How will you lead today?

One-on-One

Just as one-on-one conferring in the classroom impacts student learning, individual coaching has the potential to significantly grow a teacher’s practice. With a foundation of trust and solid communication skills, coaches and teachers collaborate to improve curriculum and instruction. Not that it’s easy. It’s not. Teaching is personal; it’s who we are. Here you’ll find support from experienced coaches who have been there and attend to teachers’ learning styles, teaching styles, communication preferences and more on the imperfect journey of working intimately with adult learners.

More Productive Workshops

By early in the new year, literacy workshops should be humming productivity. If you're in one that isn't, Melanie Meehan has suggestions for working with the teacher to find and solve problems together.

Authentically Curious

Matt Renwick is stunned when a teacher complains that he doesn't take the time to know the staff. After getting over his initial anger, he decides on two strategies to address the problem.

Starting a Coaching Cycle: The First Meeting

Dana Murphy outlines a simple process for building trust and shared vision in the first meeting before the launch of a coaching cycle.

Kid-Watching as a Coaching Move

Dana Murphy explains why kid-watching is often the most effective strategy for her time in classrooms, and how she uses her notes with teachers.

The Children Are Communicating. Are We Listening?

Melanie Quinn realizes our classrooms are filled with mini coaches -- the students in front of us who are clearly communicating their needs, if we do a better job paying attention.

The Thin Line Between Mentoring and Coaching

Matt Renwick resists the urge to console a teacher who is disappointed in a student assessment. Instead, he considers whether taking on a mentoring or coaching role would be most helpful.

Paraphrasing to Let Teachers Lead

Matt Renwick talks about the importance of paraphrasing and meandering in conversations after classroom observations so teachers can take the lead in their learning.

Who Are "They"?: Word Choice and Student Learning

Gretchen Taylor finds "these kids" and "everyone" are key words to focus on in coaching, because they can signify sweeping assumptions in lieu of a close look at individual behaviors.

Coaching Purposeful Classroom Design

Gretchen Taylor helps middle school teachers rethink their instruction by considering areas of the classroom as "zones" for learning, and redesigning them accordingly.

Rocking the Boat

Ruth Ayres recalls a humorous canoe trip as a teenager when a group leader had to rescue her and she didn't like it. She realizes sometimes this is just the role literacy coaches need to take on, even if it sparks initial resentment in teachers.

It's Not About Us

Matt Renwick realizes that sometimes we have to ignore our path as learners to help teachers find their own way to better instruction.

Choosing Our Words Carefully

Heather Fisher and Kathy Provost reflect on how just a few words can define relationships between literacy coaches and teachers.

Maintaining Teacher Ownership in Coaching Conversations

Cathy Mere ponders the unspoken messages we can send other coaches and teachers, and how to make our work more collaborative through the language we use.

No More Whack-a-Mole Coaching

Cathy Mere shares strategies for avoiding distractions and staying focused while coaching.

Be Someone Who Writes

Melanie Meehan shares some practical suggestions for helping teachers (and literacy coaches) build a writing habit and get over their feelings of inadequacy as writers.

Learning Through Listening

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan provide some simple listening and questioning strategies to help coaches focus on the specific needs of each teacher.

Planning a Coaching Cycle (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost works with a third-grade teacher to plan long-term and daily goals in a coaching cycle in this video.

Making Classroom Visits a Habit

Matt Renwick examines the cues, routines, and rewards that are necessary for making classroom visits a regular part of his daily routine.

Every Classroom, Every Day

Matt Renwick shares the many benefits of literacy leaders spending as much time as possible every day in classrooms.

Dear Coach

In this open letter to her literacy coach, Andrea Smith shares the secrets of how any coach can find themselves welcome in classrooms.

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