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Sharron Helmke

Vice President for Professional Services

Sharron Helmke is vice president for professional services at Learning Forward. She designs and manages the organization’s consulting service programs that support state, regional, and local organizations in translating their improvement and learning goals into custom-designed high-quality professional learning programs that result in scalable and sustainable change. During her twenty-plus years in education she has served in a variety of roles at the campus and district levels, including teacher, instructional coach, and district-based program administrator. She is an international coaching federation certified professional coach, a Gestalt professional coach, and a trauma-informed care provider, all of which inform her approach to supporting educators. She is the author of numerous professional articles, including “To make a difference for every student, give every new teacher a mentor” in the August 2022 issue of The Learning Journal.

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    Like all educators, I see the reports coming out about the scale of “unfinished learning” and it makes my heart hurt – for the students who didn’t get the opportunity to complete the learning they typically would have if not for the pandemic, and for leaders grappling with how to […]
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    What do new teachers need to thrive in their first years in the classroom and beyond? They need a web of support that includes instructional, administrative, social, and other forms of support. This webinar will share best practices in new teacher support, strategies for mentors, and considerations for supporting new […]
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    I still cringe when I remember my first year as a special education teacher at a suburban high school. I met my assigned mentor during the whirlwind week of meetings leading up to the start of school and learned that she was also mentoring two other teachers in addition to […]
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    During this time of teacher shortages, it is tempting to leave instructional coaching vacancies unfilled in favor of placing—or keeping—those promising experienced candidates in classrooms. Especially now, when pulling teachers out of their classrooms for professional learning is no longer a viable option, instructional coaching is even more critical to […]
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    For those who support teachers, it can feel like there are myriad urgent needs, especially when educators are stretched thin and students are struggling, as many are now. How do you prioritize your support, and where do you start? The effort-to-impact matrix is a simple but valuable tool that can […]
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    I’m hearing from coaches everywhere that they are feeling especially stressed and overwhelmed right now. It’s not because of their coaching roles per se, but because of the “other duties as assigned” that are included in many coaches’ job descriptions. If you are overloaded and questioning how much longer you […]
  •   |    
    I’m hearing from coaches everywhere that they are feeling especially stressed and overwhelmed right now. It’s not because of their coaching roles per se, but because of the “other duties as assigned” that are included in many coaches’ job descriptions. If you are overloaded and questioning how much longer you […]
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    As schools seek to heal their communities after more than a year of disruption, professional learning is key to ensuring that educators at every level have the knowledge and capacity to meet students’ and staff members’ needs. It may be tempting to address the list of needs one at a […]
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    As this issue’s articles make clear, these are highly stressful times for schools. Of course, education is always a stressful profession. Even without a pandemic, educators navigate ever-evolving expectations in the form of shifting learning standards, student needs, governmental and societal expectations, and performance evaluations. Instructional coaches play an important […]
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    Coaches are called upon to meet teachers’ needs, but we have some of the same needs in our own professional lives. One of those needs is validation that our efforts are making a difference. That’s often harder to find for coaches than for teachers, who can see their impact on […]
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