Engage Every Teacher in Raising EL Achievement

The caliber of core teaching has the greatest influence on whether or not our English Learners (ELs) thrive. Consider the following: Three in four U.S. classrooms have at least one student who is an English learner. Even in schools with EL specialists, ELs spend the majority of their instructional day with core classroom teachers. We know this, yet too often forget it when designing EL programs and solutions. Instead, many…

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7 Essentials for Every Teacher to Excel with ELs

How do you empower EVERY teacher with agency and efficacy to raise EL achievement? Click this link to my latest publication to learn specific tips for leading professional learning: 7 Essentials for Every Teacher to Excel with ELs. Contact me to explore powerful ways to we can collaborate to raise EL achievement!

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Courageous Learning with Comics

Problem I don’t draw. Seriously, this is what I’ve told myself for most of my life. Yes, this was the humbling realization I had when reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset years ago, as in other parts of my life I feel like a walking example of someone with a growth mindset. I thrive on challenges, on learning from failure, and all that. I take risks daily to push myself beyond what…

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What Conversations Can Capture

When educators talk about formative assessment, student conversations are often left out of the conversation. This needs to change. You can lead the way.

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Five Ways to Build Administrator Buy-In for Teacher Inquiry

Mention peer observation inquiry (OI) in education circles, and one of the first questions is always, “How do you build teacher buy-in?” It’s a critical question. Teacher leaders, however, ask another important question: “How do you build administrator buy-in and support for peer observation inquiry?” Here are five tips to help teacher leaders engage administrators in supporting effective, job-embedded professional learning.

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Kindergarten Teachers Collaborate to Innovate with Technology

At George I. Sanchez Community School, a Title I school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Title I Kindergarten students are actively using technology to collaborate, create and communicate in ways that deepen content learning. It didn’t start this way. Learn how teachers collaborated to transform their teaching.

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Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

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Seven Ways to Raise Expectations for All Students

We need every teacher to believe in the full potential of every kid. Most of us share this belief, in theory. In practice, things get a little more complicated. It’s easy, for example, in a school where most students underperform, to adjust our expectations of what is possible to fit what we see. It is much more challenging to hold a vision that extends beyond the status quo, and help kids grow into that vision.

Here seven powerful practices you can use in your school to raise expectations for all students, especially ELLs, students of color, students living in poverty, or any students who are not yet thriving.

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Four Sentences Educators Must Stop Saying About Students

The language we use to talk about students matters. It reflects and shapes our perceptions, and most importantly, our expectations for student success.
In your school, make a courageous commitment to shift all staff conversations about kids and their families from a deficit mindset, which views diversity as a problem kids bear, to an asset mindset: one which truly values students and their communities for the diversity they bring. Begin by reframing these four sentences.

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