#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights

Vulnerable Moments

Ahhh… Another gorgeous, Carolina fall day for a run around the lake. It’s one of my favorite places to do the self-care thing. I get to unplug, enjoy a few moments of nature, and do some deep processing, thinking, and reflecting. I always embrace and cherish this time. I need Read more…


A Time to Listen

If I’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s the power of listening. I’m constantly working on being a better listener, myself, but in this reflection, I want to zoom out for just a moment… Whether it be amidst a global pandemic, demonstrations of civil unrest, an election season vehemently vile with Read more…


Are We Grading for Learning?

Conversations about pandemic grading practices continue to flood social media. While there’s always a conflict, a disagreement, or a debate to tweet about, there’s still space for productive struggle and civil discourse. It’s been fascinating to watch conversations about grading, lately. Then, it also feels like there’s a serious tug-of-war Read more…


Approachable and Coachable

Coaching can be powerful. Done well, the experience can multiply leaders and transform lives. I’m fortunate to have friends who actually have the word “Coach” in their titles. I’m always learning a lot from them. In addition, part of me thinks that there are elements of coaching interwoven through all Read more…


Is It Time to Move Beyond Percentage-Based Grading?

To say that this pandemic has changed life forever would be an understatement. But I’m wondering how much the world of education will be changing, too? Like the world, I believe that learning is always changing. Eventually, schooling catches up. Right? Throughout the pandemic, educators have been working harder than Read more…


HappyGram!

What’s a HappyGram? I believe that a HappyGram is a short, handwritten, positive note. Receiving a HappyGram is powerful. Our childcare gave us this HappyGram about our then-23-month-old son. This HappyGram made me cry. Have you given someone a HappyGram lately?


Shark Tank

I love the show: Shark Tank. There’s nothing better than watching people take a risk to see if they can make a match. Does each side have what it takes to help the team build a dynasty? Do they have the winning combination to sustain long-term success? While I haven’t Read more…


It’s Time to Dance!

I had a bad day today. Have you ever had one of those? Especially in 2020, I’m finding it hard to fake it when everything’s not okay. It’s hard to reach down for a little more, only to feel like there’s not much left in the tank. It can feel Read more…


What’s in Your Wake?

First times are special, and I’ll never forget this one. As part of a professional development opportunity through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, I got to travel to Ocracoke to learn all about the United States Coast Guard at Stations #186 and #187 for an entire Read more…


How Do You Measure Student Learning?

Throughout my administrative internship, I had the honor of experiencing interviews from both sides of the table. In general, an interview can be dynamic, featuring deep insight into the applicant’s thought patterns, belief systems, and presentation skills. There’s potential to communicate so much more beyond the basic Q&A routine. From Read more…


Dear Netflix

Dear Netflix, Greetings to you from an inquisitive educator. With COVID-19 circulating the globe, the world will never be the same. I’m wondering if now is the time to embrace change. I’m wondering if now is the time we move forward into a new frontier. I’m wondering if now is Read more…


Upon Reflection: The Best PD

The very last thing anyone wants in the year of all-things-2020, and when trying to reopen schools amidst a global pandemic, is to add… One. More. Thing. So let’s not. Let’s not invest in expensive PD. Let’s not invest in all of the shiny new objects. Let’s not invest in Read more…


Standards-Based Grading Changes Feedback

In a recent twitter chat, I was asked: “Some districts have transitioned to standards-based grading. What are some pros/cons of this shift?” There’s no way I could possibly answer that in 280 characters, right? Grading, feedback, measuring student learning… So many thoughts came to mind. The question took me back Read more…


Today Is For Us: Daddy! Hold My Hand!

There’s a lot going on. Honestly, I haven’t taken a break in… years. I just completed my MSA journey, and the very certain uncertainty of one global pandemic has held us all captive, moment-by-moment, since March, 2020. Sometimes, it’s hard to know: What’s the right thing to do? Still three Read more…


Book Review: White Fragility–Part III

Blogger’s Note: This is Part III in a series of personal reflections on the book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. While it’s imperative to reread, revisit, and reference the entire book, frequently, I’m citing just a few selections that are especially impacting my Read more…


Are You an Instructional Leader?

The phrase “instructional leader” can mean a lot of things. Like many titles, it can take on different meanings, given our unique perspectives. Yet, the perception begins to contrast sharply when comparing instructional leadership from the role of school administrators versus classroom teachers. Personally, I’ve been a listening ear to Read more…


Microteaching for Macrolearning

I just got out of another district training and I can’t wait to share this one thing from our study today. While diving deeper into the PLC+ Model, we explored this concept of Microteaching: “We believe that the day is coming in which microteaching, using clips of video to discuss Read more…


Airplane Stacking

Last week, I was in an online Professional Learning Community (PLC) training when I saw it happen again. Immediately, it reminded me of two fond memories, and one powerful takeaway that you can use in your spaces right now. Throughout my PLC Google Meet session, the activators [formerly-known-as-facilitators] surveyed the Read more…


Book Review: White Fragility–Part II

Blogger’s Note: This is Part II (here’s Part I) in a series of personal reflections on the book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. While it’s imperative to reread, revisit, and reference the entire book, frequently, I’m citing just a few selections that Read more…


StrengthsFinder 2.0

At a recent Administrative Intern Institute meeting, I found myself learning from the best in the business. Along with several educators also pursuing their Masters in School Administration (MSA), I got to meet and interact with interdepartmental leaders serving in various administrative roles. Especially as an aspiring administrator, it was Read more…


Halfway Through #MyOneWord2020

“Oh my… I can’t believe how much has changed.” That’s how I began #MyOneWord2020 post… on December 31, 2019. At the time, I was reflecting on the many changes over the last five years. Now, I realize that I could not have been more clueless about what 2020 would bring, Read more…


Anti-Racist Next Steps?

What a year! So far. Over four months ago, the Corona Virus infected a few. And it spread. Over four hundred years ago, racism infected a few in the would-be USA. And it spread. Nearly four years ago, my friend Mike Parker West shared this image with me: And I’m Read more…


The Wonder Years

This was one of my favorite childhood memories. I’m watching The Wonder Years for about the 12th time in the last 30 years. The whole series. This time, on Hulu. When the show aired 1988-1993, I was embarking on middle school. As a 12-year-old at the time, I can remember Read more…


Edcamp Remote Learning

Just a few months ago, our world was turned upside-down. To say the least, COVID-19 changed the way we did life. As always, physiological and safety needs must be satisfied, first. Even then, with schools disrupted, where does education fit in–if at all? After all, the last thing anyone has Read more…