How to open doors: Starting an Instructional Coaching program

As is often the case, I get inspired in my professional practice through Olympic level eavesdropping and spying. I spy on Twitter what my friends and colleagues are doing and think, “That is such a good idea. Could I do that?” I look at blogs and posts by educational leaders and consider, “Is that out […]

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One bad question + One controversial poem = exceptional student learning

My action plan guiding question was, let’s face it, ¬†terrible: “How might improving student writing better prepare them for the unknown?” As a result of this ridiculous question, I found it so difficult to make meaningful progress in this area. Why was it so difficult? It was probably because the question is far too broad […]

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Does Choice = Confidence?

Here’s a quick update to my last blog post (“You Can’t Handle The Truth”), where students in my grade 12 English class are working on a summative evaluation that gives them total choice on the content and form of their ultimate summative evaluations. Today is Monday. Presentations/Assignments are due on Wednesday. Using Google forms as […]

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You Can’t Handle The Truth!

In the Rob Reiner film “A Few Good Men”, the climax of the movie comes when Lt. Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, puts his arch nemesis, Col. Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson, on the stand, hoping to coax a confession from him. The exchange is made famous by the following dialogue, written by Aaron Sorkin: […]

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Using Google Classroom to Differentiate Your Traditional Literature Circles

I thought I’d take a moment and discuss a challenge that has plagued English teachers who have bought-in to the idea of ‘voice and choice‘, giving students options for a novel study rather than forcing the entire class to read the same book, but who also feel challenged to track student engagement, promote different types […]

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Taking Chances at Sea and in the Classroom

Today’s blog post is about… you guessed… taking chances. It’s scary as a professional to also be a risk taker, yet I’ve found that it often leads to my best moments as a teacher. A few years back I took a chance and decided to take a year’s leave of absence so that I could […]

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