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A New Administrator’s Journey

Back-to-school supplies are starting to line the shelves. Administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers have goals swimming around in their heads, even while they’re still enjoying their summer breaks. Educators new to positions have many questions as well. How will I build relationships with new staff and students? How will I monitor my impact? How will […]
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Let’s Work Smarter, Not Harder

Instructional leaders, both administrators and coaches, work hard to be effective. Their to-do lists are often never ending. They wear many, many hats. And sometimes they feel less than effective as the grind of paperwork and the wide variety of tasks take hold. To manage their time, many instructional leaders develop their own tools to […]
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The Long and Short of Data Analysis

Data analysis is an integral part of the school improvement process. Data helps us see where we are going and whether we are getting closer to our desired results. The key is to collect purposeful data and monitor it often. Recently I attended a Solution Tree Workshop where our facilitator, Maria Nielsen, used the terms long-cycle and […]
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The Power of Teamwork

A recent video posted on our local television station’s Twitter Feed promoted me to think about teamwork. Authentic teamwork. Teamwork with a clear purpose. Teamwork with commitment, accountability and trust. KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports TEAMWORK In the article Strong Teams, Strong Schools: Teacher-to-Teacher Collaboration Creates Synergy that Benefits Students, Dennis Sparks begins […]
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Using Data for Meaningful Change

As an educator, I believe we need to look to our data to make meaningful change for our students and ourselves. Data comes in many forms – from hard data to perception data. Both play an important role in the change process. To assist schools in using data to make meaningful changes, I believe I […]
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One Measure – Is it Enough?

If you are a dog owner you probably understand my complete attachment to my little pup. Look at him. Doesn’t your heart just melt!  I rescued him 3 years ago. He has been my pride and joy. His unconditional love is comforting. He makes me laugh and teaches me something new everyday! My pup came […]
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A Chair

If you are a school based employee you are accustomed to attending meetings. Staff meetings, building leadership team meetings, professional development meetings, teacher collaboration meetings, administrative team meetings, curriculum writing meetings, study group meetings, grade level team meetings, committee meetings, parent meetings, evaluation meetings, school board meetings, union meetings etc… Where educators gather there is […]
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Don’t Let the Numbers Get in the Way!

Students across the nation have probably taken their state assessment by now. Part of my position as an instructional coach is to assist schools in their analysis of this data as well other forms of summative and formative assessments. Over the years, we’ve worked together to create user-friendly templates so that teachers can begin the […]
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“Angry Birds” – A Lesson in Assessment FOR Learning

I’m embarrassed to admit, but two weeks ago I didn’t even know anything about Angry Birds. It looks like this addicting little game has been around for a while. I know … Where have I been? I guess I’ve been spending time with a less angry little bird (Twitter). I’m really not the angry type! I […]