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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! 

 

Collaborate. Innovate. Create.

Thinking and resources that support teachers, instructional coaches and administrators

Kids Are People, Too. Creating a Caring Classroom.

I’ll never forget walking my daughter to school on her first day as a kindergarten student. We lived in Austria at the time and the public kindergarten she was to attend was only a few blocks from our home. I felt especially anxious because Paige didn’t speak German...

How I Spent My Summer Break: The Teacher Version

Teachers spend their summers resting, relaxing, playing, traveling. They also spend the summer weeks learning, reading, planning and reflecting. I read. I listened. I read some more. But I got schooled, too. A family with three children asked if I would tutor their...

Inquiry and Integrated Content for Our Youngest Readers

My last year of high school I graduated early in February so I could join my parents who were living in England at the time. The freedom I experienced as an eighteen year old traveling around the British Isles after dad’s job took our family there for two years...

Shared Text Experiences

Many a parent or guardian has experienced it. The repeated demands from a tiny tyrant to read a beloved book. Beloved by the child. Most likely not so beloved by the adult—after having read it a bazillion times. That one practice alone (repeatedly reading the same...

Supporting Emerging Readers and Writers

  We wring our hands and lament that so many of our students are not learning to read and write. We wonder and debate. We study data and brainstorm solutions. We talk and plan and work and stay late and plan some more. I’ve been accused on more than one occasion...

Word Work or Word Play? Phonological Awareness and Phonics

When our daughter, Paige, was five she fell while standing on a chair. She hit her head and was unconscious for what I'm sure was only a few minutes, but to this newb parent felt like an eternity. We were living in Austria at the time and our pediatrician had...

Reading Books Aloud–Teaching Readers, Knitting Hearts

“I wish I had known that last year,” whispered Imena. Seated between Imena and Adi in the back of their 3rd grade classroom, after listening to their teacher read Rough Face Girl, I asked what life lessons they were considering. Imena said, “The lesson I take from...

Oral Language and Literacy

I'm not one of the those people who possesses the natural ability to learn another language. Please, don’t think for a minute I’m trying to be modest. We lived in Austria for seven years back in the late 80s-early 90s. I’d taken two years of German in high school and...

Teaching Young Readers is Not for the Fainthearted

I'm dating myself, I know, but years ago when I read Ellin Keene's Mosaic of Thought (1st edition) and she included Billy Collins poem, First Reader, I had a moment. A really nostalgic moment. A sobering moment. "...forgetting how to look, learning how to read." First...

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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?