With 20 plus years in education, I knew from early on that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching and academia. I have been lucky to have been taught and inspired by a number of mentors who have had a meaningful impact on my academic life. A proud graduate of Mississippi Valley State University, I am a enthusiastic and devoted Educator and I strive to share my love of teaching and learning to my own students and the teachers that I serve alike.
(Adapted from Jim Knight)
➢ Equality: Instructional coaches and teachers are equal partners in the process who listen to and learn from one another.
➢ Choice: Teachers should have choice regarding what and how they learn. The coach’s goal is to meet teachers where they currently are in their practice and offer choices for learning.
➢ Voice: Professional learning should empower and respect the voices of teachers. Instructional coaches view coaching as a process that helps teachers find their voice, not a process for making teachers think a certain way.
➢ Dialogue: Professional learning should enable authentic dialogue. Instructional coaches avoid manipulation, engage participants in conversation about content, and think and learn with collaborating teachers. ➢ Reflection: Reflection is an integral part of professional learning. Instructional coaches encourage collaborating teachers to consider ideas before adopting them and recognize that reflective thinkers, by definition, must be free to adopt or reject ideas.
➢ Praxis: Teachers should apply their learning to their real-life practice as they are learning. For instructional coaches this means that in partnership with collaborating teachers they focus their attention on how to use ideas in the classroom as those ideas are being learned.
➢ Reciprocity: Instructional coaches should expect to get as much as they give. Learning about each teacher’s strengths and weaknesses while implementing new teaching practices will enhance a coach’s ability to collaborate with all other teachers and the coach’s skill in using the new teaching practice.
All Things Literacy
Why is literacy important?
Students need literacy in order to engage with the written word in everyday life.
Think of how often you use your own reading skills in everyday life. It’s not just articles like this one that require literacy, but signs, labels, and the messages on your phone, too.
The same goes for writing. Nowadays, even phone calls have given way to instant messaging and text-based communication, making the ability to read all the more important.
But beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.
Ways to support literacy development
Literacy development should be a combined effort between home and school. Here are a few things you can do to support early learners’ literacy skills:
Reading is the first pillar of literacy, so encourage young learners to immerse themselves in it frequently and deeply. This should involve exposure to a broad variety of different genres, such as newspapers, novels, comics, magazines, films, reference material, and websites.
Discuss texts together
Actively discussing what has been read encourages learners to make connections and think deeply about the ideas contained in texts. Follow up the reading or viewing of a text with a discussion of what it made learners think and feel.
Use games and activities that support literacy development
Write a half-page story that makes use of a new and unusual word or phrase.
Describe a person or object with as many adjectives as you can think of.
Information scavenger hunt: scour the web to find facts on a given topic within a set time frame.
Recap the plot of a novel or film in your own words (as learners progress they can try to do this in as few words as possible).
Have a competition to see who can find as many rhyming words as possible, starting from a given word. Learners could also write poems or songs with rhyme.
Make use of the library
Immersing children in a huge range of texts encourages them to dive in and explore. There’s no better place to do this than the school or community library.
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