Stewarts Creek High School

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Mr. Marlatt, M. Ed.
RTI Instructional Coach at Stewarts Creek High School

Welcome to Stewarts Creek High School!  My name is Matt Marlatt and I am the RTI2 Instructional Coach for our school.  I have taught for 22 years in Rutherford County and have taught grades 7-11.  As the SCHS instructional coach, I serve as a facilitator and coach, working and communicating on an ongoing basis with our school leadership team, Academic Team Leads, and, of course, teachers! In this role, you may find me serving in the following capacities:


Instructional Coach for New and Experienced Teachers:

  • Learning Facilitator: design and prepare professional development, as needed.
  • Collaborative Teacher:  work to aid and assist instruction through planning, modeling, joint designing, implementing, and reflecting – seeking out new opportunities for learning.
  • Resources Hub: provide a variety of resources to/for teachers.
  • Classroom Supporter: increase the quality and efficacy of classroom instruction.
  • Curriculum/Instruction Mentor:  ensure implementation of curriculum and alignment of standards instruction.


  • Work collaboratively with the SCHS administrators and leadership team to assess, plan, and assist in SCHS instructional mentoring for teachers. 

RTI2 Coach for SCHS:

  • Ensure that student achievement data is current and utilized to inform and guide decisions used by intervention teachers and academic teams – schoolwide.


Once again, I am extremely excited to have the chance to work with all of our teachers!  My office is in on the 2nd floor – midway down the Orange Hall.  I am looking forward to collaborating and working with all of you in the upcoming school year.  


Schedule an Appointment: Teachers




Coaching Calendar:
  • August 2nd: Freshman Orientation
  • August 3rd: Admin/Leadership Chats 8:30-9:40
  • August 6th: Abbreviated (2 hour) Day - Students 
    • Interventionists Meeting @ CO 12:30-3:30
  • August 8th: 1st FULL day of School - students
  • August 9th:  Leadership Team Meeting 8:15
    • Virtual Training - easyCBM 9:00
  • August 27: Monthly Monday's with Marlatt (Classroom Management/Procedures)
  • September 24thMonthly Monday's with Marlatt (Fostering Relationships: Being a Champion for Students)
  • October 29th:  Monthly Monday's with Marlatt (Evaluations and Professionalism)
  • November 26th:  Monthly Monday's with Marlatt (Student Engagement)
  • December 17th:  Monthly Monday's with Marlatt (Semester 1 Debrief:Coffee and Cocoa)

Recent Posts

Teaching OUTLOUD 10/15

Avoiding the DARK SIDE

        Every teacher – even the best of the best teachers – has problems in the classroom.  Even when your expectations are high, students make choices.  And, much to our dismay, choose to misbehave.  What do we do when this happens?  What do we do when things go wrong? 

        When students misbehave, the best teachers have one goal:  to keep that behavior from happening again.  Revenge should never be the goal when it comes to students.  Effective teachers think about what can be done to prevent the misbehavior.  As educators, we must focus on what we have the ability to change – our own realm of influence. 

“We all know we can’t change what has already happened.  What’s the point of directing our energy there?” 

Instead – let’s work toward preventing the misbehavior from happening in the future.  How will you respond…?

  • What is your teacher plan / procedure for when students misbehave?
  • Ask yourself which approaches ALWAYS work for you with students?
  • Does every teacher have the same options (keeping in mind the variables)?
  • When is sarcasm appropriate in the classroom?
  • Who decides how many arguments you get into in a week (remember who the adult is in this scenario)?
  • Outside of a true emergency, when is an appropriate time and place for yelling?

The best teachers know the answers to these questions and these become the toolbox for how to handle the

problematic situations we encounter.  The best teachers know that if you respond appropriately and professionally, everyone wins – and everyone is on your side.  Avoid falling to the force of the dark side.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

“But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…”

– Master Teacher Yoda


I close with a story:  “The Tale of Two Wolves”

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:


“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.


”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”


He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”


The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”


The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Keep the end goal in mind at all times, keep the behavior from happening again by using your teacher toolbox of options and remember who gets to decide which wolf wins when it comes to dealing with our young people every day. 

Teaching OUTLOUD 10/8

 Mean what you say; Say what you mean!

               In high school, did you ever have a coach as a teacher?  My junior year of high school I had US History with Coach Brown.  He was a pretty awesome teacher.  And, I learned some amazing things from him.   Coach Brown was great at saying what he meant and meaning it. There are skill sets we can learn from coaching that can be applied right into the real world of our class instruction.

Question:  How do coaches motivate players to work the way they need them to during practice?

 Answer:   When the very best teachers and coaches say something, they mean it.  They don’t rely on bossing presence, threatening, booming/demanding voice to motivate in managing their classrooms.  Instead, the students respect their authority because…best teachers and coaches express high expectations clearly and then follow them through.

