“Here’s my proposal.”
“I can work with all 22 students (remembering that 18 is my limit), between 8 and 12:30.
I will need to make plans for days with staffings when parents can only attend with
afternoons, but everything else works. This will help me be a better teacher. It’s more
specific than my special ed. training.”
My palms were sweaty. I felt like I was begging.
Truth be told, I was. This was the opportunity of my professional lifetime.
I could see the answer in his eyes. Mr. “By the Book” Administrator.
“I’m sorry but the master contract just won’t allow it.”
I pulled the contract out of my drawer where it had been waiting. “Please show me
where it says that it’s not allowed.”
His expression tightened. He stepped back. “If we let you do this, then we will have
to let everyone else do this.”
I snorted in disbelief. “Who else would offer to do a full day’s work in a half day and
then spend the rest of the day in training, to be a better teacher at no cost to you, except
for the release time?”
He shook his head, rapped his knuckles on my desk, turned and left without another
word. In his mind, the conversation was over. His decision was final. Two administrators
later, the district paid thousands of dollars for training, materials, and release time for
multiple teachers to undertake that same training. Training that I had offered to
undertake on my own. Training that was refused on the basis that “everyone would
want to do it.”
Have you guessed the training that I was refused?
What clues are you using for your inference as the training was not explicitly named?
(And how do you teach inferences?)
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily March forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Yes, that was Reading Recovery training.
“Of 153 programs reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse, only one had strong evidence that it improved reading achievement – – Reading Recovery.”
- WWC 2007, Richard Allington 2013
I was a Reading Recovery teacher “wannabe” who was willing to do a full day’s work, plus the training, and on my own dime!
And now you know the rest of the story!
What is the role of a teacher? Is it solely to be a teacher? A coach? Or both?
I believe that a responsive student-centered learning classroom requires the teacher to be part coach and part teacher in the role of lead learner in the classroom. That combination of roles is necessary for students to meet the requirements of the Common Core!
Where can I find evidence to support this?
1) Reading Recovery
When a child doesn’t know a word, the Reading Recovery teacher does NOT tell the student the word. She/he works with the student to figure out what the student knows and can try. The quote that I remember hearing when I observed a “behind the glass session” was something like: “A word told today is a word told tomorrow, is a word told the next day, and the next day!”
Why is this important? Telling doesn’t work because the student isn’t engaged in the cognitive work! (Saying the same thing over and over or louder and louder is often NOT effective!)
2) John Hattie – Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
According to researcher John Hattie, the average effect size of feedback is 0.79. That is twice the average effect of all the school effects and is also in the top ten influences on student achievement so it is very important. However, Hattie’s synthesis of over 900 studies also pointed out that “not all feedback is equal.”
What does that mean? Effective coaches spend a lot of time “showing” how to do something and then getting out of the way to watch for application of the “something” that was taught. Classrooms with more coaching and work done by the students may be the best indicator of success for classrooms implementing the Common Core.
Where can you find out more?
Last week’s posts by @burkinsandyaris on their blog “Think Tank for 21st Century Literacy” bring a laser focus to those teacher roles. They were also the source of inspiration for this post. You can read all five yourself on their Friday Weekend Round Up posted December 8th. It included the different skills that a coach/teacher needs to employ for improved literacy for ALL students!
“Monday – The Coach and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (Part 1)
Tuesday – The Coach and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (Part 2): Coach as Demonstrator
Wednesday – The Coach and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (Part 3): Teacher as Spotter
Thursday – The Coach and the Gradual Release of Responsibility (Part 4): Coach as Consultant
Friday – Friday Favorite: Mindbending”
Check out all five posts. As you reflect, consider where your expertise lies . . .
Are you a Coach?
Are you a Demonstrator?
Are you a Spotter?
Are you a Consultant?
Let me know how you weave those roles together!