#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: NCSSE 7-Micropolitical Leadership

TOXIC?

Nearly by definition, educators are a passionate people. Indeed, the work is sacred. Getting it right might require unique character, values, and skills. I’m thoroughly thinking through more… perceptions as reality. To be sure, there are beautiful sunsets and frantic flash floods. There are shoutouts and teacher lounge snowballs. There Read more…


7 Norms of Collaboration: Paraphrase

Hello, Friends! Since shifting into my new role, I find myself wanting even more time to process and reflect. I haven’t blogged or posted as much lately. However, I can’t wait any longer to share this reflection. This one has me thinking about so much more than just school, work, 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…


Collegiality > Congeniality: Examples in Action

Hey, Friends! I’m still researching this whole concept. In a series of posts here and here so far, I’ve been loosely comparing collegiality to congeniality. To say the least, it’s been an interesting study in the field of education. The central theme is that before we can dive in, dig Read more…


Collegiality > Congeniality: Empathy

Empathy. Sounds simple enough, right? Perhaps it’s one of the most popular buzzwords to ever circulate our social spaces. But what does it really mean? And how might it apply to us in the education world? Hey, Friends! I’m reflecting on educator collegiality in a series of posts, stemming from Read more…


Collegiality > Congeniality

Hey, Friends! I’ve had the absolute pleasure of learning more about professional learning communities (PLC) from a variety of sources over the years. I think the direct correlation between a “highly-functioning team” of educators and student learning outcomes has been thoroughly researched and well-documented. Yet, a professional learning session in Read more…


Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfections

Hello, Friends. Greetings to you from the depths of discomfort. Once a fierce fighter in a frenzy of frustration, I now sit down silently beside you as an unfinished puzzle with all the pieces under the microscope. Not a masterpiece in the making, but learning to master the making, unmaking, Read more…


The Interview of a Lifetime

About ten years into my career, I was nominated for a major award in my district. Several other educators were also nominated, and I knew that the candidate field was strong. I can’t begin to express how honored and excited I was to make it to the final round! At Read more…


Alone Together Reflection: Deep–Then Wide

Upon entering another staff meeting, online space, or professional development session later in the 2020-2021 school year, no one says a word. Complete silence. Silence to think and process. Silence to reflect and learn. Silence to pause and feel this moment.  At the front of the room, there’s one prompt: 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…