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Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 1-Teachers Demonstrate Leadership

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…


Are We Sharing Resources Efficiently?

Teachers are working harder than ever. They’re doing more–with less–again. Many times, it feels like these circumstances are out of our control. Here’s something we can control. We can control how we’re helping each other as fellow educators in a challenging profession. We can control how we share resources. We can Read more…


#GridSciNC

Teaching and learning science can be challenging. Let’s help each other! In a recent district meeting for elementary science teachers, several educators were discussing platforms and methods for sharing ideas on improving science instruction. While we were having fun populating a google doc with online spaces and resources, it became Read more…


A Legacy That Matters: Part I

My first teacher work day back to school this year was moving, to say the least. To kick off our staff meeting first thing in the morning, we watched the famous Rita Pierson TED Talk, entitled: Every Kid Needs A Champion. To date, it’s had 8,690,429 views since its original Read more…


Flies and Honey, Beets and Beans

You catch more flies with honey. Truer words were never spoken. I’m recalling two childhood experiences that have helped me realize this more than ever. I believe that they can apply to everyone’s daily conversations, and go a long way to sustain relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I proudly Read more…


Playback, Reflect, Grow

For any administrator, educator, or leader, here’s a question to consider: When was the last time you watched yourself on video? For many of us, it was during our student-teaching, or perhaps while we were trudging through those beginning teacher years with the extra-stringent lesson requirements. I just completed a Read more…


Biggest Challenge in Education?

You can just feel it. Whether inferred from blogs, books, presentations, conferences, podcasts, TED Talks, social media, or even face-to-face conversations, the vibe is definitely there. It’s strong. And it’s getting louder by the moment. When Brad Shreffler, founder of The Planning Period Podcast and The Big Q in Edu, Read more…


The CrEDible Coach

What IS a coach? Playing a lot of sports while growing up in the Midwest was an unforgettable experience. I learned some hard life lessons as a youngster, and now those growing-up moments are still so valuable to me–to the extent of shaping my present, adult decision-making. Behind every challenge Read more…


About That Conference

Really? Are you still unpacking and processing your latest professional learning experience? Good. You should be. Here’s why… For any professional learning experience, including local, state, national, and international conferences; unconferences like edcamps, techcamps, or smackdowns; weekly twitter chats; or even what some still call professional development just down the Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App!

DATE: July 1, 2025 Today: Is THE DAY! Twenty Years: From 2005 to 2025, one educator’s passion project was now focused into one FREE app. The world–and the world of education–are forever changed! Gratitude: First of all, I’d like to thank #Hashtag180 app builder ________________________, for believing in me and my Read more…


DOING Professional Learning: Part 3

It was my third ISTE, and it was also my third time presenting at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference. But this time was different… Owning the Experience I can’t tell you how excited I was to share one of my biggest passion projects ever! I started #hashtag180 Read more…


#GridCulum

We’ve had the tools, technology, and the power… And now? We also have the space and strategy to share! Welcome to #GridCulum! This is where Flipgrid breaks down barriers, educators share ideas, and together, we make learning and teaching better for all. Why #GridCulum? Educators are each other’s best resources. Read more…


Myalstones: Multiplying Leaders

Moments like these are so beautiful. Watching our son Myals grow over the last six months has been like watching a miracle. I could have never realized this unless I lived it myself. I could watch him forever. In this moment, Myals has one goal: Get the ball! With gazelle-like Read more…


4 Ways to Personalize Twitter

WHAT! Did you say twitter? College kids roll their eyes. Colleagues don’t have time. And the famous response: “Yeah, I have an account, but I rarely use it, don’t remember the password, or it’s my personal account and not my professional account.” At edcamps, conferences, and education events, I meet Read more…


Flipgrid Your Sub Plans

Missing a day can be unnerving. A great substitute teacher is priceless. But great subs need great plans. And great plans take time to craft. It’s hard for an educator to miss a day of school. Besides really missing the kids, and then hoping to find an available, certified sub, preparing for Read more…


Hesitant to #ARVRinEDU

For years I’ve shied away from it. Today, I’m breaking my silence. Ignorance was–and sometimes still is–bliss. What is augmented reality? What is virtual reality? What is the difference? The world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can really light up your eyes. Literally. With a pair of goggles, Read more…


Perceiving Public Ed

Gone are the days when we can trust the media to tell our education stories. We need to tell our stories ourselves. If we aren’t telling our stories, how will any taxpayer know what’s happening in our public school classrooms? I’m seeing fellow educators in several states marching for higher Read more…