Posts in Teacher Training
In Praise of Collegiality

But it is also an indicator of the value placed on having teachers gather together and work outside of their own buildings together. I can honestly say that within the first year I taught in this district, I got to meet more people outside of my building than I ever did in my previous school. Collegiality was just not a priority there, and getting the teachers together with each other only really happened if you were a department head for curriculum alignment and/or textbook adoptions.

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The Benefit of Rehearsal

That was when I learned to deliberately script some responses or interactions I could anticipate.  Obviously, I’d developed go-to responses when a parent or student came to me with garden-variety issues.  Those were essentially scripted too, but through an evolutionary process.  The experience with the phone call list brought me to try it in other situations.  I have carried this over to my coaching work, especially that with novice teachers fresh from Ed School.

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The Importance of Having a Coaching Model

—Overall the goal is to provide some sort of “moral” compass for the work.  We make so many decisions everyday, that to provide the team members with some general concepts to base the rightness of their decisions simplifies the daily workload.  It also gives us a clear-cut response when our work is questioned or we are asked to do something that does not fit our mission…

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Diffusion of Innovation: Fanning the Flames

As we prepare to build a fire, a really good fire that will warm our community and provide light and social connection, we must arrange our materials intentionally, and those big pieces of wood, the ones that burn the longest and keep the best coals, those are kept to the side, not because they are not necessary, but because creating the perfect conditions to get them to ignite is our ultimate goal.

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Some Thoughts on Beginning CRT Work

CRT is not a boxed program, or a couple strategies to streamline a unit, it is harder to teach it.  And, as most people are aware, we are living in a time in which some of the socio-economic and racial biases in this country have been opened up and are raw to the touch.  Teaching this approach would have been a difficult process even without the current moment exacerbating things, but here we are and we must take the situation as it is, and not (unfortunately) as we’d prefer it to be.

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The Utility of a Third Space During Difficult Conversations

If there is progress in a teacher's work as a result of an approach like this, it builds the teacher's capacity, and it creates trust in the work the coach and the teacher are doing together, so that there may be even deeper dives into difficult work in the future as the teacher embarks on their own improvement.

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Teacher Clarity: A Supplement to the Podcast with Dr. John Almarode

When one considers the place to start with learning, the teacher's clarity around learning targets and how to achieve them is the first step.  If a teacher can be clear in expectations to students, then what's left is orchestrating the strategies that will yield the highest growth for students.  

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Nimbleness--the New 21st Century Job Skill

Nimbleness is a term that is very relevant to the way in which teachers and really anyone in this current moment must interact with the work they do.  To be nimble in this sense requires the agility of mind to hop between tasks of different cognitive natures.  This post looks at just how the term may function in the world of 21st Century job skills.

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Childcare as a Means to Retain Teachers? Yes, Please

In response to Ed Week's recent article on teacher retention and how offering childcare as a benefit to teachers, I've written this post.  This is not a new idea, but having recently become a third-time dad, and thinking of the money I spend on childcare and the time involved in pick-up/drop-off coordination, this felt like a topic worth blogging about.

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Coaching--a Difference Between Life and Death?

Dr. Atul Gawande has been very vocal about the need for professionals to use coaches in their drive toward improvement.  When we consider the very real need for strong skills in the field for doctors, it seems like there is really no reason we should not support this.  Does the same apply to educators?  Is it life and death for us?  This post explores some of those thoughts.

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Doing Half of the Work: A Meditation

We often guide students to answer questions, but perhaps the other half of the work is to question the answers.  It is the work of a scientific mind as well as that of the philosopher.  Do we often only ask students to do half of the work?  This is a brief meditation on learning.

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Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation and How it Can Apply to Change in Schools

Using Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation as an educator seeking change?  It works, and is a good way to conceptualize the process by which professional development and new approaches can proliferate in an organic fashion. 

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