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

Imagine a Culture of Learning

Imagine the world of learning that we want for our students. We envision classrooms and schools where scholars experience: Learning driven by agency and autonomy Deep critical thinking and problem-solving Self-reflective and self-aware development of emotional and social intelligence Collaborative interaction with others Creative expression Curiosity and imagination Innovation and entrepreneurialism These “dispositions,” Ron Ritchhart writes, cannot be directly taught or tested, but must be … Continue reading Imagine a Culture of Learning

Learning Our Way to Excellence

Wonderful experience co-presenting with my colleague, Donna Micheaux, at the 2016 Learning Forward Conference in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.  We facilitated a two-hour session with senior educational leaders from the U.S. and Canada in an interactive session designed to help leaders create an authentic system of learning of their schools and districts. We shared our theory of action:  When the learning for adults in the system … Continue reading Learning Our Way to Excellence

Leaders’ Emotions Are Contagious (Hint: Do Not Go to Cabo San Lucas)

Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren always read the sports section of the newspaper first. Sports, he believed, were about human accomplishment while the front page underscored human dysfunction. I agree and follow that order of newspaper reading with sports first.

Thus, I was intrigued by the recent Dallas Morning News article in which Kevin Sherrington posed the question of whether we should be worried about Dak Prescott’s focus during the Cowboys bye week. We shouldn’t be, Sherrington writes. Of course, we can’t think about a Cowboys’ bye week before a playoff game without traveling back to 2007 when Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson spent a long weekend in Cabo San Lucas… Continue reading Leaders’ Emotions Are Contagious (Hint: Do Not Go to Cabo San Lucas)