#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: NCSSE 3-Cultural 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…


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…


#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…


#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…


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…


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…


With Me

Our three-year-old son loves to play.   Most of the time, he plays on the floor or the ground.  When I walk by, he says: “Daddy, sit down! Sit down, Daddy! Right here!“ He likes it when I sit, crawl, and roll on the floor with him.   He likes it when 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…


Vulnerable Moments

Ahhh… Another gorgeous, Carolina fall day for a run around the lake. It’s one of my favorite places to do the self-care thing. I get to unplug, enjoy a few moments of nature, and do some deep processing, thinking, and reflecting. I always embrace and cherish this time. I need 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…


Approachable and Coachable

Coaching can be powerful. Done well, the experience can multiply leaders and transform lives. I’m fortunate to have friends who actually have the word “Coach” in their titles. I’m always learning a lot from them. In addition, part of me thinks that there are elements of coaching interwoven through all Read more…


HappyGram!

What’s a HappyGram? I believe that a HappyGram is a short, handwritten, positive note. Receiving a HappyGram is powerful. Our childcare gave us this HappyGram about our then-23-month-old son. This HappyGram made me cry. Have you given someone a HappyGram lately?


It’s Time to Dance!

I had a bad day today. Have you ever had one of those? Especially in 2020, I’m finding it hard to fake it when everything’s not okay. It’s hard to reach down for a little more, only to feel like there’s not much left in the tank. It can feel 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…


Today is for Us: Daddy! Hold My Hand!

There’s a lot going on. Honestly, I haven’t taken a break in… years. I just completed my MSA journey, and the very certain uncertainty of one global pandemic has held us all captive, moment-by-moment, since March, 2020. Sometimes, it’s hard to know: What’s the right thing to do? Still three 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…