               Great teachers focus on the behaviors they expect of their students, not on the consequences for misbehavior.  Effective teachers understand that there is a tradeoff between short-term and long-term gains. 

We set the classroom tone beginning the first day with our students, and consistently reinforce the tone daily.  Meaning what you say and saying what you mean, while smiling, is the challenge.  If we take the hardline road and don’t smile until the holidays, we may never see smiles in our room. 

               But what about discipline?  Remember “say what you mean and mean what you say”.  The best teachers know the secrets to this struggle.  Discipline starts with you – you have some effective steps that can help:

  • Call parents and ask for their help without informing students.
  • Always handle misbehavior individually with a student.
  • Challenging class? Figure out which student(s) seem to be the catalyst and make the call home.  Turning that one (or two students) around could positively help the behavior of the whole class. 
  • Always --- Always maintain your composure and self-control. Never let them see that they have gotten to you.  Remember you have to be consistent, so that calm, cool, collectedness will come in handy.  Think before you react.  Respond without engaging to escalate the situation.

So, mean what you say and say what you mean. Doing this with consistency will help you to become more successful in the classroom. 

Teaching OUTLOUD 9/24

     In circulating around SCHS classrooms, I have encountered several great teachers who have had this concern.  The fact is that we’ve all been there.  You give an assignment – some practice for learning that the students need to master – and the scene unfolds before you.  The class, for the most part, engages on the assignment.  Everyone except that one student.  This is becoming the method of operation with this student.  It’s become such a norm that you can predict the pushback before you even give the assignment.  The student puts their head down or looks around, as if to say, “This is dumb. I’m not doing this today.”  The more intent you get at getting them on task, the more they pushback.

     Then, you reach your limit and say, “If you don’t get busy, then…” and you say some kind of consequence.  The student’s attitude is that of apathy and complacency – they are not doing the work.  Each time this occurs, you get more and more upset about this situation.  The student is picking up on this.  However, you’ve reached your wits' end and you don’t know what else to do.  The student’s grades are suffering – and that isn’t bothering them.  What do you do?

Your Options: 

     You need to know that whenever students refuse to do their work, there is ALWAYS a reason.  What’s more, before you can solve the problem, you have to figure out where this is coming from.  Consider these common possibilities:

  • The student may be dealing with personal problems at home or at school.
  • The student wants attention (even negative attention) from their peers.
  • The student is trying to control you (sometimes this comes from a teenager’s need to be in control or have power).
  • The student is afraid to fail, so they take control of that failure… meaning, that for the student, they believe it is better not trying than to try and fail big time.

     Step one is to figure out the reason for this behavior.

     Step two is to address the problem in a way that allows for a positive outcome.

     If the student feels that the teacher doesn’t care – and the teacher has a negative approach to address the problem – then the outcome will be negative, and the student was right. 

     However, if the student thinks the teacher doesn’t care, and the teacher addresses the issue in a positive way – allowing the student to see and hear the concern, providing a caring environment at school – the student may just reengage. There is an old saying “You can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.” 

Remember, at all costs,  to avoid appearing angry or frustrated with the student (this is guaranteed to never be successful).   Remembers your levels of support and help: reach out to parents, confide in school counselor or an administrator.

FACT:  There is always a reason for a student refusing to do work.

FACT:  The way the teacher addresses the issue will have a major impact on the outcome. 

FACT:  AVOID engaging in a power struggle with the student.  This NEVER ends well.  Remember to be calm and offer support/help.  Act out of concern and a willingness to help, not frustration.  *Even if you have to use the discipline log (more on this in the future).

FACT: Students will work harder and behave better for teachers who they believe care about them.  Express your care and concern for them daily!  #AND_SMILE

Teaching OUTLOUD 9/17

There is POWER in Expectations

FACT – Every teacher has a classroom to manage.

FACT – Every teacher manages the classroom the best they can.

FACT – Classroom management sets the stage for student learning.


If all this is true, then how do our best teachers approach classroom management?  What are they doing differently?

ANSWER=Our best classroom teachers focus on expectations; where other teachers focus on rules and consequences.


Our very best SCHS teachers are certain about their approach to student behavior.  They set clear expectations at the beginning of the year and the follow them consistently throughout the year.

Great teachers expect good behavior, and generally speaking, that’s what they get.   The most effective teachers start the year setting the tone for the learning for this school year.


So, what are your expectations for the students in your class?  What tone have you set for your classroom this year?  What impact does this have upon the learning in your classroom?


Have a wonderful week, RedHawks!  Be the BEST - #theCREEKisRISING  #OneTeam

Teaching OUTLOUD 9/10


Each and every one of you brings a worth and value in the role you have here at SCHS.  We teach at an amazing school.  The best teachers know that if a school has great teachers, it is a great school.  Every one of you play a part in the greatness of what is Stewarts Creek High School.  So your talent, your abilities, make you valuable to the CREEK.  We also have amazing programming at our school – but it isn’t about the program – it’s about the people.  The people at our school determine the quality of our school.  

