#HamstraHighlights

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#HamstraHighlights
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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…


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?


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…


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…


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…


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…


The Wonder Years

This was one of my favorite childhood memories. I’m watching The Wonder Years for about the 12th time in the last 30 years. The whole series. This time, on Hulu. When the show aired 1988-1993, I was embarking on middle school. As a 12-year-old at the time, I can remember 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…


#OneThought: Covidgilance

In pandemic times, we’ve been tried. We’ve been tested. We’ve been through a lot. While we’ve waged worldwide war on the invisible virus, perhaps, many of us fought our fiercest fights in our very own homes. We’ve done battle with demons daring to destroy our would-be well-being. Jumping jacks on 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…