#ISTE18 Monday Recap!! EdTech Startups are changing teaching and learning for ALL of us #NotAtISTE18 !!

**NOTE**for a closer look at ALL of these companies, go to my Instagram (@drkiacoaches) where I have short videos of each of them! ALSO DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE for the startup you like best! Voting closes Tuesday at 6pm. www.isteconference.org/pitchfest

Resources mentioned in this vlog:


  1. www.CareerVillage.org
    • This is a not for profit organization that pairs classroom teachers with business community members to serve as critical friends in the classroom. Business leaders are available to answer questions kids may have about careers and help to provide an authentic audience for end products kids create.
  2. www.GetMindRight.org
    • This is a not for profit organization focused on supporting students SEL needs via text. Counselors proactively text students and support them as they cope with stress. All conversations are confidential.
  3. www.litlab.org/kidappolis
    • This is an app that allows ELL parents to support student learning by providing learning app recommendations for parents in their native language. Currently, the app only supports Spanish but more are being added!


  1. www.wordsliivebeta.com
    • This is a platform that combines ELA instruction and music. Teachers enter a text or theme and the platform creates lesson plans using pop culture, video, and music along with texts to help students explore the theme or text in depth.
  2. www.nbamathhoops.com
    • This is a game that helps to make math instruction look and feel like a basketball game.


  1. www.lit.weirdenoughproductions.com
    • This is a duo that uses COMIC BOOKS to teach kids about digital citizenships and SEL strategies. They are fun and in touch with what matters most to the kids in our classrooms. Go to the website and leave them your contact info and maybe they can come and visit your school!
  2. www.peardeck.com/be-internet-awesome
    • PearDeck is an interactive Powerpoint platform. This digital citizenship focus comes with lessons already built out and ready for classroom teachers to use! Go to the website and check it out for more info!


Innovation Series: Edgar Palacios is connecting Latinx educators in KC!

**WARNING** at times Edgar strikes the table and the camera moves a bit. Bear with us because he is awesome and new ideas for improving education ALWAYS deserve a good listen!

I have been acquainted with Edgar Palacios for just over a year now. He is a Latinx professional looking to make an impact on education in Kansas City. Edgar and I met on a Great Schools Tour* to Houston, TX back in 2017. While on our tour, Edgar was photographing what we saw and asking questions to get everyone thinking about how to take the experience of touring schools in Houston back to our professional lives in Kansas City. I kept in touch with him and found him again when I went on a local school tour with ShowMeKCSchools*. There he served as a guide to the education landscape in the city and pushed our group to think about the differences in schools that we saw and how to use our take aways to further equitable education in Kansas City. When I ran into him at a ShowMeKCSchools event for principals, I was not at all surprised to find that he had begun his own organization geared towards increasing Latinx representation in education. Edgar wants to unite Latinx education professionals at all levels. He wants front office workers, after school workers, para professionals, teachers, and administrators to come together to discuss common issues. He also wants to serve as a resource for administrators looking to recruit, hire, welcome, and include Latinx educators.Currently he travels the city and the greater KC Metropolitan area looking to connect with any Latinx educators or he is in their schools already volunteering to help out. His goal is a broad and elevating one and his passion is unmatched. Watch our sit down (which does get wobbly due to him hitting the table!) to hear how you can catch up with Edgar and get involved.


Resources mentioned in this vlog:


Edgar’s Email: edgar@latinxedco.org


In Kansas City, we are fortunate to have organizations like The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation fund educators, business professionals, community members, parents, etc on these out of state school tours that happen about eight times each year. When the tours open online, you rank your destination preference. If you are selected, the Kauffman Foundation tells you where you will be touring and pays for your flight, hotel, and school tour expenses. You then get the opportunity to spend two days looking at new schools, meeting with school leaders, networking with community members and business leaders from the area, and thinking about how to bring what you saw back to your own building or professional practice. My tour was ABSOLUTELY TRANSFORMATIVE in my educational development and will probably be the subject of a blog post later on. You can read more about them and reach out to Murray Woodard (who puts them together) here.