Question:  How do you make a school great? 

Answer:  You assemble the BEST teachers and continue to learn about being the BEST teacher for students.

We have within us the power to make our school even better than we can imagine.   You – are important.  You – play an important part in our success story.  You – bring a value and worth to the learning success of our students at SCHS. 

Strive to be the best.  Never settle.  Yearn to know more.  Effective educators know that we should focus on people.  What matters is not what you do, but how appropriately and effectively you do it. 


What’s working well in your classroom?  What’s not working so well in your classroom.  Are you in need of some instructional change? 

The first step is the hardestWe must be willing to recognize the need to improve instructionally and grow our human capital.  Then, reach out to those BEST teachers and let them help to grow your powerful human capital! 

Have a fantastic Monday, Redhawks!

Teaching OUTLOUD 9/4

     Bellwork/Bellringers are questions or tasks posted before students enter the classroom. They are to be completed before class starts, or, as the name suggests, as the bell rings. Often, these tasks or questions take between 5-10 minutes. Despite potentially having an elementary connotation, bell ringers provide benefits to the student and the teacher in a high school classroom.
     Studies have shown that adolescents perform better in routine; so, establishing regular routines eases their transitions throughout the school day. The regular use of bellwork/ringers in each class is one example of a procedure used to support daily routine. Bellwork/ringers prime the student's mind for learning - being reminded to think about class content (before the class even starts) pushes everything else to the back of a student's mind. For example, when a student enters her history class expecting to begin working on a bell ringer, her frame of mind is already practiced and focused on the learning that will occur for that subject. Furthermore, bellwork/ringers allow students to ask questions and interact with the teacher before the lesson begins - getting their missed work, etc. Overall, bell ringers provide students the opportunity to get settled in to the class and mentally prepare to receive new instruction.
     Teachers have a wide variety of teacher tasks to complete each period before getting into the daily lesson. Using this strategy gives the students something constructive to be working on while the teacher completes necessary tasks, like attendance, performing supervisory duties in the hallway, and reorganizing materials used by the previous group of students. Bellwork/ringers also give teachers the time to interact and build upon student relationships.
     When good bellwork/ringers go badly:
• When teachers don’t value the importance of this transition time (or the teacher takes too much time on the bellwork/ringer).
• When teachers are scrambling for content.
• When students cannot relate or connect to the content.
• When the students don’t have a regular procedure for the practice of bellwork.
• When teachers don’t have a planned procedure for bellwork.
     Remember that effective teachers teach from bell to bell – utilizing every moment of their instruction to reach their students. Think of your class period as a healthy sprint for learning. Any down time eats away at your student engagement. So, be intentional with your bellwork time – capitalize on what it can bring to your instruction – and remember to respect the quick, mind-setting time that the bellwork affords you and the students.

Teaching OUTLOUD 8/16

Just an amazing week of visiting teachers in their classrooms and seeing them work their magic.  I have had the pleasure of watching teachers work with students in a variety of areas: history, math, CTE, English, World Languages, PE.  And, here is what I have found - SCHS teachers are amazing.  From working with students that need more one on one for history and science lessons - all the way up to the advanced honors classes learning Point Slope Formulas and discussing the complexities of what might our world look like in a dystopian nuclear environment.  When we raise the bar - the students meet up where the expectations are.  #GORedHawks

Teaching OUTLOUD 8/10

Whenever you are asked to come visit a teacher's classroom, you graciously accept their invitation.  Today, I was invited to Mr. Agee's American History class and was simply blown away.  Students were presented with artifacts made and collected by Agee and he seamlessly wove them into a "show and tell" style seminar for the students.  Keeping in mind the importance of setting the expectations for class and keeping this high for the students, Mr. Agee conveyed to the students the acceptable expectations for student behavior throughout the lesson.  Remarkable job, Mr. Agee!  

Teaching OUTLOUD 8/9

It's always a joy to sit down with teachers at THE CREEK!  Today I had a chance to chat with our own Mrs. Nichols, Ms. Zhou, The World History/Geography Team, and Mr. Shind.  The 9th grade English students will be diving into Argumentation soon, and Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. Bullard are planning to BRING it - get ready 9th graders!  Ms. Zhou shared with me an amazing idea for how she was working on establishing classroom community in these very important formative days with her students.  World History/Geography teachers are working at new ways to engage students with previewing and first readings of their history texts(keeping the assessment piece in mind, all the while)!  Mr. Shind spent some time looking into new ways to connect with his students through a classroom management online platform.  Keep up the great work, RedHawks!