Mentorship & Motivation in Education
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As we slip deeper into August, the new academic year creeps closer. For some of us, the school year is already back in session and that first day may have come and gone! For others, the start dates for students and staff may occur in the coming days or weeks. Whenever that time comes, please remember to do your best. Just like we encourage our students to work to their potential, we should model similar behavior. With many educators retiring, resigning, changing positions, entering/re-entering the profession, and refreshing their craft, we must understand that many of our colleagues may be new to the position, profession, or location. What will be our capacity to collaborate

As we return to our curricula, classrooms, and communities to collaborate with students, families, colleagues, and supporters, let's remember to reflect on traditions such as lessons, opportunities, performances, and trips that may exclude individuals or their cultures. If these time-honored traditions are no longer serving the community we teach, then we must evaluate their value. How can we refresh our programs to include everyone? Should certain components be altered or eliminated? Consider igniting innovation or honoring tradition in a way that embraces inclusion, uniqueness, and collaboration.

Finally, as we look to others for guidance, let's remember not to plagiarize their material, work, or ideas. If a colleague hasn’t freely offered something to us, we should kindly ask if we can review it or implement a portion of it. Credit that person, program, or school if you plan to use the exact words, regardless of the quantity. How can we courteously turn to others as inspiration or a resource, but uniquely apply such proven quality ideas to fit our personality, program, or the needs of our students?

Please continue to support and celebrate one another. Reach out if I can assist you, your colleagues, your program, or your organization.

Embrace uniqueness!
💗 Lori


As the new school year is upon us, how are we modeling collaboration for our students? Watch/Listen to Lori speak.



“Collaboration divides the task and multiplies the success.”  
– Unknown


We model behavior to our students through every aspect of our job. This modeling does not solely occur during instructional time. It occurs whenever we interact with others such as through meetings, planning, duties, events, or performances. How do we treat our colleagues? How do we value their worth and contributions to our departments, programs, and schools? How do we thank them? Do our colleagues enjoy working with us? How do our students perceive our relationships with the adults around us?

Recently Published Article

The Capacity to Collaborate:
5 Steps to Empower Teamwork

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”—Phil Jackson

How do we ensure that the overall needs of the department are met while maintaining civility, creativity, performance expectations, and academic requirements as a team, all while simultaneously managing our classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and individual programs? What are the best ways to target standards, ensure inclusivity, educate the whole child, attend to individual student needs, and empower teamwork in a collaborative capacity? It is not expected that a friendship ensues from our working relationship, but that can certainly become the case! When the team applies its collective strengths, the results are immeasurable! Use the capacity of collaboration to empower teamwork within your department, school, or system. We may be pleasantly surprised at the levels of achievement, cohesiveness, and enjoyment that emerge. 

Thank you to Pennsylvania educator Alison Parish, who teaches at Daniel Boone Area Middle School, and Maryland educator Sarah Castrillon, who teaches at Oakland Mills High School, for collaborating on this article.

Read the full article: The Capacity to Collaborate: 5 Steps to Empower Teamwork

Archived Article


Embrace Your Uniqueness:
Gaining Inspiration without Plagiarizing

“Originality is undetected plagiarism”― William Ralph Inge

We've all heard teachers and administrators use the phrase, “If you like it, then steal it.” In my husband’s profession (electrical engineering), someone who engaged in such intellectual property theft would be reprimanded and most likely terminated. Yet in education, it seems to be accepted, even encouraged. Professional learning communities and social media exist for educators to share ideas and successes. We often experience joy by motivating the novice teacher, helping a struggling colleague, serving as a resource, and inspiring student achievement. Although we are often freely giving of our time, effort, and ideas, we don’t expect colleagues to take without asking, use without alteration, or to not show gratitude. Don’t we teach such manners to our students?

Student Opportunities



Back-to-School Tax-Free Shopping Dates

Every summer, select states offer tax-free dates allowing shoppers to do their back-to-school shopping for clothing, footwear, school supplies, computers, and other items without having to pay sales tax. This may include in-store and online shopping.

List of states offering back to school tax-free shopping dates in 2022.

Educator Opportunities


One-on-One Coaching

Lori offers 1-hour mentoring sessions on your topic(s) of choice. Schedule a session.

Keynote or PD Sessions

Ask Lori to design and/or present meaningful and reflective sessions to mentor or motivate staff or students in your organization. Review popular sessions.

August Engagements




  • August 9, 2022
  • "The Capacity to Collaborate: 5 Steps to Empower Teamwork"
  • Article published for the National Association for Music Education
  • Co-authored with Sarah Castrillon and Alison Parish


  • August 16, 2022 - virtual
  • The Conductor's Podcast
  • Interviewed by Dr. Chaowen Ting


  • August 31, 2022 
  • Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland
  • Session #1: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Am I Providing Opportunities Reflecting All?"
  • Session #2: "The Student Voice: Perception of Students' Representation of Themselves in the Curriculum”



Read past issues of this newsletter or provide feedback!



Interested in serving as a mentor or sponsor?

Lori is searching for funding for an immediate video project. Contact Dr. Lori Schwartz Reichl if you would like to learn more, offer guidance/support, or may be interested in sponsoring the video project. 
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