#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: NCSSE 2-Instructional Leadership

Top 5 #HamstraHighlights of 2020

As another calendar year comes to a close, I just wanted to say: Thank you. I see you. I hear you. I value you. You matter. Your thoughts, perspective, and viewpoints matter. Our connection matters to me more than you know. To anyone who has ever taken a precious moment 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Edcamp Remote Learning

Just a few months ago, our world was turned upside-down. To say the least, COVID-19 changed the way we did life. As always, physiological and safety needs must be satisfied, first. Even then, with schools disrupted, where does education fit in–if at all? After all, the last thing anyone has Read more…


Book Review: White Fragility–Part I

Blogger’s Note: I can’t believe I was waiting to finish the whole book before pausing to reflect on parts of the book. To be able to choose when I want to “study these topics” or “have this conversation” exemplifies my white privilege. To “share my research” from my context of Read more…


Book Review: Attached

For over a year, I’ve been researching adult attachment theory. I find it absolutely fascinating. This book has changed my life. Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find–and Keep–Love isn’t just a book about romantic relationships. It’s a book for all adult relationships, Read more…


That’s Not A Tech Question

Last week, a colleague reached out to me on a back channel to ask my advice. Simply put, he wanted to know: “Which platform is better–Seesaw or Flipgrid?” Maybe it was because pandemic, remote learning conditions shone the spotlight on those privileged with options like this in the first place Read more…


Medium > Message: Proximity

For a hundred reasons, remote learning is a lot harder than the face-to-face experience. While waiting for another teacher to join our Google Meet a few days ago, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague. In the most organic way, she expressed several reasons why remote learning was more Read more…