#SOL19: Quality Matters

I reread this quote.

“Students who are placed with highly effective teachers for three years in a row significantly outperform average students. A student who has an outstanding teacher for just one year will remain ahead of their peers for the next few years.” (Source) Alex Freedman

And then I took a deep breath.

Calm.  It’s an article about math!”  But I’ve heard this from Nell Duke and Linda Darling-Hammond.  It’s not a new statistic.

It’s scary when it seems to be the opposite of what happens in many school building across the country every day!

Why does it matter?

In my family, it’s the grandkids and the great nieces and great nephews that I’m “fretting” about.  What will their educational future bring? Three good teachers in a row?  Three mediocre teachers?  Three poor teachers? Or some combination?

Where is the sense of urgency?

Valinda Kimmel’s post yesterday was so spot on.  Here’s the link.  Go read it. We will wait for you!  “WHEN RTI SEEMS LACKING AND WHAT WE CAN DO”  There is no time to waste.  Every single year matters. Every single day matters.  Every single hour matters.  Every single minute matters.  Every single second in every school building matters!

What do literacy teachers need?

Kimberly Moran’s post yesterday, was no April Fool’s joke.  There is no one way to teach a child to read. “The Science of Literacy Is Not a Thing, So Can We Please Stop Saying That It Is?” Every child brings their own little section of the world with them to school.  No one methodology works for all students, and it’s so strange that some people believe that they now have the “perfect” answer for ALL students. And I have some swamp land for sale . . . I can assemble a group of four educators with a total of over 150 years of teaching students to read that have the knowledge, experience and expertise to explain why teaching reading depends on the student.

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What is our role as a teacher?

Regie Routman says it BEST! (But I’m borrowing Dr. Mary C Howard’s words about Regie’s book . . . )

“In Literacy Essentials, Regie asks us to move from teacher-as-technician dutifully following scripts, programs, and rigid data to teacher as thinker responsibly keeping children at the center of all we do. (p 3-4) (Source) Literacy Lenses

Teacher as THINKER!

What thinking will you be doing today? 

How will you keep children at the center of all you do?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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13 responses

  1. Fran, I share your concern about grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews too. I worry about the prevalence of technicians instead of teachers in our schools. How do we help them become thinkers? I think we need to eliminate the fear factor and empower our teachers with real PD.

    1. Diane,
      Real experiences that are life-changing definitely require more than technicians! Empowerment!

  2. litcoachconnection | Reply

    Yes! I couldn’t agree more, Fran! What concerns me is that some districts are moving towards eliminating instructional coaching positions. If we do not improve our practice, how will be support our students? Very concerning!

    1. So many layers of support are needed for thinking teachers! ❤

  3. Yes, yes, yes! I worry as you do that teachers as thinkers are not what gets deemed effective, instead teachers end up being evaluated by how well they stick to the script…

    1. Erika,
      So important that responses to students are a priority and that cannot ever be scripted!

  4. With all that is being thrown at teachers these days as far as what to teach and how to teach it seems like thinking teachers are being taken out of the equation to be replaced by nonthinking robots. Not good for our students.

    1. Just heard of legislation to lower test scores required for teachers. Interestng concept for hiring the best teachers.

  5. I am always thinking about how to best help my English learners with their reading. I don’t have them all day. What about if they have a brand new teacher who knows nothing about teaching ELs? So much work to do! Thanks for your thoughtful post!

    1. The need for common language and understanding is so critical for all of our steiving students and their teachers!

  6. I must say 100 times a day – we don’t teach maps, we don’t teach programs, we don’t teach units … we teach kids!!!

    1. Exactly, Clare, and teachers were not designed to be robots! ❤

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