Being Comfortable with Discomfort

While reading an Education Week Blog by Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers, The Importance of Challenging Our Comfort Zone   (August 6),  I was reminded of the need for school leaders, instructional coaches and teachers to create environments where staffs and students are comfortable with discomfort. Berkowicz and Meyers explore the need for school leaders to be […]

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What’s the Message?

Recently I was conversing with several educators from the same district’s central office team. They shared with me that last spring a decision was made to send all central office staff into the schools six weeks before the state testing date to work with students around common reading skill deficiencies. Teachers identified the students with […]

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Defining Student Achievement

Many of the readers of this blog who have worked with me in trainings for instructional coaching, designing professional development, or facilitating professional learning communities are aware that I focus on a backwards planning process that begins with identifying desired student outcomes. (See earlier blog.) I stress that it is critical for the definition of […]

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Instructional Coaching Highlights

I just finished a great day of learning with coaches and administrators from Ankeny, Iowa and surrounding school districts. The participants were tweeting at #iacoaches2013. I found it interesting during small group discussion times to check the comments they were sharing as a way of understanding what in my presentation was striking a cord or […]

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Teamwork in Professional Learning Communities

In the Fall 2012 (Vol 8, No1) issue of Learningforward’s The Learning Principal, Bradley A. Ermeling proposes five principles for reviving problematic groups. I see all five principles applying to those of you facilitating (or training facilitators for) professional learning communities. Here are Ermeling’s points and my comments for PLC facilitation: Find a Shared Concern– […]

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Personalizing School Goals

Often when meeting with principals and coaches I am presented their school improvement goals as a starting point for developing a coaching plan for the school. This is a great place to begin as it starts with student achievement at the center. Pulling out the goals, I often read something like this. 87% of students […]

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Steve Barkley

For the past 30 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…