Learning Along the Way

I have to admit this is the third post I have attempted to write in the past few weeks since we have been home due to COVID-19. Wanting to write something meaningful, but going through the same struggles as many in adjusting to a new normal has given me pause.  I’ve had some wonderful moments

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What’s Your Classroom’s Reading Culture?

As an admin or coach do you ever have a moment when you wish you could go back into the classroom?  This week it happened to me when I was attending a professional learning experience facilitated by my instructional coach and literacy coach about literacy instruction. The purpose of the PL was to give teachers

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The One Question That Will Change Your Data Review Conversation

Ever been to a data review meeting like this? Data is projected for everyone to see.   You group students into those who are exceeding, meeting, and not meeting the target expectation. Everyone gives reasons for why students have reached varied levels of proficiency. In the last 5-10 minutes, you come up with some ideas for

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What Is My Principal Really Looking for in my Summative?

It’s that time of year where many educators (myself included) are preparing to meet with their administrator for the glorious summative meeting.  Throughout my career, I’ve experienced a wide variety of these that have been anything from a short five-minute conversation to an hour-long meeting where I was required to bring a binder of evidence

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Sometimes You Just Need to Go All Gerry Brooks

Roses are red. Violets are blue. I need a break, how about you? It’s February.  As much as routines are in place and students are usually flying academically this time of year, it can also be an extra stressful time with second-trimester report cards around the corner, summative evaluation meetings, and students pushing limits with

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Compassion Fatigue

If you’re in education you’ve probably either heard of or experienced ” teacher burn-out,” a condition that results from being over-worked or under-valued or the experience of a disconnect between the work you required to do with the truths you know to be true about teaching.  This Wednesday my social worker gave a presentation to

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Tapping Into the Strengths of Your Staff

So I used to think that there was some magical formula or a needed in-depth plan to building capacity and strengths of others as a leader, but the longer I am a principal (I know a whopping 6 months) the more I realize this isn’t necessarily true.  This week my reading specialist came to me

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A Mathematical Conundrum

It’s Wednesday.  I’m sitting in my office with two students waiting for a third to arrive when one of them shares this epiphany. “I couldn’t stop Dr. Podraza.  I worked on this problem the entire weekend.  I looked up articles.  I had my parents Google stuff.  I got everyone involved.” “And I don’t think the

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What are Your Blind Spots?

I had the privilege of attending an amazing workshop on Monday with author and researcher Jane Kise.  It was a part of our Elmhurst D205 Professional Learning Strand initiative where teachers get to pick one topic and delve deeply into it throughout the year.  Her presentation was part of the Teacher Leadership cohort, but could

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Am I Doing It Right?

During my five years as a coach in Naperville, we implemented at least 15 new initiatives, maybe more.  So it makes sense that I was frequently asked, “What’s the right way to do this?” or similarly, “Am I doing it right?” Questions of this variety reflect our desire as educators to do our best.  Many

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