Welcome to Core Connections, a blog by Success at the Core. You'll find stories of best practices, inspiring experiences, and effective strategies related to leadership development, classroom instruction, and student engagement.

Success Beyond the Core

Ailene Baxter
music

For the past six years, I had the honor and pleasure of serving as principal at Ferrucci Junior High in Puyallup, Washington.  As principal, I was proud of how our entire school community promoted and supported our visual and performing arts programs.  And daily, I was reminded of the leadership and collaborative spirit demonstrated by the teachers in our Fine and Performing Arts Department.  Their enthusiasm, hard work, and continuous communication and collaboration inspired excellence in each of the students they served, their colleagues across our school, and in the community at-large.  This was no small accomplishment, given that nearly …

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Building Teacher Capacity – Thoughts From A New Generation of Coaches

Deb Gribskov
teachers working together

When I became an instructional coach 10 years ago, my district’s coaches were veteran teachers with 25+ years of experience.  We had been selected from a pool of skilled, older teachers, with years of experience and a desire to share before we retired. When asked, “What excites you about this opportunity?” I clearly remember my response: “Working with the teachers.  I will probably retire soon, and I would like to give back to my profession.”

Times have changed.  The new generation of coaches in my district is younger. These coaches are still highly skilled, but they are not at the end …

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Friday Forum: Any tips on how to engage with parents and community members?

Heather Byington
hfthdhdh1

Friday Forum is a bi-weekly advice column for educators seeking guidance on educations issues. Please join the discussion – we want to hear your stories and suggestions, too!  

Q. Any tips on how to engage with parents and community members (via e-mail, Moodle/online course site, social media, etc.)? – Heather (teacher)

A.  This is a question that I often wrestle with as I look for ways to connect with the families that we serve.  The continued evolution of social media coupled with the ever increasing capabilities of tablets, smart phones, glasses, watches, etc. leads me to believe that there must be …

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How an Instructional Coach Uses a Quiver of Strategies for a Bull’s Eye Approach

Beth Ashley
beth ashley

Polly Rowell works as an instructional coach at Meadow Lakes Elementary School in the Matsu Borough School District in Alaska. Most of her 27 years of teaching have been in a first grade classroom, but after having earned her doctorate in reading research, it was time to take on a new challenge as literacy coach.

As a literacy coach in a new school, Polly turned to the Internet to find additional training ideas to demonstrate engaging lessons, develop excellent teaching strategies, and apply formative assessments. Through her search, she found Success at the Core. She noticed that although the videos …

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