#MakerSpace Camp with @TheEdCollab (it’s going to be awesome)

25 Feb

Over at The Educator Collaborative, we’ve put together an event I’m so excited about.  If you don’t already follow @TheEdCollab or subscribe to our mailing list (TheEducatorCollaborative.com/contact-us) here are the details:

Two nights of making growing  exploring + true STE(A)M learning!



Explore the world of the Maker Movement, Makerspaces, and truly engaging STEAM instruction, with us! For dabbling beginners and advanced practitioners.
Literacy-minded or tech-integrated.  K-12+
Teachers, coaches, administrators, library-media specialists and more!
If you hold kids at the core of your teaching, this is the event for you



(Streamed Free To Everyone!  Yes!  Free!)


laura newbio

Sunday, March 29

Laura Fleming

Member of The Educator Collaborative Team and author of Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School


Monday, March 30

Troy Hicks


Author of Crafting Digital WritingCreate, Compose, Connect! and The Digital Writing Workshop




Kits designed by The Educator Collaborative and our event partner Table Top Inventing

✧MakerKits For Cadets Only:


Sunday night: Dive into the kit and “make” right along with us!

☼ Monday morning: Try out “making” at your school!

☺︎ Monday day and night: share your “maker” inventions using #TheEdCollabMaker

Kit includes beginner supplies: paper cut templates, aluminum wire, clothes pins, clips, magnets, batteries and a class set of LED “blinkey lights” and more.  The kit is designed for one participant and one “class set” of additional items for use on Monday.  Additional items may be purchased anytime from our event partner Table Top Inventing.

We’ll invite you to supply a few creative items, too. That SECRET MISSION will come in the weeks before the MAKER SPACE CAMP.


✬MakerKits and Advanced Learning For Admirals Only:


✪✪✪✪ In Four, Follow-Up Sessions with Laura Fleming: Dive more deeply into the world of making. Exploring STE(A)M concepts that will take your making and makerspaces into the stratosphere.

Kit includes advanced supplies: LEDs, speakers, an oscillator board, an “Arduino” Board, and more.  The kit is designed for one advanced participant.  Additional items may be purchased anytime from  our event partner Table Top Inventing.

We’ll invite you to supply a few creative items, too. That TOP SECRET MISSION will come before your first FOLLOW-UP MEETING.

Admirals will join Laura Fleming for 4 additional, online, group learning sessions!

Four online sessions beyond the Maker Space Camp:

  • April 17th,
  • April 24th,
  • May 15th,
  • and June 5th

When registering, you will select your Group:

  • Group Alpha meets online 3-4PM EST/Noon-1PM PST
  • Group Beta meets online 5-6PM EST/3-4PM PST



In addition to Laura Fleming and Troy Hicks, we are excited to be joined by these special guests!

➢ Making as a Path to­—and Beyond—the CCSS and ISTE Standards

ziemkeChris Lehman Author PhotoChristopher Lehman, Founding Director, author of several popular books include Falling in Love with Close Reading (with Kate Roberts) and Energize Research Reading and Writing

➢ Play-Based Game Design Methods for Fun and Intellectually Engaging Instruction

instituteofplay_logo_mainScreen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.10.44 AM




 J84A1180An Institute of Play “Making” Event

➢ “A Scoptti logoe and Sequence of Making”: From Leading Kids, To Giving Them The Lead

  • Steve Kurti, Research Physicist and “Chief Maker and Mad Scientist” at Table Top Inventing


And special guests: Laura’s own New Milford High School students!

▸▷>>>>REGISTER HERE<<<<◀︎◁

 Three Levels of Registration! ❖


Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.02.30 PM


  • February 24: Mailing List Members receive the Priority Registration Code (Join Mailing List!)
  • February 26: @TheEdCollab will begin tweeting the Priority Code (Follow Us!)
  • March 2: Registration goes live to the General Public (Link will appear Here)

Seats are limited at “Cadet” and “Admiral” levels. Waitlist available once seats are filled.


More information is available on our MakerSpace Camp page (link).


▸▷>>>>REGISTER HERE<<<<◀︎◁

Special Thanks to Our Event Partners:

Table Top Inventing

tti logo


Institute of Play


See you in Indy, Chicago, Milwaukee or online!

