Because Counting Our Blessings Just Isn't Enough

Presentations, Coaching, and More

Passionate about supporting teachers, principals, other educational leaders, and parents to strengthen the quality of learning for our children, I’ve been privileged to speak and coach in a number of settings.

Below is my presentation at #140edu 2012 – The State of Now at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on the topic of instructional coaching.

Putting On The Coach’s Hat To Improve Instruction

I am also pleased to share a number of videos featuring the innovative work of Portfolio School, where I serve as Founding Lower School Director.



Educational Podcasts on which I’ve been featured include:

  1. The Coach Approach to School Leadership: Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz & Kathy Perret join Justin Baeder to discuss their book The Coach Approach to School Leadership: Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness.
  2. TeacherCast Podcast #14 “The Value of School Leadership” (@mr_brett_clark, @ShiraLeibowitz, @principalsharp, @RondMac) TeacherCast sits down with Shira Leibowitz, Brett Clark, Jarret Sharp and Ron McAllister to talk about Educational Leadership and how we can set the best example for others.     
  3. TeacherCast Podcast #18 “Digital Citizenship and PLC’s” (@ShiraLeibowitz, @AHenrey, @coachb0066) TeacherCast sits down with Shira Leibowitz, Amber Henery, and William Brannick to discuss Digital Citizenship in our schools and how we can use our PLC’s to our advantage.   
  4. TeacherCast Podcast #20 “Teaching Beyond the Classroom Walls” (@Mr_Brett_Clark @ShiraLeibowitz @Akevy613) TeacherCast sits down with Akevy Greenblatt, Shira Leibowitz, and Brett Clark to discuss how teachers can learn to think differently about 21st century teaching methods.     
  5. TeacherCast Podcast #23 “#EduCoach” (@principalj @ShiraLeibowitz @KathyPerret) TeacherCast sits down with Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz and Kathy Perret from the #educoach twitter chat to discuss the importance of Educational Leadership.   
  6. TeacherCast Podcast #32 “”( @DanFlies @shiraleibowitz)  TeacherCast sits down with the creators of to talk about their amazing FREE classroom blogging platform.
  7. TeacherCast Podcast #39 “The Many Hats a Principal Wears” (@brentcoley @shiraleibowitz @rondmac @principalj) TeacherCast sits down with Shira Leibowitz, Ron McAllister, Jessica Johnson and Brent Coley for Administrator Cast 3.0!     
  8. TeacherCast Podcast #40 “Social Media and the School System” (@shiraleibowitz @ron_peck @wiscprincipal @mamouton1) TeacherCast sits down with Ron Peck, Curt Rees, Shira Leibowitz and Marion Mouton to talk about the role of Social Media in the school district. 
  9. Teachercast Podcast #51 “EdJewCast”(@Bassjen1 @shiraleibowitz @akevy613) TeacherCast welcomes guest hosts Jennifer Bradbury and Shira Leibowitz as the panel discusses Jewish Education in society today.
  10. Teachercast Podcast #71 “Administratorcast 4 No Office Day (@principalj @shiraleibowitz @wkingbg) TeacherCast sits down with Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz and William King to discuss No Office Day.
  11. Eduleadership Radio Podcast: No Office Day 2011 Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and William King discuss No Office Day in this episode of Eduleadership Radio. No Office Day is a movement to get out of the office and into classrooms – something we should do every day, but something worth focusing on to improve our practice.


I proudly presenting with my co-authors Jessica Johnson and Kathy Perret at ASCD’s national conference Empower 17 on The Coach Approach To School Leadership

An Introduction to The Coach Approach – ASCD Author to Author Videos

Learners will design and laser cut a long rectangular box – This will become either the frame of a rocket or the trunk of a tree (later in the year they will choose which, adding which a nose cone and fins for a rocket (if they decide they would go to Mars if they could) – or branches and leaves for a tree (if they decide they would remain on Earth even if they had the chance to leave – this might be if they came to the conclusion that we would not be able to create a culture they would be interested in being part of on Mars ). They will later add on the outside a laser cut image of Earth for the trees and of Mars for the rockets. We will offer more complex designs for more advanced makers. Prototype these boxes – one as a rocket and one as a tree; more advanced design options for more advanced makers.

  • Outside Box: Learners will decorate the outside of the box with pictures  of themselves – what people see when they look at them. These will change over the course of the year as students change and with each change we will take a picture of the box. Along with the box students will have a photo journal of the changing outside of their box. Toward the end of the unit they will make a choice as to how to decorate the final box and what objects remain in the box.
  • Inside Box: Learners will participate in a range of activities creating objects that tell about who they are to keep in the inside of the box. (If these objects are too large for the box, they can include photos of the objects in the box). These objects represent parts of themselves/their identities  that might not be easy to see. These objects will change over the course of the year as learners think about their own identity – adding or taking away objects to describe themselves.  

Some ideas for inside the box projects (to develop further and prototype each product to include in inside box – these will be related to identity learning goals listed in learning goal section of this document):


  • Digital Journal – Students will take photos of their box as the outside changes and as the contents change; as well as photos of content too large to go into the box (photos of this content can go in the box in lieu of the object itself. Students can also include video of themselves discussing choices they are making about their box. These entries will be arranged chronologically, so that we can trace development of learners’ sense of their own identity.



Not only am I developing a robust instructional coaching program at my own school, but I have also provided coaching to other schools through Darim On-line’s Social Media Boot Camp as well as to individual principals.

Another topic on which I speak frequently is on raising compassionate, socially conscious children. In these sessions I have drawn upon insights from the upbringing of moral exemplars, most particularly although not exclusively, Holocaust rescuers. I was privileged to present on this topic at Purdue University’s 2011 Holocaust Conference Student Program in a special session for educators on what Holocaust rescuers have to teach parents and educators about character development.

I presented a course on Learning and Leading in Online Community for the 2013 Connecting Online for Instruction and Learning Conference (C013).

Extending my support for educators to on-line Communities of Practice, I served as facilitator of YU2.0, a community of educators invested in learning, collaborating and integrating technology into education. I am also comoderator of #educoach, a learning community on twitter on the topic of instructional coaching, including a weekly real time conversation, ongoing sharing of resources and professional collaboration, book discussion group, and Instructional Coach Chat Wiki, or collaboratively developed web site.

Educational Blogging

In addition to Sharing Our Blessings, I contribute to a number of group blogs including: TeacherCast Educational Magazine, Connected Principals, and Avi Chai Educational Technology Blog.

You can reach me at and on Twitter @shiraleibowitz

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