How will you lead today?

Coaching Support Structures

Some literacy leaders receive extensive training for working with adult learners, but most of us do not. As you move between the stances of coach, collaborator and consultant, you’ll need support structures in place for defining your role, communicating with administrators, advocating for your position with a school board and more. Here you’ll find reflections and how-tos that respond to the question, “Who coaches the coach?”

Meeting with Building Leaders

Melanie Meehan shares her agenda items and strategies for productive regular meetings between literacy coaches and principals.

Finding Time for Classroom Walkthroughs

Matt Renwick is surprised when teachers evaluate his school visibility as weak. He decides to make his classroom visits more purposeful, and shares the strategies he implements.

Classroom Visit Protocols

Jennifer Schwanke shares tips for ensuring your classroom visits aren't unexpected or unwelcome.

Literacy Audit (Part 4): Building a Strong Team

We continue our series on literacy audits. Jennifer Schwanke explains why it is essential to build a strong team if you want to see real change after completing an audit and deciding on next steps.

Literacy Audit (Part 2): Taking Your School's Pulse

Jennifer Schwanke continues her series on literacy audits. In this installment, she provides some key questions for taking the "literacy pulse" in your school.

Outreach by Reaching Out

David Pittman begins a morning resenting bus duty, and ends with insights into how literacy coaches can use chance encounters to build connections with families.

Rethinking Morning Announcements

"Are you going to read one of your stupid quotes again?" This question from a "frequent flyer" in the principal's office got Matt Renwick to consider ways to change up the morning announcements with a variety of literacy-related components.

The 15-Minute Meeting

Ruth Ayres uses key questions to keep her lesson debrief meetings only 15 minutes long, and finds that the limits provoke rich conversations and reflection in a short amount of time.

Encouraging Teachers to Write

One of the biggest challenges literacy coaches face is getting teachers to write. It's worth the effort, because nothing else is as effective in helping teachers understand and implement successful writing workshops. Ruth Ayres shares three practical strategies for helping teachers put pen to page.

You've Done It. What Happens Next?

David Pittman shares the unspoken questions new literacy coaches will ask themselves or will face from teachers in their new role.

You're New to Coaching. Now What?

Cathy Mere remembers her early days as a coach and shares her top seven strategies for having a fulfilling first year.

Celebrate and Reflect (VIDEO)

Have you paused yet to celebrate all you've accomplished with teachers this year? Literacy coaches Cathy Mere and Kelly Hoenie take a few minutes to reflect on what has gone well and the learning they will carry forward over the summer.

How Principals Can Help Build Teacher and Coach Connections

Principal Lee Snider explains why it is important for coaches to schedule in-class time with every teacher, and how principals can help in supporting this work.

Developing a Principal and Coach Partnership

Matt Renwick explains how he works as a principal to build a relationship with the school's literacy coach, including scheduling weekly meetings and sharing responsibilities in whole-staff meetings.

Using Digital Tools for Instructional Walks

Matt Renwick avoided using digital tools during classroom visits in order not to intimidate teachers. He shares how over time his practice changed when he saw the power of some tools for expanding and extending his communication with colleagues.

Preparing Teachers for Reading Over Breaks

Stephanie Affinito shares strategies for helping teachers build plans and excitement for reading over holiday and summer breaks.

When Email Isn't Enough

Jennifer Schwanke finds that sometimes email can't take the place of face-to-face interactions. She explains why she doesn't let a quest to save time override consideration of when meetings are needed.

Conferring Matters: A Principal's Perspective

Lee Snider explains how he builds interest and conferring skills in writing workshops.

Conferring Matters: A Coach's Perspective

Ruth Ayres shares strategies for building teachers' conferring skills. This article is part of a new occasional series, Expectations and Nudges, where Ruth Ayres and Lee Snider will explore the same topic from the perspectives of a literacy coach and a principal.

It's the Little Things: Small Actions for Building a Healthy Literacy Culture

Matt Renwick explains how everything from symbols to basic cleanliness in schools affects the climate for literacy.

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