Replied to A Work In Progress (

Meeting wonderful people is luck; keeping them in your life takes thought, care, forgiveness and devotion. Friendship is an art and a gift, and some people are brilliant at it. (Julia Baird, Phosphorescence, p. 154).

So true! One element I would add is effort. The year of 2020 has provided the opportunity to strengthen wonderful friendships, ignite those just forming, and develop new ones. Whether through a brief text, a phone call, a Bitmoji message, or a parcel sent overseas, friendship requires effort. Baird suggests to be purposeful regarding friendships. Acquaintances becomes friends with consistent effort and care. Value your friendships, irrespective of the effort being reciprocated. Meeting, conversing and connecting with people, simply fills my bucket. An introvert, I am not.

I have been thinking a lot about Baird’s statement on friendship since you posted it on Twitter. I feel I too often overlook the importance of the small stuff.
Replied to

Do you mean someone that you have not had the chance to meet IRL before?
Replied to Caution: Collaboration & Competition (

Here are some wonderings…
To increase the level of professionalism, could we increase all teachers award salary?
If teachers become instructional leaders, why not simply decrease their teaching load?ย 
If we want to create a collaborative and authentic partnership approach to professional learning, we need to have a balance of power.
If we want teachers to develop professionally and instructional specialists are the answer, we must be careful that they are not used as performance managers.

Great reflection Andrea. Building collaborative teams is hard enough, adding competition into the mix never helps in creating the culture required.

I remember having a ‘build it and they will come‘ approach to collaboration. However, my experience since is that there are many nuances to creating a collaborative environment.

Replied to Rose-coloured glasses (

Having a glass half full outlook or looking on the bright side is typically my approach to life and I believe Iโ€™m quite optimistic. However, I have had my rose-coloured glasses shattered a few times and you may be surprised to learn that I think this is a good thing. Glass shatters is that moment of realisation that changes your perception on something or someone. You’ve developed a new awareness; one that can’t be unseen. I’ve included a clip from How I Met Your Mother to explain further.

I think that the hardest thing to do at times is to own our experiences, because it is how we got to now. This includes the moments of shattered glass. It just feels like that is sometimes easier than others. You might be interested in a recent episode of Future Tense, which dives into our tendency for pessimism.
Liked Informed, Innovative, Empowered & Successful (

Greg mentioned that some of the teachers have always been coached, as coaching has been embedded within school for over 5 years. To support teachers’ professional growth, coaching is their way of being. Greg provided me with his school ‘Evidence Book’, which had ‘Informed, Innovative, Empowered & Successful’ on the cover. I commented that this could apply to the teachers at Blairmount too. He replied, ‘and our parents too’.p

Replied to “Thinking about your life journey, who are the people who have inspired you?” (

So, when asked this question aboutย ‘who are the people who have inspired you?’, I decided not to list those people (or name drop) but to describe the characteristics of those who inspire me and who I aspire to be.

  • Successful without sacrificing integrity
  • Place people before profit
  • Generous with their time
  • Build relationships & connections (established & new)
  • Listen to understand, not to respond.
  • Itโ€™s not always about what you can do for them.
  • Genuine & Authentic. How they act in public is who they are.
This is such a nice reflection. It has me wondering what characteristics would make up my list and how I myself might stack up against all of this.
Replied to Killing Two Birds with One Stone (

Taking into account individual contexts, schools and leaders must determine the purpose of professional learning plans. Blurring the lines only causes confusion and ambiguity. Problems arise when we try and kill two birds with one stone.

This is a great post Andrea. I always found it awkward to say the least to have a coaching conversation with the same person who I set my SMART goals with. Even worse when we were all encouraged to focus on the same goals to make the process easier.
Liked Time for Teachers – A response (

If policies such as accreditation demand new mandates, then time provisions need to be equitable and sustainable, but most importantly, mandated. To influence teacher retention in a positive way, all policies must consider teachersโ€™ high workload and support teachers with mandated time allocation to create more work-life balance.

