#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 2-Teachers Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students

#OneThought: Science Literacy

There’s a lot going on here… What are your takeaways? As a parent, I can't wait for our baby to start talking. As an educator, I'm really thinking through this quote at the 0:55 mark: https://t.co/0svd7hiaqo — Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) October 1, 2019


#Teacherlife–Child Care Sickness

Experiencing life through the lens of a parent has really convicted, challenged, and rerouted me as an educator. Striving to address the needs of the whole child is so different to me now than in my previous 17 years of teaching. I marvel at how my mindset has shifted in Read more…


#Teacherlife–Child Care–Day 1

As I entered the building to hand over the most precious thing in my life to nearly complete strangers, a part of me died. I know change is hard, but I just don’t know how to describe transitions like these. This one was especially difficult, I think, because it was Read more…


Pedestal Problems

Social Emotional Learning is a big deal in schools and life today. Our kids are persevering through challenges unprecedented. Navigating human interaction as adults is no easy feat either, it seems. Therefore, it’s not hard to imagine why there might be so many pedestal problems–even amidst total clarity, context, and Read more…


Field Trips: Fun, Learning, or Both?

Ahhh… The Field Trip. One of the best learning opportunities of all time. Nothing beats the real thing. Nothing beats being there. Nothing beats learning by doing… the real thing. As far as teaching and learning go, it doesn’t get any better than this. But even when packed with all Read more…


From Abstract to Hands-On

As a younger, fifth grade science teacher (not too long ago), I made a lot of mistakes that I wish I could go back and redo. When speaking to a parent about our North Carolina fifth grade weather standards recently, some of these past mistakes came back to me. Mistake Read more…


Check It At The Door?

I love blogging. It truly helps me deeply process those experiences that mean so much to me. This reflecting helps me think through things, research what I don’t know, check my blind spots, and even revisit the archive to see where I may have been… wrong, misguided, or simply inexperienced Read more…


Drama That Sticks

You know that person. At the neighborhood block party, she’s the rabble-rouser. At dinner with friends, he keeps rehashing malicious memories. At work, that person thrives on hype. That person is all about… the drama.  Got drama? Stir it. No drama? Create it. Only a little drama? Proliferate it. A lot of Read more…


Starting an Equity Team at My School

A few years ago, I never thought I would have done this. It has been one amazing learning experience so far, and I can’t wait to share it with you. In addition to my own equity journey, I think I’ve grown through the perspective lens of a future administrator as 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…


#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…


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…


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…


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…