Respectful of Student Gender Identity

Teachers and Students: We’re Not That Different

Edutopia April 25, 2016

How do we support the student risk-taker in the classroom who tells us our lesson wasn’t effective?  Respond with respect and clarity.

Read: Teachers and Students: We’re Not That Different


It’s Not Venting, It’s Processing

Edutopia April 21, 2016

As an Instructional Coach, active listening is crucial in supporting our colleagues.  What does that collaboration look like and how does it benefit teachers?

Read: It's Not Venting, It's Processing

Don’t Phone It In

 Literacy Daily April 13, 2016 

Presentation skills are critical when encouraging ownership of a district initiative or classroom lesson.  We must be present to fully engage participants.

Read: Don't Phone It In

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Taking on Social Literacy in the Classroom

Literacy Daily January 26, 2016

Embedding soft skills within a literacy framework requires creativity and patience. Here are some tips to help you do achieve that goal.

Read: Taking on Social Literacy in the Classroom

Not ‘Just’ Doodling or Talking: How They Help Students Process

Edutopia November 6, 2015

Student learning styles are instrumental in processing and thinking.  Let’s give students the space to show us what they need to be successful.

Read: Not ‘Just’ Doodling or Talking: How They Help Students Process



Humbled or Humiliated

Wisconsin State Reading Association Journal 
Fall 2014

An adult learner engages in her first arial yoga class.  Humbled in class or humiliated? Teachers have that kind of power.

Read: Humbled or Humiliated