13 Jan

I’m looking forward to upcoming events in February.  There’s nothing more fun than getting to see friends and meet new faces across the country.

Registration is open now for each of these. Hope to see you in person (or typy-typing online)!

If you cannot make these, check the link at the bottom of this post for additional events (I’m talking to you OH, MO, TX, IN, PA…).


Indianapolis and Chicago

February 4 and 5. Kate Roberts and I will lead a day long workshop on close reading practices for grades 4-12.  There will be tons of practical ideas for close reading fiction, nonfiction, texts and media. And potentially we can get Kate to sing (but don’t tell her I told all of you that).

Registration is open now at this link to Heinemann PD.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 1.20.27 PM




February 6. I’m honored to have been invited to speak at WSRA’s annual convention held at the Wisconsin Center.

Registration is open now at this link to WSRA.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.07.10 PM



Beginning January 21 (then Jan 29 and Feb 11). I’m leading a 3-session online Heinemann webinar called “Energize Your Teaching: Informational Reading, Writing and Research are Way More Interesting Than You Think.  These run on each date from 10-11:15AM EST.

Registration is open now at this link to Heinemann Webinars.

Energize Research Reading and Writing


For additional, upcoming events: please visit The Educator Collaborative’s event calendar.

#Nerdlution15 – More Happy (Less Injury)

11 Jan

Please come with me into a special rocket ship I had built (I know the engineer, old friend) back to the time when we all could actually get all of our goals accomplished and still have time to relax on the beach.

by Joe Schneid, used under Creative Commons

Yea. No. That’s not real and never will be.

Which is why my friends Franki Sibberson, Colby Sharp, Kristi Mraz and I—and tons of you—are in the midst of another #NERDLUTION!

To be clear. I think many of you have already started your nerdultions and have been posting about it.  I, on the other hand, am still waiting for that rocket ship delivery.  

So here is my day to catch up.


For the uninitiated, a “nerdlution” is a resolution that we nerdy educators make to better ourselves, or our community, or each other. Or to just simply do something fun. Or strange. Or really anything at all that you want to commit to.

Here is a post from last year where I explain the birth of the movement and give more specific rules on forming your own nerdlution (hint: there are none).

(And when I say there are none, I mean none. Example: Franki ate apples last year.)

(Well, sort of).

Last year my nerdlution was to do 100 push-ups per day. That lasted for longer than I thought. I felt great. And only led to 3 months of physical therapy for my rotator cuff.  Hahaaaaabutreally.

On to #Nerdlution15!


by Kristi Mraz

This year I am equally workout focused, but in a more controlled and less shoulder failure way.

My goal is to workout at least 3 times per week (but bonus points if I do more) using a new app that I really love, “Strong,” which basically is a 2.0 way to record weight lifted per rep/set.

I see a trainer… sometimes a lot, sometimes a little… and really want to get better at working out on my own so when I see him I don’t embarrass myself.

What I love about the app, aside from it keeping me focused on completing exercises, is that it totals everything at the end of each workout session.  Meaning, even if the amount I lifted each rep was pitiful, at the end I can lie to myself because it says I lifted, for example—true story—SIXTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS.

FullSizeRender 6

Proof. Clearly.

Which I thiiink makes me the strongest man in the world.

No? No? That’s not how it really works?

So my #Nerdlution15 is to keep a steady gym routine using my app.

You Can Too

Just pick something to commit to. Then tweet and blog about it using the hashtag #Nerdlution15.

Or don’t tweet or blog and just do it.

Or invite your whole class to pick something. Anything. And join in.

Reading a great poem everyday, giving a compliment, running, cooking, spending more time with your kids.

If it will make you happy, do it.


Happy #nerdlution15!


25 Nov


cross-posted at TheEducatorCollaborative.com/fergusonsyllabus/


We grieve with families that have lost loved ones to brutality, violence, and fear.

We despair with a system that has made great police officers second guessed and poor ones too quick to pull a trigger.

We stand hopeful with the millions of educators, parents, community members, and children who are looking desperately towards a brighter future. A future where we are less ignorant, more aware of our biases, and more open to connecting across race, class, and ideologies.

Today, we recommend you spend some time looking through the tremendous resources being shared over twitter, using the hashtag #FergusonSyllabus.

