#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: NCSSE 7-Micropolitical Leadership

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Anti-Racist Next Steps?

What a year! So far. Over four months ago, the Corona Virus infected a few. And it spread. Over four hundred years ago, racism infected a few in the would-be USA. And it spread. Nearly four years ago, my friend Mike Parker West shared this image with me: And I’m 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…