Read by Example Newsletter, 9-22-18: Professional Growth

This blog now has a newsletter! I’ll be reposting the first couple of lists here to build awareness for it. You can subscribe here for free. Thanks for reading, -Matt

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This week I found personal growth to be a common thread in the posts and related resources.

  1. When we lead like a coach, we are more likely to see growth in our teachers. Check out my post on this topic.
  2. An excellent resource for leading like a coach is Coaching Conversations: Transforming Your School One Conversation at a Time by Linda M. Gross Cheliotes and Marceta F. Reilly.
  3. Can principals even be coaches? I wrote about this in a post from five years ago. I am not sure I currently agree with my thinking at that time.
  4. I questioned whether we are talking about what really matters when try to grow professionally in this post.
  5. The previous post references a recent ASCD Education Update article. The subject involves a teacher and a principal facilitate a mock conversation about the challenges with traditional teacher evaluation systems.
  6. Last summer, I wrote a post on how literacy leaders might release some of the responsibility of professional development to teachers via study groups.
  7. The previous post is in response to Jennifer Allen’s excellent resource Becoming a Literacy Leader. We (contributors and I) responded to this book in our own online study group; click here to check out all of our posts.
  8. I wrote a short response to the memoir I just read, Educated by Tara Westover.
  9. My wife and I plan to attend an author Skype visit with Tara Westover at a local library (we both read the book). Check out the author’s website for her schedule.
  10. Journaling is how Westover documented her upbringing. Related, I enjoyed this article by Benjamin Hardy for developing a habit and process regarding reflective journaling for professional and/or personal growth.

What’s going on in your world? Any themes you are noticing? Please share in the comments.

Read by Example Newsletter 9-8-18: Reading Clearly

This blog now has a newsletter! I’ll be reposting the first couple of lists here to build awareness for it. You can subscribe here for free. Thanks for reading, -Matt

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This week’s theme is on deepening our understanding of our role as literacy leaders.

  1. How do you know if the task you agreeing to take on is worth your limited time and energies? Check out my post on the importance of staying in your lane when asked to take on additional responsibilities as a school leader.
  2. The post from #1 was an uptake of a previous post titled “What is your job with a capital J?”. I recommend school leaders conduct their own T-chart analysis of what tasks are and are not your responsibilities. The idea came from the helpful resource The Together Leader by Maia Heyck-Merlin.
  3. The “Capital J” question is lifted from a chapter title in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness guide Wherever You Go, There You Are – an excellent resource for improving one’s social/emotional well-being.
  4. Speaking of mindfulness and education, check out English teacher Mark Levine’s blog Mindful Literacy – he posts daily about his current thinking around cultivating awareness in the classroom.
  5. Should we be teaching reading differently when students are online? I explore this question in my post on deepening comprehension in digital spaces.
  6. Social networks such as WordPress and Twitter can be effective for highlighting our process as well as our products. Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon is a current reread for me. He has excellent ideas for engaging with an audience during all parts of the creative process (such as the template for this newsletter).
  7. Dr. Maryanne Wolf’s article on “bi-literacy” was a primary resource for the digital reading post. All educators should become familiar with her research.
  8. Kevin Hodgson, a 6th-grade teacher, shared in a comment how he and some of the teachers he works with are using a digital tool, Hypothesis, to closely read the Wolf article highlighted. Check it out!
  9. We do our students and ourselves a service by slowing down during these first days of school. A post I wrote on this topic describes a 4th-grade teacher’s classroom environment, especially her willingness to co-create the space with her students.
  10. What is a favorite picture book to read aloud on the first day? I chose School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson. Funny and reassuring.

Take care,

Matt

P.S. In case you missed this summer’s book study on Literacy Essentials by Regie Routman, you can read and respond to every post by clicking here. Many literacy leaders contributed to this online professional learning experience.