#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

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

#TwoGolds

It’s a first! Twice? I never thought I would see this in any sport–let alone the Olympics. Check it out: Such a medals-winning moment! Yet, it would not go unnoticed, unscathed, or unchallenged by onlookers all over the arena. Here were just a few categorical reactions posted in the moment: Read more…


A Legacy That Matters: Part III

Perhaps, one of the best things to know is when it’s your time to retire, move on, or change. And then to embrace it wholeheartedly. Maybe shelter-in-place gave me a lot of time to think. Maybe it’s my Libra sentimentalism. Or, maybe it’s because lately, so many teachers at my Read more…


Implications of Microteaching

The good news is that there are so many amazing learning experiences happening every day. The bad news is that you’ll most likely never get to see them, or about 99.9% of them anyway. Like ever. This has always bothered me. So many missed opportunities to learn from each other, Read more…


How Do You Archive?

Hello, Friends! With all the things that happen, it’s easy to forget a few precious moments. If you’re an educator who “makes a thousand decisions a day,” then there’s a pretty good chance that you forgot what you wore yesterday. Wait–What day was yesterday again? In addition, it’s easy to Read more…


Podcasts for Professional Learning

Hello, Friends! There’s nothing better than a great conversation with educators! For me, nearly every walk, run, workout, or commute is another opportunity to hear a great podcast. Almost like a cup of coffee together, nothing beats feeling inspired, provoked, or so moved by a few educator stories, passions, and Read more…


Judging the Science Fair

Recently, I was invited to be a science fair judge. I could barely say thank you before asking about the very important details, you know… like criteria for judging, rubrics, and awards. Other than that, I was all set for a while. After all, that’s what a science fair is; Read more…


To Meme Or Not?

Like millions around the world, I got to see the Inauguration of the 46th President of the USA, Joe Biden. I love watching historical events–with all of their pageantry, fanfare, and orchestration. It’s important to be an informed citizen. Like millions around the world, I got to see famous political Read more…


Crowd Noise Matters

After nestling through shelter-in-place and extended COVID life for nearly a year, I’m reflecting on another gamechanger. Maybe like many others this year, I found myself with more opportunities to get closer to my family… and closer to my devices. For better or for worse, one of those devices was Read more…


What’s Your Inspiration Date?

Over the last few years, I must have been a listening ear (or a confident activator) in about 100 conversations related to… Your Expiration Date. The conversation goes something like this: Classroom teachers are extremely overworked, under-paid, under-valued, and under-appreciated, to say the least. Classroom teachers have the most interactions Read more…


Trustworthy Leadership

Here’s one more takeaway from the historical 2020 presidential election: One candidate touted his record of success, yet his character came into question after repeatedly spewing divisive, mean-spirited rhetoric. One candidate touted his unifying, empathetic character, yet his policy record, platform rollout, and resulting success remain to be seen. In 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…