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Sharron Helmke

Senior Vice President, Professional Services Content

Sharron Helmke is senior vice president for Professional Services Content at Learning Forward. She is a professional certified coach with the International Coaching Federation and a Certified Gestalt Professional Coach. She is the author of the recurring “Coaches Corner” feature in The Learning Professional. Sharron formerly served as senior consultant for Learning Forward, leading our Coaches’ Academies and supporting schools, districts, and regional organizations in the implementation of instructional coaching programs, mentoring, and teacher leadership development. She also serves as a content development consultant, supporting the design of Learning Forward’s virtual offerings and customized professional learning, including the ELA Mentor Coaching and the Content Coaching programs.     Previously, Sharron served as a classroom teacher, campus based instructional coach, ELA program coordinator, and coordinator of instructional coaching. She holds a doctorate in transformational change for societal impact and her published research focuses on shared leadership for instructional improvement.

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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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    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 coaches, we spend our days actively supporting the professional growth of others, but we’re also tasked with modeling lifelong learning through our own continued inquiry and reflection. Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to antiracism. But knowing where or how to start can feel overwhelming. In […]
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    Kindergarten and elementary classrooms never fail to bring me to a state of awe. Alphabet charts, number lines, book bins — the environment is so different from the high school English classrooms I inhabited as a teacher. The teaching is different, too, guiding inexperienced students in learning what it means […]
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    Traditionally we welcome each new year as a fresh start, and many of us looked forward to 2021 with that same sense of hope, albeit more guarded than usual. Then, the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 brought us yet another example of the fragility of things we often […]
  • Is it the new normal or the now normal or just new and now? As educators across the world have adjusted to current teaching and learning environments, instructional coaches and mentors have been essential in helping to ensure continuously smooth transitions. From online office hours to virtual collaboration and feedback […]
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    It’s the start of another school year, but unlike any other in our careers. This year, we find ourselves at the nexus of a widespread, months-old pandemic and racial trauma that is centuries old. We cannot pretend this is an ordinary school year. For many of us, there is fear […]
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    Growth mindset, a concept that has been influential throughout education and beyond, is core to successful instructional coaching. Coaches not only embody a growth mindset toward teaching and learning, but the very purpose of our work is helping that mindset come alive in the professional growth of teachers. We support […]
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