If nothing else, our history has taught us that galvanizing moments can be turning points—if we so choose them to be.


With a broken heart and hopeful soul,

Christopher Lehman and The Educator Collaborative family



#NCTE14! (and the crowd goes wild!)

17 Nov

NCTE is definitely one of my favorite times of the year.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 6.21.35 PMNothing is better than getting to connect with edu-friends. Or the fun of doing that squinty eye look as you try to sneak-read someone’s name tag as you wonder, “Have I seen your face in a little twitter photo before?.” I’m looking forward to being in the D.C. area and for the energy of this upcoming weekend.

My friends and I at The Educator Collaborative have many events going on and we hope we’ll get a chance to say hi to you.  Sessions, signings, meet-ups…. and we’re really excited to organize an informal meet-up we’re calling the “Professional Book Swamp Meet”!  All the info is below.


TheEdCollab at NCTE14


Sunday morning Meet-up and “Professional Book Swap Meet”

TheEdCollab NCTE Professional Book Swap-01



If you are unable to attend, follow the hashtag #NCTE14 for highlights.

Hope to see you this weekend!

#TheEdCollabGathering Archives! and Final Days to Apply to Coaching Think Tanks

28 Sep

Our inaugural #TheEdCollabGathering was a blast! Over 1,200 educators tuned in live from countries all over the world.  It was inspiring to see the incredible turnout, read the energized tweets, and watch the inspiring sessions.

In case you feared you missed it… you didn’t!

We are happy to share the archives of all of the streaming sessions!

You can find them back on our gathering page: Gathering.TheEducatorCollaborative.com

or on our YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/TheEdCollab

A special thanks to the amazing presenters, volunteers who helped all of the technology run smoothly, and to all of you for attending (or soon to join in through the archives!).



Final days to apply to yearlong Coaching Think Tanks!

Also at The Educator Collaborative, we are quickly reaching the deadline for applications to our Coaching Think Tanks.  Final applications accepted through October 1st.

Coaches from all over have already joined and we invite you as well.  As long as you can access the live sessions via the internet, you are welcome to join regardless of your location.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 10.06.24 PMWe designed these as opportunities for Technology Coaches, Literacy Coaches, English Coaches, and Coordinators or other leaders.

We know that often coaches and coordinators are the real rocks of their school communities. We also know that in these roles we can often feel alone.   Our Coaching Think Tanks aim to create spaces for these leaders to learn together with experts from our team and also from one another.

Groups work together throughout the school year. Meeting online for sessions nearly each month, completing assignments that put conversations into action, and working together online in Forums and sharing documents.

Learn more, and apply, here: TheEducatorCollaborative.com/project/coaching-think-tanks/

Hurry though, final deadline is Wednesday!





Guest Hosting #Engchat Tonight! Let’s talk Family Involvement

22 Sep

I am looking forward to guest-hosting tonight’s #engchat! It is at 7pm EST.  Simply follow the hashtag “#engchat” and include it within your tweets in order to participate.

I am excited to facilitate the conversation not only because I love this community that my friend and fellow The Educator Collaborative member, Meenoo Rami, founded, but because we will be chatting about a topic that is critical to the growth of our students and our schools.

Tonight’s chat is titled:

Family Involvement: Go Beyond Lip Service & Build a Strong School Community

I have become so interested in this topic for two reasons:

One, my own children are in school.

When my daughter began Pre-K over three years ago, I suddenly saw schooling in a whole new light.  It has led me to reflect a lot on what I did (and did not do) for parents and families while I was in the classroom.

The other reason I am so drawn to this topic is that I have been serving as Special Advisor to the National Center for Families Learning.

They believe that one of the most powerful ways to support a child’s education and development is by supporting the education and development of the entire family.  Yes!

And they have been doing so, and serving as a hub for other organizations large and small, in amazing ways.  I have to say, I fell in love with their work instantly and give a lot of time and energy to their work freely.

So, tonight I invite you to join us as we think about ways that we as English or literacy teachers support family involvement.  Though, you do not only need to teach English or reading and writing to join, everyone is welcome!

Here are draft questions for tonight’s chat: click this link.  Please do take a look and feel free to comment, revise, or add additional suggestions.


