One sign that you are a reading/English/literacy teacher: when you are stuck, you hit the books. I learned so much about teaching reading by running into to a variety of students with a variety of reading problems. I worked as an English teacher in Title 1 schools for 9 years and as a vice principal/principal in Title 1 schools for 5 years.
As an English teacher to 9th and 10th graders, I encountered a variety of reading problems. It troubled me greatly because in college I was trained to teach literature and writing. I suppose they assumed I would teach on-level kids.
So I hit the books. And, among others, Cris Tovani and Nancy Atwell came to my rescue. Since then I have been able to incorporate into any classroom reading and writing skills that are student centered and Common Core aligned.
As a school leader, I spent much time in classrooms coaching and observing teachers. The best part about this is I got to see excellent teachers incorporating reading and writing. While I’d like to believe I coached and helped them grow, I 100% know many of them improved my instructional approach.
Through this journey, I have come to know that students need to know
These were once mysterious to me. Could a kid really identify his own problem? Solve her own reading issue? Be taught what I and other good readers do automatically?
YES!!! Teachers and students can learn and practice these things.
In addition to working at the high school level, I have also had the pleasure of teaching at the university and community college level.