November 14, 2018

My grade level colleague Becca and I huddled around a student’s desk during our lunch period. As we planned learning experiences to support the children in our classrooms, we flipped through professional texts, added ideas to a shared Google doc, penciled in notes on a calendar, and checked out blogs. Between bites of our lunches and the sound of the occasional tennis ball bouncing off the window,...

February 7, 2018

Last week, in my role as department chair, I was showing one of our new teachers the various titles available for 11th graders. We were looking for possible book club books to accompany a larger unit she was developing on the American identity.

“How do you do it all?’ she blurted out. “ How do you fit it all in?”

I looked up. I could see she was overwhelmed, but I needed clarification as to precisel...

November 6, 2017

The heart of teaching literacy is this: to support learners as they become passionate, engaged, skillful readers and writers.

That is it. Truly.

As simple as this purpose is, there are countless distractors working to veer us from this focus at every turn. But don’t you let them.

However you can, whenever you can, and using whatever you can, keep this purpose in your heart and head as you teach each...

March 15, 2017

I hope my daughter never reads this post until she is a parent herself! She will uncover one of my favorite parenting techniques--offering choices. It helps diffuse tension while also creating agency. Let me explain. One of our biggest challenges at home is getting ready in the morning, specifically selecting what to wear. She loves to wear her brother’s too-big-for-her clothes or his hand-me-down...

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