New to Tweet Chats?  No problem!

If you are new to twitter chats, or have only been a “lurker” (twitter-ease for people who watch chats but don’t tweet responses), you are welcome to this and every #engchat.

There are many guides online for how to engage in a twitter chat, here is one I wrote: “So you think you want to Tweet Chat: From Lurker to Chatter 101″.  And know that everyone in this community is happy to have you and will help you out!

So You Think You Want to Tweet Chat


I hope to see you in the twitterverse tonight!


Thank for all you do!


Bring your edu-friends: #TheEdCollabGathering

18 Sep

There are many kinds of tired.

Grumpy tired, new baby tired (hi Kate and Maggie), but-its-THE-WEEKEND tired, and the rest. (Pun intended.)

Right now, though, I’m feeling awesome-tired. The kind where your eye balls are crossing and your every thought includes a blanket and yet you feel like you’ve accomplished something big.

While I won’t really rest until Saturday, at about 5PM, a first big accomplishment of this upcoming weekend is finished and ready to share:







Come check out the agenda, the presenters, the sessions – and while I’m totally biased, I can’t help myself but be oo’ed and ah’ed by the line up.

Saturday, September 20th

9:30AM – 4:00PM EST

Donalyn Miller is keynoting, and there are just too many others (Jen Serravallo) to mention here (Rafranz Davis), you’ll really have to go (Kristin Ziemke) check it out (Kathy Collins) for yourself (Luis Perez) and start making (Sara Ahmed) plans for what you’ll watch live (Kristi Mraz) that day.

The best part, is that—if the internet behaves—all sessions will be archived. So you could actually watch all of the sessions, even the ones you miss the first time!

We will keep the site and archives live for as long as you’d like to keep click, click, clicking on em.

We are so excited to share this with all of you!  Thanks for all you do.


9 Sep

The Ray Rice video is a reminder that many people live with the real threat of domestic violence and that we do not know what happens behind closed doors. Domestic violence can happen to anyone.


Please share this link and phone number widely.  You may help someone escape danger or even save a life.



If you are afraid, it is not okay and it is not your fault.

You can get help.

National Domestic Violence Hotline




From the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

What Does An Abusive Relationship Look Like?

Does your partner ever….

>    Embarrass you with put-downs?
>    Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
>    Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
>    Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
>    Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
>    Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
>    Make all of the decisions?
>    Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
>    Prevent you from working or attending school?
>    Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
>    Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
>    Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
>    Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
>    Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. In this section, you’ll find all sorts of information on different forms of abuse. Don’t hesitate to chat or call [The National Domestic Violence Hotline] (1-800-799-SAFE) if anything you read raises a red flag about your own relationship or that of someone you know.

Thanks on This Back-To-School-Eve

3 Sep

For all your end-of-summer blues, “why do I have to set my alarm clock again?” shock, and your endless prepping and planning for this first day of school, know that your efforts matter.


In just our home, you have a soon-to-be second grader and a brand-new kindergartner feeling excited for a new year to begin. They are anxious, yet just can’t wait to get to know their teachers.


When you step into your classroom this year, as some of you already have, you will profoundly and forever impact the lives of children.


You are a hero. Really, truly, we should hold a ticker-tape parade in your honor tomorrow. As the sun rises in the morning we should usher you down your nearest main street in an open top cadillac. We should line the streets, waving signs, celebrating the great gifts you will give this year.


This year

you will be someone’s champion

you will forever change someone’s self-esteem

you will touch a family in a profound way

you will help a colleague more than you will know

you will heal a heart

you will grow a mind

you will change another small part of the world for the better.


Here’s to an amazing school year.

Thank you for the gifts you share, the struggles you surmount, and the belief you hold.


Happy 2014-15!

image in public domain




Last Day for Early Decision Applications: @TheEdCollab #CoachingThinkTanks

26 Aug

I have loved reading the applications rolling in for our brand new 2014-15 Coaching Think Tanks.

It was a dream to develop these cutting-edge ways for literacy and technology coaches to learn together.  I am so honored and inspired by the motivation and vision contained in these applications from coaches from all corners. I can’t wait for our team to get to join yours.


