Teacher, Coach, and Everything In-Between
But, the single most important thing I remembered throughout these first several weeks was the critical importance of selling myself and my product. I was not in classrooms to tell teachers what to do; on the contrary, I was observing to learn how to support them and the important work they did. I needed to be still; to learn what they needed without maybe having the ability to exactly define it.
What Does Your Literacy Philosophy Say About You?
Take a few minutes and re-read your reading philosophy. Do you still agree with it? Do you need to revise it? If you've never written one, perhaps now is the time.
Avoiding the Biggest Classroom Mistakes
While I might have considered the cooperating teacher to be "rigid, extremely professional, and focused," those qualities are necessary when creating a classroom community. She had structures and routines in place that worked for her students and expectations that were transparent and attainable.
Avoiding the Biggest Classroom Management Mistakes
Classroom management is a perennial challenge for teachers. What are the biggest mistakes we often make and how do we avoid them?
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?
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
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,
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.
Read: TEACHER WRITER
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Humbled or Humiliated
Wisconsin State Reading Association Journal
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