#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 3-Teachers Know the Content They Teach

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…


Same Tool, Different Function: Part I

There’s a lot out there. Especially for teachers doing all the things, trying to stay abreast of current research, tools, and pedagogy–it’s a lot. There’s no shortage of new technologies, popup vendors, and gadgets and gizmos galore. While it sounds like a booming business of all the best stuff, it 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…


Bee Witches

Being a parent has changed me in ways I could not have foreseen. At first, I looked forward to teaching our two-year-old son all the things. That’s why I continue to be shocked at just how much I learn from him. This example still has me smiling, and, really, inspired Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App

With the educational infrastructure being pulled and stretched this year, educators, parents, families, and communities invested great efforts to rise to the challenge. No longer was it seemingly guaranteed which associate of the school community would be ensuring that learning efforts progressed toward learning expectations. What are we doing? What 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…