A reminder that tomorrow, August 27th, is the deadline for early bird applications. The window closes at 5PM EST …though if you were to slide in within a few hours of that I’m sure no one would notice…

The first batch of applications will be processed and decision letters will go out starting Sept 2nd.

If you miss the August 27th deadline, no worries, we will continue to accept applications until all sections are filled or Oct 1, whichever comes first.  Though ,many popular sections are filling, so don’t wait too long if you have top choices.

About Our Coaching Think Tanks

We know that Coaches are essential to a school’s growth.  We also know–many of us from personal experience–that it can be a lonely position at times.

We are hoping our Coaching Think Tanks can be a not-too-busy, never-having-to-travel, intimate and rigorous way coaches can learn together across the school year.

They are not webinars, instead they are highly selective, small groups of coaches joining together across the year to collaborate and study.

Only 5-10 literacy and/or technology coaches will be admitted to each group. This is so no one feels lost in the crowd and groups can really become personalized support systems.

For more info here is my video announcement or you can visit our Coaching Think Tanks page.

We have just 16 New to Coaching and Advanced Coaching sessions to offer, led by me, Meenoo Rami, Kristi Mraz, Brian Sweeney, Kristin Ziemke, and more… Lots of options, but also very limited enrollment, so check it out early.

For each group, there will be

  • yearlong support
  • 6 live, online, sessions facilitated by one of our team members.
  • Projects to work on between online sessions to extend conversations into practice.
  • Private Forum Groups on our Community.TheEducatorCollaborative.com page.
  • And a professional learning hours Certificate or Digital Badge at the end.

Click the image of the Flyer or download here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.14.24 AM


Thanks for all you do–for kids, for each other, and for our profession.



Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Double Ear Infection

25 Aug

I’m writing to you from the Happiest Place on Earth, Place Where Dreams Come True, Memories To Last a Lifetime’s neighbor: the Double Ear Infection Bed of Sorrows.

used under Creative Commons lic. by Matt Wade

You see, one of my greatest strengths is getting sick either just before or just during a vacation. Twice we’ve been in beautiful and sunny Punta Cana and twice I have been locked in a room with a fever. Family water park vacation in Wisconsin Dells? Flu. Hey, here we are in Paris! Hey, here are the chills!

I do think a part of this is that I seem to never stop working. Then, when I do let my guard down, even ever so slightly, the bugs I have willed to stay away begin to creep up.

So, two days before our trip to the Mouse’s House I was, of course, shivering with fever-chills and slowly losing my hearing to a middle ear blockage. It ’twas only one ear at the time.

The plane ride down here was easy and pain-filled as one ear opened and the other closed up with the help of some sort of demonic fire sorcery taking place in my head.

I was determined, however, to keep going. Sinus decongestant. Tylenol. Antihistamine. Moving my head at odd angles. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin this trip for my family. And I firmly and steadfastly do not like to bother others.

I Got This. No Really. It’s Fine.

I come from a long line of do-this-myself-ers. Partially it is pride, for sure. We feel good when we have accomplished something all by our lonesome. A larger part, though, is that we do not want to make anyone else bother over us. I will more often than not do whatever it is that has to be done just to avoid needing to ask someone else.

I’m often inconvenience-phobic.

I assume that asking puts people out. Annoys them. Takes them away from more important things.

Which is why for the past few days, as pressure ebbed and flowed in my ears, as pain came and went, and as Mickey sounded more and more muffled, I simply took care of things myself.  More decongestant, more yawning, more tilting.

Until 12:30AM last night.

When I bolted out of bed with the feeling of explosions in my eardrums.

Now. I did still do-it-all-by-myself at first. I did fumble-tip-toe to the bathroom, got water, took more of I don’t remember what. But finally, in intense pain, I woke up my wife and we figured out how to go to emergency room.

Asking And Being Asked

What followed was a reminder that none of us are in any of this alone.

Not with a double-ear-infection at Disney World, not in our homes, not in our schools. Person after person was reassuring and helpful. From the front-desk, to our cab driver, to everyone at Celebration Hospital (yes. It is called that.).

I know this sounds like the obvious statement of the year, but:

people like to be asked.

I mean, on reflecting, I like to be asked. And when you ask someone to help, and then they do, you both feel great about it.

We each take pride in our expertise, in our ability to create or change or fix.

