Rising to the Occasion: Discovering the Real-life Power in Virtual Coaching

Three weeks after our final session coaching in the Virtual Reality Lab, my students were still animated and engaged as we discussed their experience coaching Linda, the avatar. Why was this virtual coaching experience such a powerful learning experience for these learners? Experiential learning through role-playing has always been a consistent part of the coaching classes that I teach. Students practice coaching one another around … Continue reading Rising to the Occasion: Discovering the Real-life Power in Virtual Coaching

Unlocking the Transformational Power of Instructional Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part Two

In Part One of my series on how to unlock the potential of transformational coaching, I described an eye-opening conversation I had with Principal Navarro, a former instructional coach, now a rock star middle-school principal North Texas school district. Principal Navarro (not her real name) was frustrated that the instructional coaches on her campus—trained and assigned by the district—were not making the kind of positive … Continue reading Unlocking the Transformational Power of Instructional Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part Two

Unlocking the Transformational Potential of Instructional Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part One

Every good coach understands that we all have our own unique meaning-making mental maps. So, when a client says, “I want more student engagement, high-quality collaboration, or job fulfillment,” our first response as a coach is, “When you say ‘engagement,’ ‘collaboration,’ ‘fulfillment,’ what exactly do you mean?” “What are the pictures in your mind when you say this?” To unlock the potential of transformational coaching, … Continue reading Unlocking the Transformational Potential of Instructional Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part One

7 Books That Influenced Me in 2018

While there are always many books that influence me in a given year, I include in this list books that have to do pretty directly with leading, coaching, teaching and learning, as well as the systems that support and / or impede those actions. Though I consider fiction to be every bit as illuminating as non-fiction—this year’s Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, The Hate U … Continue reading 7 Books That Influenced Me in 2018

Unlocking the Potential of Transformational Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part One

Had an eye-opening conversation with a middle-school principal this week. A highly effective and innovative leader, this principal had been a rock-star instructional coach in a well-regarded Texas charter system prior to moving into the principalship in a North Texas school district at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Principal Navarro (not her real name) became frustrated that the instructional coaches on her campus—trained … Continue reading Unlocking the Potential of Transformational Coaching: Five Ways to Ensure a Positive and Powerful Impact Part One

Published in The Learning Professional

Jennifer Parvin and Donna Micheaux have an article in the April 2018 issue of the Learning Forward magazine.  Excerpt below: How can we use principal evaluation as a tool for growth? We grappled with this question as we worked with principals and principal supervisors who were implementing new principal evaluation systems across the United States. As we progressed, one thing became clear: Principal evaluation systems … Continue reading Published in The Learning Professional

Twelve Books That Influenced Me in 2017

I love to read. It is a low-cost and highly pleasurable conduit for professional development and personal reflection and insight. I like challenging and thought-provoking fiction (The Goldfinch and Lincoln in the Bardo are two recent faves), as well as an intense thriller (Bluebird, Bluebird) and a good British mystery. High on my 2018 list is the book that Bill Gates called “the most inspiring … Continue reading Twelve Books That Influenced Me in 2017

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Achieving Your Goals in 2017

Are you with me and 40% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions each year?  Are you in the 8% who actually achieve these goals?  Here are some ways that we can be a part of the group of people who make real progress toward envisioning and achieving goals this year.

First, focus on actions that move  you toward your goal.  I came across an article several months ago pointing out that exactly 100 days remained in 2016.  I realized that to come close to achieving the goals I had set for myself in 2016, I needed to take some concrete steps… Continue reading Achieving Your Goals in 2017

Tree growing out of open book

Ten Books That Influenced My Thinking in 2016

The Immunity to Change:  How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (2009) by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey An Everyone Culture:  Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (2016) by Kegan and Lahey Cultures of Thinking:  The Eight Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools (2015) by Ron Ritchhart Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of … Continue reading Ten Books That Influenced My Thinking in 2016

a monarch butterfly in flight with wings spread out

Nested Learning

Last night in the graduate coaching class that I teach at SMU–our last class of the semester–we were discussing school reform topics and what the “outward” and “inward” work was for each.  One student remarked that she felt that it all came down to teachers modeling what we want to develop in our students–curiosity, emotional intelligence, creativity, etc. This resonates with me.  When I was … Continue reading Nested Learning