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A Year-Long Coaching Calendar

Dana Murphy too often finds herself feeling like she's begging to go into classrooms. The solution? Create a year-long schedule and put the onus on teachers to sign up for a coaching cycle.

Getting Emotional

It happens at least once a year for Jennifer Schwanke -- she finds herself on the verge of crying in a professional setting. Here's her best advice for literacy leaders to keep the tears at bay.

Conferring Matters: A Principal's Perspective

Lee Snider explains how he builds interest and conferring skills in writing workshops.

Conferring Matters: A Coach's Perspective

Ruth Ayres shares strategies for building teachers' conferring skills. This article is part of a new occasional series, Expectations and Nudges, where Ruth Ayres and Lee Snider will explore the same topic from the perspectives of a literacy coach and a principal.

What We Lost

Brenda Power shares a simple activity to use in a teachers' writing workshop or professional development setting to get everyone writing and talking.

Bonding with a Collective Biography

Brenda Power is inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to try a professional development icebreaker that brings any group together by talking through common experiences and beliefs.

Three Ways to Keep Coaching Student Centered

Melanie Meehan shares practical tips for keeping the focus on students in coaching sessions.

When Teachers Design the Professional Development Calendar

Melanie Meehan finds a simple process early in the year that gives teachers more control over the professional development plan builds excitement for new learning.

It's the Little Things: Small Actions for Building a Healthy Literacy Culture

Matt Renwick explains how everything from symbols to basic cleanliness in schools affects the climate for literacy.

Can Anyone Be an Instructional Coach?

When it comes time to hire a new literacy coach, Matt Renwick finds himself focusing on three simple and essential qualities every coach must possess.

Bringing Order to the Bookroom

Shari Frost visits a school bookroom and discovers many issues with organization and use. If you have a school bookroom, summer is the perfect time to rethink its purpose and procedures for checking out books.

Reading Invasion

"Imagine roughly 400 people—staff and students—walking out into the green space on your school campus. Now imagine every one of them with a book in hand. Next, they all take up a space that feels comfortable. Then, they read." Brian Sepe explains how a "reading invasion" is a simple, fun, and powerful way to promote a reading community.

The Awkward Chair

Jennifer Schwanke explains how literacy leaders are often in "the awkward chair"—the position of having to explain painful truths to others. She has tips on how to handle the hot seat in meetings and discussions with colleagues and parents.

Allocating Services

Jennifer Schwanke shares principles for leading those awkward meetings when staff need to decide between too many students who need a finite amount of services.

Professional Reboot

Jennifer Schwanke finds she is jealous of a colleague attending a summer training session, so she attends herself. It's a reminder to her of how powerful professional development can be for school leaders.

Culture for Coaching Part 4: Schoolwide Coaching Cycles

In the final installment of this four-part series, Ruth Ayres explains how she systematically expanded coaching cycles teacher by teacher until they were a schoolwide norm.

Culture for Coaching Part 3: Baby Steps for Launching Cycles

Ruth Ayres shares the four components of launching a coaching cycle successfully. This is the third installment in a four-part series on building a culture for coaching within a resistant staff.

Culture for Coaching Part 2: Resistance to Cycles

Ruth Ayres faces passive defiance when teachers learn they will be participating in coaching cycles as part of a school improvement plan. This is the second installment in a four-part series on building a culture for coaching within a resistant staff.

Culture for Coaching Part 1: Introduction

A failing grade for a school was splashed across the local newspaper and resulted in mandated coaching. It wasn't a recipe for success. Ruth Ayres explains how she built a coaching culture under challenging circumstances. This is the first article in a four-part series.

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.

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