Summer Trip of a Lifetime

Next week, I fly to Mexico City to see people I haven’t seen in 25 years. I’m bringing my husband, my kids, and a surprise. I’ll tell you about the surprise soon. Now I invite you on my journey with the important backstory, and a hint. Twenty-five years ago I went to Mexico alone against the advice of my family. Warning “You should go somewhere with more culture,” one family…

Read more

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…

Read more

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.

Read more

7 Ways to Build Trust for Peer Observation

“There is no more powerful way of improving on the job than by observing others and having others observe us.” —Roland Barth (2006) The challenge is opening doors. Use these seven strategies for building trust and buy-in to begin deep professional learning.

Read more

A Bilingual Poem for #WriteMyCommunity

When I was eight, I remember staring out the car window and thinking about disconnect between my world and the world of my Spanish-speaking neighbors who lived only a freeway exit away. No one in my family spoke Spanish, but I wanted to. In California, Spanish is the song of street signs and city names. It’s the voice of a history I wanted to hear, and neighbors I wanted to understand.

As an adult, I wrote this poem in my second language, Spanish, to reach out in a new way. An English translation follows.

Read more

4 Ways to Bring Audience into the Writing Classroom

Engaging students in writing for a real audience and purpose is motivating, AND it enhances the QUALITY of student writing. Busy educators want easy ways to make it happen.

Here are four powerful ways to engage students in writing to CCSS expectations for a real audience and purpose.

Read more

Barefoot Lesson

On the streets of Madras India, a homeless girl changed my life. She’s the reason I teach.

Why do you teach? What moments have defined your path?

Read more