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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

One Simple Secret to Learning for Every Child

When I first became an instructional coach and found myself planning with teachers, I focused almost exclusively on instruction. I’d had over two decades in education, had read dozens of professional books and attended countless teacher training sessions. I believed...

Do Students See Themselves In Your Curriculum? They Should Part ll

A commitment to celebrate the ethnicity and culture of the students in your classroom starts, I believe, with a cache of valuable resources. My job as instructional coach allows me to collaborate with teachers in different grade levels and that means lots of talk...

Do Students See Themselves In Your Curriculum? They Should.

Last week's post included four things I highlighted that I learned in 2017. Trust me when I say, I learned far more than the few lessons showcased in the blog post. I think by far the most important 2017 moment was the renewed passion I found for tweaking the...

Four Teacherly Things I Learned in 2017

That pretty much sums up 2017 for me. It was clearly one for the books. It was true of the past year for a lot of reasons, but most especially for the things I learned, or shall I say, re-learned. Four things I (re)learned in 2017: PLN Within and Without Professional...

Kids–Put Your Pencils Down and Just Read

"Miss, do I have to use my _____________strategy while I'm reading today?" Fill in the blank, dear teacher, because you know you can. Collectively we've taught a million and one nifty strategies for kids to use when they read. Our intentions are admirable. We just...

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...

Compliance or Empowerment?

A few months ago I talked with a friend who is also an instructional coach and she was troubled by a district meeting she had attended. As she recounted the meeting, I kept thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of emphasis in one day-long meeting on compliance.” I asked her...

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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?