Author: Dr. Christina Podraza

Making the Last Days of School Meaningful

Busy. Busy. Busy. That one word has permeated my vocabulary since I took over as interim principal a few months ago at Emerson Elementary School.  I’m not just talking about myself.  With state and district testing, about a million end of the year activities as well as normal teaching responsibilities I’ve watched my staff and

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Coaching for Innovation

This post originally appeared here on the LaunchPad: Official Blog of TeachBoost. Over the past decade, innovation has become one of the more popular buzzwords in education. Thought by many as a path to make students successful or “future ready,” innovative teaching practices are highly sought after by leadership at all levels. The problem is,

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Multiplying the Talents of Students

Every morning I have about a thirty-minute commute to work from my home in Wheaton.  Most mornings my routine is pretty similar.  After giving Alexandra a big hug and a kiss (sometimes 4 or 5 depending on what mood she’s in), I hop in my car, order my morning coffee and listen to whatever music

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Making the Positives So Loud

I’ll admit it. George Couros is one of my favourite (spelling intended) people in education.  Not only is he skilled at telling a captivating story that can cause both tears and inexplicable laughter, but his ideas about education are thought-provoking and real, grounded in his own experience or ideas he has recently read about or

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A Million Dreams: Creating a Shared Vision with Students, Parents, & Teachers

I wouldn’t really describe myself as someone who cries easily, but as the closing melody of “A Million Dreams” began to play I found myself overcome with emotion, unable to hold back tears.  Looking out across the audience of parents, students, and teachers I realized that the moment that we had been planning for months

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Data Review – A Little Less Talk, a Lot More Action

Data.  It’s a four letter word.  Especially in education. It has been argued by many to play a pivotal role in increasing student growth.  The four key PLC questions from DuFour are centered around it.  Even Danielson includes it as part of Domains, 1, 3 & 4 of the teacher evaluation rubric. And yet, when many

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How Do We Change The Way Students Experience Learning?

Curious. When you have a moment to yourself throughout the day, (driving in the car, running on the treadmill, when the sun is rising and you’re just waking up) what does your mind go to?  In the past, it’s been anything from how can I get ALL of my students excited about reading to imagining

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The Purpose of Education Is to What???

  Audio version of this post. I’ll admit it. When I go to parties I can’t help myself.  As much as I try to avoid it, I inevitably talk about education. Especially if there’s beer.  One good IPA will get me waxing poetic about my vision of education for pretty much the entire night. I’ve

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Teaching Like a Coach – Part One

I’ve had a lot of great conversations since starting this blog about teaching and coaching and how the two are intertwined.  Two of the questions that have come up a lot are  How do you ACTUALLY teach like a coach?  What does that look like in real practice?   This has gotten me to reflect about my

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Taking the Time to Be the Difference

If you were to ask me why I got into education I would tell you a simple fact: I LOVE working with students.   Seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new.   Building on their strengths.   Showing them they can achieve ANYTHING. Except when I really think about it, I don’t know that ALL

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