Micro approach, major impact

By Donna Spangler
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4
As a classroom teacher for 29 years before becoming an instructional coach, I have been on the receiving end of many well-intentioned school initiatives and professional learning experiences that have gone nowhere in terms of creating lasting, meaningful change. One of the reasons is that schools are complex systems, and we often try to do too many things at once. Often, the result is a lack of clarity that leaves people feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unsupported. The antidote to this confusion is to be thoughtful and specific about your goal, and then go after it with great intensity and focus. This can be done at the school level, but it can also be done at the individual level through microcredentials — personalized, topic-specific opportunities for

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Donna Spangler

Donna Spangler ( is an instructional coach in Derry Township School District in Pennsylvania.


Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

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