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Collaborative Coach for Teachers, Instructional Coaches and Administrators



So glad you’re here! My name is Valinda and I partner with teachers, coaches and administrators to identify challenges in classrooms and on campuses to simplify instructional planning, target student needs, and customize instruction that can grow readers, writers and thinkers for the 21st century.

Being a thoughtful, proficient teacher, coach or administrator doesn’t just come down to knowing the science of instruction. You also need to be skilled in the art of quality instruction. That’s where I come in!

I started in education in 1980. I went from struggling classroom teacher, overburdened by the diverse needs of all my students, to reading specialist on an elementary Title I school, to K-8 ELA consultant at a regional teacher-training center. And now for almost a decade, I’ve worked at central administration as a district ELA facilitator and more recently I asked to return to a PreK through 6 Title I campus as an instructional coach. Trust me when I say that I’ve learned a lot and become a pro at collaborating with teachers, other coaches and administrators. I’m still learning every day and I want to innovate with you to grow independent, thoughtful readers and writers!

It began with understanding that working alone couldn’t prepare me for the diverse learning needs of all my students. 

I’ve now collaborated with a whole host of teachers, coaches and administrators to identify areas for growth, design plans for action with strategies and systems to support campus staff in designing and delivering high quality, standards-based instruction. Let’s work together! 


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Collaborate. Innovate. Create.

Thinking and resources that support teachers, instructional coaches and administrators

3 Surefire Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

Each summer, students in poverty fall further and further behind in their reading progress during the summer break. The problem is that children from low-income neighborhoods simply don’t have access to books in the ways that kids from middle class homes do. It’s a...

Captivating Middle Grade Readers: Scholastic Storyworks Does the Job

I love a good challenge. My favorite? Convincing developing middle grade readers that the work of reading is worth the effort. The last couple of years I’ve developed a deep appreciation for Scholastic’s classroom magazine, Storyworks.  Each publication contains...

Early Reading Intervention for Non-English Speaking Students

This is a repost of an entry I wrote a few months back. You do not want to miss the update at the end. We have a wonderful reading interventionist who is out on sick leave until January. I have the privilege of meeting with her groups until she can return. The first...

Can We Please Just Stop?

I wrote this blog post back in February, but I'm sharing it again. Here's why. Every Saturday afternoon I meet with THE most delightful kindergarten student and we work on reading and writing. We work hard so that she can meet the end of year goal for reading. The...

Five Simple Tips for Engaging Middle Grade Students

You’ve seen it. The slack-jawed expression from two dozen (plus a few more) tweens staring back at you. It’s terrifying and in my role as instructional coach on our campus there’s nothing that ties my stomach in knots more than that look of indifference. When I accept...

Self-Talk. It’s Time.

It's official. I wasn't quite ready. To be honest, I'd probably never have been ready to leave public education if someone hadn't given me a kick in the rear. Bittersweet. I've been teaching and coaching in some way or another since 1980. It's all I've ever wanted to...

Infographics: Developing Kids’ Visual Fluency

Educators should read and take heed from the world outside education. Sites like Fast Company, Wired, Black Enterprise and Inc. publish articles that have information valuable to the field of education. This weekend on Twitter, DCP Web Designers tweeted out an image...

Six Tips for Teachers on Eliminating Negativity Bias

My dad was not one for giving unsolicited advice while I was still living at home. That changed however, when I left to start my first year of teaching. “Stay out of the teacher’s lounge.” Of all the counsel he could’ve given me, I thought his advice a bit odd. I...

We Need Multilevel Texts So Everybody Reads

I have this dream. With the advancement of technology, it won’t be long before my dream is realized. A teacher can scan a text and in a matter of seconds there are multiple text complexity levels that match every reader in his or her classroom. There is no such app as...

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Let me hear from you. How can I collaborate with you in your role as teacher, instructional coach or campus administrator?