ShowMeKCSchools is a local organization dedicated to giving parents insight into school choices. As many of you know, Kansas City is a district comprised of about 50% charter schools and 50% public schools. With so many options, parents need a place to go to filter schools and make the best choice for their kids. That is what ShowMeKCSchools provides. They take parents and community members on tours of local charter and public schools. This isn’t geared towards highlighting any one practice, the tours are solely so that parents can get a look inside of the building and have face time with administrators before making enrollment decisions. This organization’s impact on my thinking also deserved its own blog post. Read that here.  Read more about the organization and sign up for a tour here.

**NOTE** for more pictures of my travels, follow me on INSTAGRAM @drkiacoaches if you would like me to come and write about what you are doing in education, email me your event details at drkia@toadminwithlove.com

Encountering Educators: Tasha Howard and the power of parent connection at #EdCampRedesign!!!

Edcamp Redesign was like NO OTHER EdCamp experience thus far. It was an entire day of discussing the way that schools COULD and SHOULD be and how to get there from here. Tasha Howard was in one of the sessions I attended on connecting meaningfully with parents by “redesigning” parental involvement. Her insights were helpful and her passion apparent. It turns out, she is an administrative intern and interested in learning all she can about how to improve schools and the relationships parents and communities have with them. Listen to her tips for getting parents into your classroom here in our sit down. If you would like to hear more from Tasha, follow her on Twitter: @tashahoward96 . Tell her Dr. Kia sent you!  – Dr. Kia

Encountering Educators: #T2TEI2018 Day2 Recap!


I have told you all that I am currently attending the Teacher Educator Institute put on by Teacher Squared. The Institute is designed to help those of us who work with novice teachers to use data more effectively to improve teacher practice. After two days of learning I can say that is exactly what has happened! Tomorrow when the institute officially ends, I will do a blog focusing on big ideas (and resources) that you can use in your daily practice to get better at collecting and tracking data. For now, I wanted to give you all insight into the learning that is taking place here and people/programs you may not have encountered before. The goal of these interviews are to give you an idea of the value of Teacher Squared trainings and a picture of what to expect should you be able to attend! As always I have included resources under each video.

-Dr. Kia

Jennifer Barker and Faye Craster work with Teach First in the UK. Teach First is a non profit organization focused on putting highly qualified teachers into high needs schools. You can find out more about it here https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/ During our talk, Faye and Jennifer said their organization has sent people to Teacher Squared training for the past three years and that development in general is an important part of their practice. Both ladies were classroom teachers, hear how our conference experience really connects to the why of their work in our interview above!

Resources Mentioned:

Teach First Networks: These are networks for educators looking to connect and discuss practice!



Julie Holmes helps to train new teachers at High Tech High School in California. High Tech High is a school that has been on the radar of many educators due to its reputation for educating students using 21st century learning experiences and design thinking. Julie talks here about how our conference experience serves to solidify the approach she takes to collecting and analyzing teacher data. See her thoughts in our interview above!

Resources mentioned:

High Tech High: go to this page for resources for teachers looking to design 21st century learning experiences and wanting opportunities to attend professional development with High Tech High faculty. https://www.hightechhigh.org/#


Encountering Educators: TEI2018 Day 1 Recap!!


I have the pleasure and privilege of attending Teacher Squared’s Teacher Educator Institute in New Orleans this week. For those of you who don’t know much about Teacher Squared (like me before attending this training), you can find out more here https://www.teachersquared.org/ As many of you know, I was a secondary ELA classroom teacher for more than a decade. During that time, I received professional development but none as extensive as that offered today during this institute. Not only did we discuss how to set a standard for new teacher excellence, we practiced codifying that standard and collecting REAL data. Overall, the experience has been an enlightening one and got me thinking about how much I could have used (and current administrators and teacher leaders could currently use) this information. Since I got so much from the day, I HAD to sit down with educators (of course!) to get their perspectives, resources, and discuss the why behind their work. So often we feel isolated and under resourced in this profession. My goal with each of these interviews is to give you further insight into improving your own practice, and someone to reach out to should you need a helping hand. – Dr. Kia

Quinn Rohena works with Relay Graduate School of Education in Denver, CO. She has more than a decade of classroom experience and talks here about why she chose to pursue teacher training. Ultimately, she believes that teachers are their own greatest resource. Check out her reasoning in our video above!


