As a kid I struggled to read, but my mom was a reading teacher so we figured it out together - sometimes despite what happened in school. Reality hit again when I became a teacher and saw my own students' variety of reading and other challenges. I was unprepared. It was my job to provide the level of instruction my mom gave me, but I didn’t know how to do this for each student. Eighteen years later I started Coaching & Convening, working with teachers and leaders who are delivering on that promise of high-quality instructional experiences for kids, often alongside researchers and foundations. Together we seek to understand and replicate what works. I partner with schools, districts, nonprofits, universities, and state departments of education.

​Nationally I provide facilitation and coaching to senior leaders across various states, as well as principals and other instructional leaders - focusing on the areas of instructional strategy, cultural responsiveness, and community building.  In Pennsylvania, I partner with districts, charter schools, foundations, and other organizations that are advancing access to high-quality opportunities for students and families. Prior to Coaching & Convening, I was part of the School Systems Leaders Fellowship and also worked at Achievement Network, the School District of Philadelphia, Camden City Schools, Insight Education Group, and Freire Charter School.

​I started teaching in Houston through Teach For America, and have a B.A. in Music from Ithaca College, a Master’s in Education from the University of St. Thomas, and an M.S. in Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement from the University of Pennsylvania.

In my free time, I play music and head outside for adventures.​ I am always seeking folks who will talk trash about my Scrabble game, or are willing to answer my questions about aviation and geology.

Brett Shiel