I come from a family of teachers 📚 … and Scrum Masters! 👀

My little brother, Luke Buckner, was one of the youngest Scrum Masters trained by Joe Justice & the WIKISPEED team. Both our parents are currently teachers for Oak Ridge Schools. And my dad, Mark Buckner, worked for Scrum Inc., after retiring from Oak Ridge National Lab.

The Buckner’s have been coaching high school students in Scrum for the better half of the last two decades!

Hailing from a family of Scrum teachers has its perks, including on-demand coaching! Here’s a selection from the text conversations I’ve had with Dad (A.K.A. Dr. Scrum) as I’ve encountered hiccups running my own experiments with Scrum in Education.

✉️   📫   📬   📄


Dear Dr. Scrum,

Yesterday, I caught one of my Scrum Master’s on his Nintendo D.S. during Sprint Planning. How would you coach a student Scrum Master if this happened to you?



Hey Syd!

They (the team & the Scrum Master) need to know the “job description” & traits of a good/great Scrum Master. It really is a leadership role. But, it’s a role that facilitates, not dictates.

Hold up an example of what a great SM looks like. Set those expectations…. Maybe even let the team pick their SM based on those traits. Ask them about who they believe would be a good SM for their team.

Coaching conversations may need to be one-on-one and private. Make sure you use Socratic questions like “How might you, the Scrum Master, help the team be more focused and engaged?”

I’ve often named the Scrum Master “The FUN Master”… just not too much fun! 

– Dr. Scrum

P.S. Sometimes it’s a challenge at first, because it can be sort of a popularity contest, but after a sprint or two, usually teams want to have a good SM & PO — Especially when they see other teams making more progress and having more fun learning — Friendly competition and peer pressure, leveraged in a good way!

Retrospectives are my Secret Weapon!

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