You all KNOW I love a good group interview! This group happened to all be employees of Relay Graduate School of Education (I promise to diversify tomorrow and they have a LOT of good stuff to say) as well. Here, these ladies discuss why they choose to continue to work developing teachers, which resources will be helpful to classroom teachers no matter where they are in their practice, and their major take aways from today’s workshops.

Resources mentioned

  1. Get Better Faster
  2. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  3. Great Habits Great Readers

Encountering Educators: Tina Lauer and how to create tech savvy teachers!

I met Tina Lauer at #EdCampSCSD and she is AMAZING! Tina is a district technology coach and very motivated to build teachers who can prepare students for the 21st century! She helped to bring Edcamp to Saint Charles and also helped build a teacher technology training program in her district. Listen to how she collaborates to push teacher practice!

“We don’t even know what jobs will exist in the future but we know kids need to be prepared for them.” – Tina Lauer

Resources Mentioned:

  1. Google Level 1 Certification: https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/certification_level1
    • This link takes you to the certification modules
  2. Novel Engineering: http://www.novelengineering.org/
    • here is more information about the novel engineering concept
  3. #SCSDpd: Twitter hashtag for those of you looking to keep up with what Tina does next!
  4. @STchassdpd: Twitter handle for Saint Charles School District Professional Development Team. Follow them to keep track of new practices!

Encountering Educators: How to start and run a district #EdCamp with Lauren Mertz!

Lauren Mertz is a teacher doing GREAT things to improve teacher practice in the Saint Charles School District. As a member of the district professional development team, Lauren helped to organize the district’s first #EdCamp and has only continued to refine it now that it is in year three. Listen to her talk to me about how she got the idea to host an edcamp, what she put into place to generate interest, and why she thinks that it is important to continue growing the movement!

“As teachers, if we are going to help kids grow, we have to continue to grow ourselves.” – Lauren Mertz

Resources Mentioned:

  1. Lauren’s Blog: http://lincolnreaders.blogspot.com/

This is Lauren’s blog for book recommendations, classroom tools, and reflections on practice!

2.  #EdCampSCSD

This Twitter hashtag is an easy point of entry for teachers who are new to Twitter and looking for people to follow!

SEL is now Life and Learning Competencies at ASCD Empower18!!

The SEL session at ASCD Empower18 intrigued me because it was specifically geared towards secondary students. After listening to it, I think the principals could apply to grades 4 and up. My big takeaways are readily usable in those grades and the hope is that while we all work to figure out how to best support our most vulnerable students we exemplify the very traits we are trying to instill in them.

Read the full white paper here: 


Full Session Video here:

Strengthening the principal/teacher relationship session at ASCD Empower18!!

When I saw this session title, I knew I HAD to get in touch with Dr. Karl Scheibenhofer and view his poster session! This topic is such a timely one. I talk to administrators ALL of the time and the one thing that comes up with each is the importance of teachers doing their job well. What does not come up is how the principal, as instructional leader in a building can help teachers to achieve that goal. Watch the video below for Dr. Scheibenhofer’s complete poster session. Follow him on Twitter @KScheibs23 he isn’t on there often but when he does Tweet it counts!

Dr. Scheibenhofer’s research supporting this session:


Complete poster session:

Total Participation Techniques Review at ASCD Empower18!!!

It has been QUITE the day at ASCD Empower18! You all know that I love to get next to teachers and hear more about their practice. This Total Participation Techniques session facilitated by William and Persida Himmele was just as great as I hoped it would be! Here are the links mentioned in the video:

Total Participation Techniques website: http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/total-participation-techniques

Total Participation Techniques book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Total-Participation-Techniques-Student-Learner/dp/1416612947

Video of Conference Session (sorry I didn’t catch it all!)