#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 1-Teachers Demonstrate Leadership

Specialist Goes Back to the Classroom: Part III: Integrating With Specialists

Blogger’s Note: This time, I’m going back to the classroom–virtually. To read the rest of this series, please see Part I here and Part II here. For nearly two decades now, I’ve been wrestling with a serious concern that affects educator health and student learning. I’m hearing many commonalities among Read more…


A Look At 40

I turn 40 this year. And that’s got me thinking. A lot. The Expectation I’m grateful to be alive. I’ve invested a considerable amount of time counting my blessings–and naming them one-by-one. The more I think about me, the more I realize that this thing called life is not about me–and Read more…


Social Media–What’s in it for Me?

I’m hearing a ton of conversations about how we need to have more conversations in social media spaces. With all of the latest technologies, we should be able to connect not just more–but more meaningfully, too. In fact, our networking could spiderweb to invite others to new ideas, strategies, resources, Read more…


I’m Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Good Teacher? Part II

Blogger’s Note: I’m still responding to Bill Ferriter‘s post: “I’m Not Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Bad Teacher?” Here was my December, 2018, Part I response. The following is Part II in a mini-series of responses [End Blogger’s Note]. The Big Picture By now, you know how it works. Of the seemingly 145 apps, Read more…


Continuity Clause?

Maybe it’s my Midwest values. Maybe it’s fear that still clings and clenches to tradition. Or, maybe it’s just another Libra waxing sentimental. But I miss those days. A throwback to when team unity was stronger than dollar signs. A hearkening back to when clubhouse camaraderie equaled investment and commitment. Read more…


Trade Days

I’ve been thinking on this for about a decade. Educators need professional learning opportunities to become better. We need to learn from each other. Together, we’re striving to make teaching and learning better for all. Well into 2019, I’m still fascinated by a few things that haven’t happened in education. Read more…


Management: Classrooms vs Specials

So far, I’ve served in two different roles. After teaching fifth grade math and science for fourteen years, I’m in my third year as a STEM Specialist. While both are dream positions, they’re very different from each other. In previous blogs, I’ve enjoyed highlighting many aspects along my journey. In Read more…


Making Professional Learning Better: REDOing Webinars

Getting the most out of our professional learning matters because schools are shelling out time, money, and resources for their educators to get better in their practice, and, ultimately, to make teaching and learning better for kids. But are we getting–at least–a fair return on our investments? We’ve all been Read more…


#WhyITeach: Part I

Blogger’s Note: I’ve seen other educators tweet, post, and blog about #WhyITeach, but the first one I saw do this was Bill Ferriter. I’m copying the idea. Here’s why: Education is a sacred profession. Serving others as an educator is truly special, like no other journey. You don’t have to Read more…


My #OneWord2019: Marketing

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Truer words were never spoken. As I reflect on my professional journey, a few observations immediately surface. There seems to be two sides of the coin: kids and content (and in that order). How amazing it would be if we Read more…


Top 5 #HamstraHighlights of 2018

Reflection through blogging has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my career. To those who encouraged me to start my own professional portfolio, THANK YOU. Near and far, my network is strong. That doesn’t necessarily mean the quantity is prioritized, but rather that the quality of my human Read more…


Science: Facts vs Literacy

I don’t care who you are, space stuff is just plain cool. In recent years, NASA‘s spacecrafts have performed missions that were–and are–truly far out. It’s hard for my finite human mind to grasp the seemingly infinite expanses of the universe, and yet, my imagination is attracted–with overwhelming gravitational force–to Read more…


I’m Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Good Teacher? Part I

Blogger’s Note: I’m responding to Bill Ferriter‘s post: “I’m Not Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Bad Teacher?” This is Part I in a mini-series of responses. Bill Ferriter is one of the most passionate, thought-provoking educators I’ve ever known. A 2015 Bammy Award recipient, “Bill pushes the comfort zones Read more…


A Legacy That Matters: Part II

I’m excited to have experienced a ton of professional learning in November. I’m still processing. But in the same month, life hasn’t come without some unexpected speed bumps, potholes, and detours to remind me of just how human the ride can be. I’m sad that George Herbert Walker Bush has died. Read more…


#HamstraHighlights Turns Two

Two years ago today, I launched #HamstraHighlights. Here’s why it means so much to me. This is where I read, write, research, reflect, interact, learn, and grow. I’m in charge of my entire professional portfolio, including why, how, and what I learn. The ownership is real. That matters. Ranging in Read more…


Leaves of Absence

It’s beautiful. Leaves grow, blossom, and change over time. For a moment, it is well with my soul. Then, at the right time, they fall. Gliding gracefully in a gentle, autumn breeze. Another leaf’s fall flight, another burden off the branch. A permanent leave of absence. Seemingly self-preserving, the tree Read more…


My (Former) Misconceptions About the Racial Equity Institute

Racial Equity Institute. Just the name alone provokes thoughts, emotions, and reactions. Some years ago, a few friends invited me to attend the Racial Equity Institute (REI) workshop. As defined by racialequityinstitute.com: “This is a two-day long process — that helps to provide talking points, historical factors and an organizational Read more…


Of Hard Work and Sawdust

I couldn’t be exactly like someone else. No matter how hard I tried. And there was nothing I could do about it. I had to find my own talents, build on those strengths, and work hard to be the best me I could be. But what was I cut out Read more…


Reflection Space

Professional learning experiences aren’t singular, calendar events with products and finite finish lines–they’re starting lines to ongoing processes in our learning journey. I’ve experienced an incredible amount of personal and professional learning in the last ten days. Each experience has pushed my thinking, challenged my status quo, and widened my Read more…


If You Won the Lottery

If you won the lottery, would you go in to work tomorrow? This question strikes a chord in the heart of educators, but maybe for a variety of reasons. When the lottery gets big, like way up there in record-setting amounts of money so high that it’s hard to even Read more…


Best. Advice. Ever. Part II

With whom are you surrounding yourself? Hopefully, you’re surrounding yourself with people who help you #becomebetter. A huge part of growing in your personal and professional walk is being open to listening to and hearing advice from others. Depending on how you receive that feedback and differentiate it to meet your needs, Read more…


Best. Advice. Ever. Part I

With whom are you surrounding yourself? Hopefully, you’re surrounding yourself with people who help you #becomebetter. A huge part of growing in your personal and professional walk is being open to listening to and hearing advice from others. Depending on how you receive that feedback and differentiate it to meet Read more…