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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.

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.

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.

Summer Quiet and the Three Rs

Matt Renwick shares his "Three Rs" for literacy leaders in the summer: read, reflect, and recharge.

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.

Protecting Your Coaching Time

Dana Murphy reflects on some of the mistakes she made early in her coaching career, as well as what her standards are now for making the best use of limited time.

You Say Tornado . . .

Suzy Kaback shares the power of taking time to honor results late in the school year with teachers in professional development settings.

Literacy and Last Days: Keeping It Simple

Matt Renwick knew he didn't want any showy event for the last day of school, so he concentrates on finding quiet ways to celebrate reading and writing that don't stress staff or students.

A Better Hiring Process

Matt Renwick shares five tips for ensuring you have a smooth and smart hiring process.

Looking Back and Planning Forward

Cathy Mere finds that the last weeks of the school year are the best time for literacy coaches to reflect on long-term goals attained and missed, as well as to plan next steps.

Dealing with Side Conversations

It's hard to judge the engagement of teachers during professional development sessions when there are side conversations going on. Dana Murphy has some practical tips for dealing with side conversations in a tactful yet firm way.

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.

Building Self-Evaluation Skills: What's Your Signature Move?

Signature moves are developed over years, not days. Gretchen Taylor explains how they can define literacy leaders in positive and negative ways.

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.

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