Professional Learning Can Be ‘Squirrelly’ Business

Guiding Questions Recently, I was asked to ponder the following questions: What is an example of professional development that has worked for you?  What is an example of professional development that has not worked for you? What does research say about planning professional learning? The first two questions are relatively easy to answer as they …

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Coaching the Coaches

Peer coaching in the teaching profession is a humbling job. Whether part-time or full-time, a peer coach’s job is to help his or her colleagues improve their practice. In his book, “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration”, Dr. Les Foltos speaks to the critical role that a peer coach can play in a fellow …

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Teaching by Design, Part Deux

Picking Up Where We Left Off  The first post in this two-part series highlighted some key aspects from  Dr. Les Foltos’s book, “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration,” starting with his foundational outline of three general areas of skills that instructional coaches should possess: “The coach’s success rests on her ability to utilize skills in …

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Teaching by Design, Part Uno

In his book, “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration,” Dr. Les Foltos outlines three general areas of skills that instructional coaches should possess: “The coach’s success rests on her ability to utilize skills in all three areas: coaching skills (communication and collaboration), ICT (information and communication technology) integration, and lesson design.”  Dr. Foltos uses the …

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If You Say Tomayto and I Say Tomahto then Why are We Debating Potayto? The Importance of Communication and Collaboration to Successful Peer Coaching.

Teaching is a hard job in the best of times.  Add in a pandemic that requires the ability to teach in-person, remotely, or some combination there-of, and more questions than answers will surely arise.  Teachers need help and support and hopefully this is where peer coaches can come into play, but where do coaches even begin to …

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Is Coaching Remotely Necessary in the Era of Remote Learning?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” —Mother Teresa “Educators often say that education is frustratingly isolating. And if you talk with them about collaboration, you quickly learn that they know it …

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Integrating Social Justice and STEM Pedagogy

As educators, we are constantly searching for new ways to meaningfully engage our students. Amidst a wave of requirements, numerous standards, and unforeseen circumstances, it is easy to get lost in the overwhelming list of “have to’s” forced on us. So much so that when students ask the inevitable “why are we learning this” question, …

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Social Justice Pedagogy in a Digital Age

According to the Lexico website (a collaboration between dictionary.com and Oxford University Press), the definition for social justice is “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.”  Often a misunderstood and ambiguous term for most, this succinct definition of social justice provides a foundation for basing social justice education efforts …

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STEM for All Students

Meeting Students Where They’re At So often school has a one-size fits all approach.  This is partially because individualizing content and activities is hard and time-consuming.  On the other side of this coin, a lot of students aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve to access their education.  This is a broad topic and way …

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If You Build It (Relationships) Then They (Teachers) Will Come To You

It’s All About Relationships My principal, Gregory Kroll, is one of my personal and professional heroes.  Now, I know longer teach at Martin Sortun Elementary, but, at 8 years, he was my longest running principal.  The man gave more than I knew was possible and had a heart to match.  Whatever you needed, whatever it …

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