Now, I’m not talking about being volun-told (the identity of the educators who taught me that one will remain private) or micromanaged. Instead, I am suggesting that I, and perhaps you, can take more opportunities for learning from others and sharing in their strengths.

It is good to do things alone. Even better to do them together.

Starting the Year With Questions

For so many educators, our roles are often assessed as singular: your test scores, your lesson plans, your teacher evaluation, your classroom. While, sure, there may be a place for individual accounting of strengths, we need to be cautious that we do not retreat too much.

We retreat from the help of others when we assume we know it all or not enough, when we fear bothering others, when we think no one understands us, when we becoming unwilling to change, or when we assume no one else will. We can do this to each other as well, we can avoid fellow teachers, assume people’s strengths or limits.

We change this  when, simply, we ask:

  • “Could you listen to this…”
  • “How did you…”
  • “Can you show me…”
  • “Can you help me…”


Even though I’m only about 6 hours into my antibiotic treatment and my ears still feel like they are stuffed with cotton — I know my hearing is improving and ready to listen a bit differently during this school year.

Thanks for all you do!

image in public domain




What Do We Teach About Ferguson, MO?

14 Aug

I want to thank the brilliant educator and activist Christopher Lehmann (yes we share nearly the same name – he just has one too many Ns…) for the nudge this afternoon to write about my feelings on this topic.  When tragedies like these happen I sometimes find it hard to find the right words, but he reminded me how important it is to share our perspectives, how it matters for the educators we are lucky to call our community and for the children we serve. So thank you, Chris. I needed to be reminded that my voice matters, just like all of our voices matter.


What Do We Teach About Ferguson, MO?

My first draft of this letter was an angry one. Mostly at myself. While the unarmed Mike Brown’s shooting death by the hands of an armed police officer hit me, I also have started to build a pretty hard callus over the part of my heart that aches for young black men dying in our country. It hurts every time, yet I grow bitter that solutions may never come to this national tragedy. I see the lack of government movement, or even care, and feel hopeless.

What I began writing was that I was angry with myself that it took an utterly outrageous scene of mostly white police using excessive force against a mostly black population to snap me back to reality. Shouldn’t I be as outraged over one young black man’s death by an officer as I am over a scene of neighborhoods be covered with tear gas?

Then I came to this: what I know I want to teach about Ferguson.

We do need to talk about what is hopeless. And there is so much to feel hopeless about.

Mike Brown is one of many young black and minority and poor men who die daily in our country from violence–whether from police or from one another. Our prisons are filled with young black, minority, and poor men and our colleges are not. There is so much bad that it is overwhelming. Our national callus grows because to allow oneself to live with the gravity of this reality can feel so hopeless.

We do need to talk about what is hopeless because to not do so is to act as if it is not there.

What I want to teach about Ferguson, though, is not teargas.

What I want to teach about Ferguson is hope. Hope embodied in the people who chose to line up alone the road every day from the day Mike Brown was killed and make themselves seen. There may be reasons yet unknown for why the police violence and journalist blackout spread last night, but one of them most certainly was the desire to silence people who refused to be silenced. Likely even to silence the voices of the black men, women and children and those who stood beside them on those roads. What I want to teach is their story.

Megaphones came out to stop their stories from being told. But they stood.

Then arrests came out to stop their stories from being told. But they stood.

Then riot gear and guns came out to stop their stories from being told. But they stood.

Then teargas and tanks came out to stop their stories from being told. And we all stood.


This to me is an essential lesson. Do not be silenced.


I think we too often feel hopeless because we feel there is little any one of us can say or do to make a difference. So then we stop saying anything at all.

What we must teach our children, and each other, is that standing up to tell the story is the most critical step. Saying the wrong you see or feel is the beginning. When you stand, you invite others to stand, too.

Talk about what feels hopeless. Then, teach towards hope.








A New Way for Coaches to Learn Together

14 Aug

First, a huge thank you for the amazing support and response for my new organization, The Educator Collaborative.  I’ve received tons of emails, tweets, and in-person congratulations.

It reminds me how important compliments are for everyone. I won’t lie – all the hours, meetings, emails, and programming really bogged me down at times. Having someone say “thanks” could change those clouds in an instant.

