I love to teach! I have seen the education pendulum swing back and forth over the years. We are in a period that was similar to the seventies. . . data collection and record keeping seems top on the list of importance. Don’t get me wrong. . . it is important. Pretesting and post testing can show growth. You can also twist and turn to make it show what you want. If you are using quality best practices, individualizing for those that need modified curriculum, and putting students first. . . they are going to learn and progress. Doesn’t that make sense? We just have to keep our students first and top of the list. We have to “hook” them into the world of education and school. There is a game to be played on how to be successful. . .we have to give the kids keys to learning. AND they will be successful. No student will remember your workbook pages or packets of work. They will remember how you made them feel. If teachers are stressed, students are stressed.
Teachers need to laugh with their students, and they need to love their students. They need to bring joy to them everyday. EVERY DAY!. . . the top standard should be “LOVE OF LEARNING WILL MAKE LIFE LONG LEARNERS!” Isn’t that what we always want. . . wondering, curiosity, wandering through books and information that interests them. Challenges are everywhere. . . teachers vs parents. Teachers vs environment. Teachers vs demands from admin, state, and federal.
My suggestions is to start at the foundation of learning. . . Pre K and K. A good solid phonics foundation is a must for the students to understand our language and be able to unlock the mystery of reading. We need to go slow and review and review before rushing on . . . before they are ready. That is the biggest mistake of our reading companies. They are focusing on the top twenty five percent of the students. . . .Those kids will “get it” no matter what we do. We need a better way to reach our struggling students.
I have been trained in Workshop Way Phonics, Intensified Phonics, Read to Write/ Write to Read, and Orton Gillingham. The scope and sequence of teaching the sounds is done best in Orton Gillingham. I use techniques of the other programs to teach the sounds . . . .and then we can write to read or read to write to make the reading/writing connection which is so powerful. Then by using mentor text (National Writing Project and Indiana Writing Project). . . students can stand on the shoulders of authors such as Candace Fleming, Keiko Kasza, Cynthia Rylant, PK Hallinan, Douglas and Audry Wood, Eve Bunting, Dav Pilkey, Margie Palanti, Georgia Heard, Leo Lionni, Ezra Jack Keats, Linda Urban, Ralph Fletcher, Katie Wood Ray, Martha Horne, Jeff Anderson, Patrick Allen, Donald Graves, Lucy Calkins, Carl Anderson, and so many more.
I hope we can all work together to make it happen for the future of our students, for the future of our leaders.