Supporting each other

October 2020
Vol. 41, No. 5

What does it mean to support learning in challenging times? It means listening, communicating, and leading with empathy. It means committing to anti-racism and breaking down structural barriers to equity. This issue examines ways to do so in professional learning.


The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue


What's your mantra for this school year?

If this month’s issue had a mantra, it might be: we’re all stronger when we support each other.

SEL and equity

A conversation with Dena Simmons: ‘If we don’t address the wound, we cannot heal.’

 When teachers listen, students learn

Coaching helps teachers incorporate student voice in the classroom.

 Connections bring us closer to equity and justice

Teams grow stronger when members acknowledge differences and commonalities.

 Address the stress

How leaders can support teachers in an extraordinary year.

Get connected

Infographic shows how much students want and need communication from educators.

 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The teacher-student connection

Tool offers a road map to improve relationships.


 Empathy interviews

A tool for listening deeply and centering diverse perspectives in decisions and policies.

Strategic teaming

A guide to creating and managing new types of instructional teams during the pandemic.

Through the lens

Reflection questions for examining the Standards for Professional Learning.


 Equity in pre-K classrooms

A pilot program in NYC builds early childhood leaders’ capacity for leading professional learning with equity.

 How academic discipline influences coaching

An initial study suggests that coaches’ area of focus matters.

 Chart a clear course

Evaluation is key to building better, more relevant professional learning.


 Access, knowledge, and culture limit teachers’ use of research

A study finds teacher attitudes aren’t the problem in applying research.

What works? Q & A with Heather Hill

What makes professional learning effective? It’s a complex question.

 Data points

Keeping up with the latest on professional learning.


Denise Glyn Borders and Steve Cardwell

Call to action

Resilient educators deserve sustained support

Joellen Killion

Coaches notebook

 Help your coaching program achieve its potential

Jim Knight

What I've learned

 Take time for self-care


Recent Issues

August 2021

Professional learning can kickstart an uncertain school year by building knowledge about social and emotional learning strategies, fostering educators’ resilience, and cultivating the support that school communities need to thrive.

June 2021

Professional learning is an essential lever for achieving equity for all students. This issue focuses on actions educators can take to dismantle racism and help every student thrive, because changing beliefs is important but not enough. Articles examine professional learning and capacity building at all levels, including the classroom, school, district, and state.Read the remaining […]

April 2021

The early years of school matter for all of us, because they lay the foundation for later learning. This issue examines what all educators can learn from early childhood, how to align early childhood and K-12 professional learning, what principals should learn about pre-K, and how to build equity from the early years on.

February 2021

Amid crisis, there is opportunity that can galvanize change. This issue examines what educators have learned over the past year and how it can shape practice moving forward. It also includes a special section on nurturing educator wellness.