I have to remember the power of that and make a point to thank others, daily.

Now the News: Coaching Think Tanks

Now the fun to share!

Just yesterday we announced our new Coaching Think Tanks for 2014-15.

We know that Coaches are essential to a school’s growth.  We also know–many of us from personal experience–that it can be a lonely position at times.

We are hoping our Coaching Think Tanks can be a not-too-busy, never-having-to-travel, intimate and rigorous way coaches can learn together across the school year.

They are not webinars, instead they are highly selective, small groups of coaches joining together across the year to collaborate and study.

Only 5-10 literacy and/or technology coaches will be admitted to each group. This is so no one feels lost in the crowd and groups can really become personalized support systems.

For more info here is my video announcement or you can visit our Coaching Think Tanks page.

We have just 16 New to Coaching and Advanced Coaching sessions to offer, led by me, Meenoo Rami, Kristi Mraz, Brian Sweeney, Kristin Ziemke, and more… Lots of options, but also very limited enrollment, so check it out early.

For each group, there will be

  • yearlong support
  • 6 live, online, sessions facilitated by one of our team members.
  • Projects to work on between online sessions to extend conversations into practice.
  • Private Forum Groups on our Community.TheEducatorCollaborative.com page.
  • And a professional learning hours Certificate or Digital Badge at the end.


Click the image of the Flyer to download or grab one on our Coaching Think Tanks page.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 9.14.24 AM

Applications Live (Very) Soon

  • Members of The Educator Collaborative mailing list will have a Priority Application period starting Friday! August 15-19th.
  • The general public can apply starting August 20th.
  • Admittance decisions will be sent starting Sept 2 and rolling through Oct 1st.

I am excited to watch these groups grow. My hope is that we can continue to innovate ways we all learn and connect.


And Lastly…. (Psst…)

Keep Saturday, September 20th open on your calendar. Something great is coming on that day…


Thanks for all you do–for kids, for each other, and for our profession.



The BIG News: I Founded A New Organization!

17 Jul

Thanks to all of you for making the launch day of the “Big News” feel so amazing.

As many of you now know, yesterday I publicly announced the new organization that I founded and direct. We’re called The Educator Collaborative.

The Educator Collaborative New Logo-01


We are a think tank and consulting organization working to innovate the ways educators learn together.

Our motto:

Collaboration Creates Opportunity.


This has really been a hands-on, labor of love for me.  You can read more about this at my Welcome message I posted yesterday.

Our Consultants are my dream team. I nervously asked each one and I was delighted when they said yes. Each is an amazing educator in his/her own right and we are even stronger together. The Educator Collaborative is happy to arrange their, or my, consulting services or speaking engagements with your school or organization.

We have two online homes that I built from scratch (picture me in front of the computer screen for hours learning how to use website plugins and code), I hope you love them as much as I do.

The first is our main professional site.  Here you’ll get to know us, our services – both in person and online, sign-up for our mailing list, and when our online offerings open up you can access registration here as well.


new logo slide educator collaborative-01

The second, sister site, is our exciting new social and networking website for teachers.  Called The Educator Collaborative Community, it is a place to collaborate with teachers from across the world on education topics. Within one day of launching our membership on that site is already nearing 100 and continues to rise.  People are posting questions, sharing answers, and forming discussion groups.

We intend to go beyond a typical online forum… innovation is what we do after all… Part of vision is to help educators use online tools for collaboration in newer, more personal ways.  In this instance, we are launching soon a monthly series where we will take some of the most popular topics, groups, and people from the Community and bring them to a broadcast collaboration space.  Sometimes it will be through a live broadcast hangout, sometimes through a virtual conference call, or other ways we hope to discover.  We will take the hottest topics and bring our experts, experts from the field, and some of you on to discuss them live.

It is our free gift to the education community.


long-The Educator Collaborative Community Logo

Naturally, you can find us on twitter (I mean, it’s me you’re talking about): @TheEdCollab and you can use the hashtag #TheEdCollab.  We’d love to have you follow.

I am so touched by the positive responses over the last 24 hours. I know there are many places you go to learn, connect, and share, and we hope The Educator Collaborative will be one of those places for you.

Thanks for all you do for our profession, for your colleagues, and for your students.

Here’s to great things ahead!



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