Orchestrating the Environment for Learning

I like to use the term orchestrating to describe teachers’ behaviors especially relating to the creation of a learning environment. When you consider the musical conductor of the orchestra, they have their back to the audience, don’t have an instrument to play, and yet they have a major role in the music created. I believe […]

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Roles that Coaches Play

Joellen Killion and Cindy Harrison have produced a book for the National Staff Development Council titled, Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-based Coaches. After exploring why coaching is important to student achievement, they dedicate a chapter to each of the following roles that school-based coaches can play: Resource ProviderData CoachInstructional SpecialistCurriculum SpecialistClassroom […]

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The Power of Vertical Teams

For the past three years, I have been working with the staff and administrators at Twin Lakes Elementary in Hillsborough County, FL forming teaching professional learning communities that team K-2 and 3-4 teachers in groups of 7-8. These PLC’s have a three year focus on students as they move through the grades staying in classrooms […]

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School 4 Aligns Challenges

Last year I had the opportunity, as part of a contract with Rochester City Schools in NY, to work with the school based management team at George Mather Forbes School #4 and its principal, Karon Jackson. I especially remember Ms. Jackson as she volunteered to help me model what a coaching conference with a principal […]

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Instructional Coaches and Classroom Teachers Sharing the Road to Success

Cheryl Jones and Mary Vreeman, who lead the Reading Coach Project in Hillsborough County, FL, have published Instructional Coaches and Classroom Teachers: Sharing the Road to Success. I have had the opportunity to work with Mary and Cheryl for the past seven years and have seen the results of their work with elementary reading coaches. […]

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Steve Barkley

For the past 35 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Read more…