Andrea Stringer’s response to a post in The Conversation: Six ways to support new teachers to stay in the profession.
Replied to Balancing Professional Responsibility & Accountability (

Being linked to a salary increase, teachers and their supervisors experience an amplified workload and additional pressure. Does the outcome justify the time and effort required? If the outcome or focus is on professional growth, coaching, especially in a teacherโ€™s first five years of teaching, could be more effective than this documented accreditation process. Coaching may also support teacher wellbeing and ultimately influence teacher retention.

The question of professionalism and accountability is such an interesting topic Andrea. I remember writing about this a few years ago in response to the question of performance pay. It feels like it is a misreading of trust and coaching.
Replied to I Have Time for You. by Andrea Stringer (

Your actions should be authentic and your interest should be genuine. Surround yourself with people who are supportive, not sycophantic. Invest in your friendships but be cautiously selective, as it is a two-way street.

I have found myself writing letters personally thinking colleagues who have left this year. However, you really have me wonder whether that is in fact too late?

Here I am reminded of Matt Esterman’s challenge
( in receiving the Dr Brock Award:

“We all stand on the shoulder of giants, even when theyโ€™re seated. Even when theyโ€™re no longer with us.

I challenge you in the next week to identify someone who has had a positive influence on you, who has coached you, mentored you, challenged you, scared you, into being a better version of you. Find them. Thank them.”

I wonder what it is that holds us back? Is it fear? Career progression? Has me thinking, but maybe I’ll just start by saying thank you.

Replied to Knowing Me, Knowing You. (

If we accept that Collaboration is complex, why do we assume all teachers will collaborate because research says it is effective?

I really like your point about subtly enforced collaboration. It can be so easy to say ‘let’s all collaborate’. The problem I have found is that unless people see where they fit in with it or benefit then it can really flop. I have written about this more here.

Originally published on Read Write Collect

Replied to Pedagogical Activist (

One person, one political party, one organisation cannot
design a dynamic learning culture; it needs to be a collective effort. A
collective review and renewal of our curriculum and assessment practises to
allow organisations/schools to design, facilitate and lead dynamic learning
opportunities for our students. Students, teachers and educational leaders need
to have more influence and be more involved in the decision-making process. As the tweets and analogies above highlight, maybe it’s time we rethink
education in Australia.

  • What isnโ€™t working in our context?
  • What is working well and how do we know this?
  • What can we learn from research, data and evidence?
  • What can we learn from other countries and contexts?
  • How could we adapt what we learn from others for our context? (not replicate)
  • How can we give all stakeholders a voice in the decision making process?
  • How can we promote and recognise educators as the ‘professionals’?
  • Who is prepared to take a risk for our students’ education?
  • What should we drop, retain or introduce?
I love the statement:

Let’s be pedagogical activists.

In part, this reminds me of a recent post I read about relationships and pedagogical love. I feel that we need to be committed to ongoing development, adjusting to the needs of the class and context at hand.

Liked ๐Ÿ‘ 2018: Lean in, Step up, Reach out by Andrea Stringer (

Recently I shared a professional opportunity with a friend and their response; โ€œYouโ€™ve got this!โ€ Three simple words that meant so much. Someone believes that I have the ability and skills to achieve this, and that I am qualified and experienced to be successful. I said it out loud, โ€˜Youโ€™ve got this!โ€™ Then the self talk came into play. You know what?….I have. “Iโ€™ve got this!”

Replied to

Thank you for the kind words Andrea.

In response to the supposed failure of the web, Alan Levine discusses the positive aspects at the human level:

The places I see are in the efforts of the people down at the human level, the individuals who get an itch to create, or to share something for others, the folks that create weird corners of the internet just because they get an itch. I see much less shit in those corners, itโ€™s piled high in the middle of the room.

Your tweet I think really touched upon this, as it is another example of focusing on others and community. There are many voices within the village, however it feels as if some contributions are heralded more than others. I cannot believe the tireless work that you did in regards to #SatChatOC and now with #EduCoachOC. It was also great to meet earlier this year.