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Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: NCSSE 1-Strategic Leadership

My #OneWord2021: Connect

Dear Friends, My one word declaration didn’t go so well this year. I guess, after all the things learned and experienced in 2020, I just didn’t have it in me this time. So much has changed. The world and our nation have changed. Our way of life has changed. I Read more…


#31daysofjoy

_____ brings me joy. _____ is how I spread joy to others. _____ is how I’m inspiring joy in the world. Have you ever stopped to recognize what brings you joy? If your moments, days, or life are joy-filled, what might that look like? In so many ways, this 2020 Read more…


The Irreplaceable Conference

I hate this part. I can’t stand it. Everything inside me cries out against it. I just want to hang on, hang out, and hang around for a few more moments. I never want it to end. Maybe that’s why I’m always one of the last ones to leave. Maybe Read more…


Pomp In Circumstance

On May 4, 2012, I rode with my girlfriend and her parents to Greenville, North Carolina, to watch her graduation. She was in our district‘s first Masters in School Administration (MSA) cohort to graduate from East Carolina University (ECU).  It was such a special night for my soon-to-be-wife and her Read more…


Scrambling New Year’s Resolutions

The last few days of the calendar year can be an interesting time. For me, it’s a soul-searching space where the past 365 days and the next year intersect. There’s a wide range of feelings and emotions that circle these critical crossroads. All the reminiscing, reflecting, and regretting might anchor Read more…


#30daysofgratitude

Thank you. Have you ever stopped to name the people, things, and circumstances in your life for which you are truly grateful? Not only is expressing gratitude a very positive thing to do, it’s actually beneficial to your mental health. Identifying and reclaiming what you already have shines light and 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…


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…


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…


Shark Tank

I love the show: Shark Tank. There’s nothing better than watching people take a risk to see if they can make a match. Does each side have what it takes to help the team build a dynasty? Do they have the winning combination to sustain long-term success? While I haven’t 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…


Upon Reflection: The Best PD

The very last thing anyone wants in the year of all-things-2020, and when trying to reopen schools amidst a global pandemic, is to add… One. More. Thing. So let’s not. Let’s not invest in expensive PD. Let’s not invest in all of the shiny new objects. Let’s not invest in 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…


Microteaching for Macrolearning

I just got out of another district training and I can’t wait to share this one thing from our study today. While diving deeper into the PLC+ Model, we explored this concept of Microteaching: “We believe that the day is coming in which microteaching, using clips of video to discuss 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…


StrengthsFinder 2.0

At a recent Administrative Intern Institute meeting, I found myself learning from the best in the business. Along with several educators also pursuing their Masters in School Administration (MSA), I got to meet and interact with interdepartmental leaders serving in various administrative roles. Especially as an aspiring administrator, it was Read more…


Halfway Through #MyOneWord2020

“Oh my… I can’t believe how much has changed.” That’s how I began #MyOneWord2020 post… on December 31, 2019. At the time, I was reflecting on the many changes over the last five years. Now, I realize that I could not have been more clueless about what 2020 would bring, Read more…