Concerning Behavior? Let’s Understand Why.

“Rita is pantsing! For no apparent reason, she stands in the middle of class and pulls down her pants! This can’t continue. Can you recommend a pantsing program to help her stop this?” “Arthur hits his teacher and para. Staff say he should be in a separate class or different school.” “We are noticing much more aggression by students. What … Read More

Building Hope: Reflections on the Spotlight podcast with Jim Knight

Have you had a chance to listen to the recent Spotlight Podcast with Jim Knight?  Though my role has grown to encompass many more things, I will always first and foremost identify as a coach, and the writings and conversations of Jim Knight have been instrumental to that identity formation. I devoured The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching, Knight’s newest  … Read More

Isn’t It True That…..

Teaching is complex….it is situation-specific….and dilemma-ridden. No list of what a  teacher should do on a daily basis can capture the extraordinary subtleties involved in making instant decisions in the classroom to support students. Having in-depth conversations with students about the meaning of learning, instead of telling students to just DO the work, IS what teaching should be! ABOUT THE … Read More

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

Goal setting and reflective thinking are powerful components of a growth mindset classroom. We need a concrete idea of what we want and a plan to get there. Without this, it is easy to fall back to fixed mindsets. As you teach for a growth mindset, the belief that talents can be developed and all have the ability to grow … Read More

I Wonder Why…..

I wonder why… … as educators we are so eager to abandon “tried and true” practices, that have been proven over decades to be important to student learning? It took a pandemic to do some housekeeping of a floor-to-ceiling bookcase of 40+ years of educational materials, that led to a moment of discovery. It was grandma’s old schoolbook. She taught … Read More

Embracing SEL for Success

Sometimes as school leaders we are so focused on making progress—improving student academics, streamlining workflow, and engaging professional development, etc.—that we neglect to pause and ask ourselves if we are charging up the right hill. Sure, schools have always been about academics, but the world is changing and we need to reexamine how our teaching impacts our students’ well-being and … Read More

Teacher Retention: Are We Asking The Right Questions?

We are in the midst of a national teacher shortage and our New Hampshire schools are no exception.  There are numerous assumptions one could make about why teachers are leaving; however, I believe this question is best answered by focusing on why Granite State Teachers stay.  In order to effectively address teacher retention and attrition in New Hampshire, understanding why … Read More

Decluttering the Teacher-Centric Classroom

Classroom spaces should tell us about our students, who they are, and what they value. The building was bursting with energy: Empty boxes and welcome banners filled the halls. Teachers were creating and mounting bulletin boards, unpacking boxes and assembling learning materials, and decorating their classroom doors. I still remember how each year our faculty worked late into the night … Read More

On Courageous Leadership and the Humans We Support

We’re just over halfway to the February break–how are you holding up?  Leadership in these times is no joke.  A recent EdWeek.org story was titled, Awake at 2am; Agonizing Over Life-and-Death Decisions: A Superintendent’s Story.  When the stress of it all gets to be too much – and it does – we all know it impacts our leadership, whether we … Read More

Self Care: Beyond the Pedicure

After almost a quarter of a century in education, including 15 years of teaching middle school language arts, I have been thinking about what self-care means for a long time.  To me, it is more than just an event or an activity – though the pedicures and massages certainly serve their purposes – self care needs to be a way … Read More