• Effective Communication: Seeking to Understand and Listening for Empathy

    I had the opportunity to present about coaching for equity at a P-12 educational conference a few weeks ago. As part of the conversational exchange between participants, we discussed the importance of practicing effective communication in all our conversations; a topic that I decided to share for my Monday Morning Message. Three elements of effective communication involve how the sender and receiver process feelings, data, and credibility within a discussion. The speaker/sender needs to be aware that the receiver first processes what has been shared through their own feelings and past experiences before they consider any data that has been presented to support the speaker’s statements. This is where trust…

  • The Impact of Coaching on Critical Pedagogy

    This past week I was asked to speak on a panel about virtual professional learning structures and strategies to an audience of over 600 P-12 educators world-wide. While COVID has been a stressful disruptor, it also has been an innovator -- Teachers are seeking ways to learn how to improve their pedagogy in virtual settings. Educators are resilient, and this webinar was in response to school leaders asking how to provide virtual professional learning and coaching at a time when many teachers are new to online teaching and learning. The guidance I shared was not about the logistics or platforms used for virtual coaching. Instead, I approached the conversation from…

  • Monday Morning Message

    How do I greet you with a Monday Morning Message when I know many of you are feeling stressed, unsettled, or uncertain during this unprecedent time? We are facing challenges that we have never faced before, and we know we do not have all the answers. “Limitations of nature cannot be controlled or transcended. They can, however, be endured and survived. It is possible for there to be a dance with life, a creative response to its intrinsic limits and challenges ...” writes Welch (2000), a social justice scholar. We, as a collective, may feel like we are living a spring of “limitations.” In January 2009, I faced what I…

  • An Open Letter to My Students

    Do you find yourself counting the days until winter break? This is the time in the semester where the approaching final deadlines for proposals, literature reviews, research studies, and other doctoral projects may feel overwhelming and insurmountable. On top of the academic responsibilities of being a doctoral student, you also have responsibilities within careers and personal lives. This is a good time to take a pause, recognize what you are doing well, and know that you are engaged in a transformative learning experience. I am inspired by … your questions, your quest for learning, and the excitement you express when you talk about your research ideas, when you share how…

  • Learning Experiences

    How has social networking and media supported your personal and/or professional learning? My Professional Learning Networks (PLN) span elearning, instructional design, transformative professional learning, inclusive practices, culturally responsive practices, educational leadership, reimagining libraries, design thinking, improvement science, instructional coaching, measuring for impact...and my newest exploration: imaginative and play-based learning. My Personal Learning Networks focus on traveling, literature, plays, creative non-fiction and creative writing. I sometimes wonder if my professional and personal identities met online what they would say to each other? Creativity meets Academia seems to be the theme. Primarily, I use Facebook for my personal connections. I share our travel adventures and my moments of gratitude within my life.…