This past Saturday was a magical day here in Central Ohio. The Literacy Connection brought Pam Allyn (co-author of Every Child a Super Reader) out of New York City to the Midwest to inspire and reaffirm what students need. As I sat with colleagues from my district, I realized she wasn't only guiding us in our work with students she was filling our hearts and buckets to get back in the trenches and fight the good fight. She urged us to stay true to our beliefs and was thrilled so many teachers had taken a Saturday to learn and grow. While it's hard to give up a Saturday, if it's the right season for you I'd encourage you to do it. It's more relaxing than taking a week day during the school year and builds relationships. There's time to talk and listen. There's time to catch up with old friends and make new. I'm so glad I got to share this experience with so many teachers.
Ten thoughts from Pam Allyn that will guide me through the year -
- "teaching is scientific about what works and then there’s also the love", so true we can't forget to love what we do, love the students we are with, and find moments of love.
- "we are in the world of ticket tape and it's scary but literacy gives us a safe space."
- "have students read 20 minutes a day, independently."
- instead of struggling readers, she recommends shifting our mindset with striving readers and reminded us reading levels have their place but students are not a reading level
- "our striving readers are our most fragmented readers, no more pulling during read aloud or independent reading"
- "we are micro-managing reading levels", she urged us over and over again, this isn't necessary.
- "Books are just books until you put a relationship into them and they become different.", foster relationships with books
- "main thing we want to know about our kids - are they happy?"
- "let’s create a super reader community with our parents. There's plenty parents can do around the social emotional and engagement piece. They don't know what to do, get them involved."
- "illustrations also show 7 strengths of the Super Reader."