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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

Teaching Up: Taking Nonfiction to a Deeper Level

If we want students to fully comprehend nonfiction text, we must provide powerful instruction in the types of text structures authors typically use. In the past I gave a gentle nod to the text structure unit, but lately I’m rethinking my mild indifference.  ...

Lackluster Book Club Discussions? Fix it with Feedback

Ever visit a class or see a peer teach and have a little déjà vu moment? It happens to me a lot as an instructional coach on the PreK-6 campus where I work. It happened last week in a fifth grade classroom during their literature circles. The teacher, Mr. Duke,...

A Pedagogy of Listening

One simple question. Who lives at your house? “My dad is in jail. It’s far away where he is so we don’t visit him very much. He’ll get out when I’m in high school. That’s about 8 years—it feels like a long time.” “I have a baby brother who is five. He doesn’t go to...

On Becoming Smarter

A few weeks ago my small group of kindergarten ELL students had just finished up their intervention session. They had worked so hard to listen and segment sounds in simple words, sort letters by attributes, listen intently to the picture book I read aloud to them and...

3 Surefire Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

Each summer, students in poverty fall further and further behind in their reading progress during the summer break. The problem is that children from low-income neighborhoods simply don’t have access to books in the ways that kids from middle class homes do. It’s a...

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...

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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?