Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change

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9781571104199: Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change

Becoming a Literacy Leader chronicles the work of Jennifer Allen, an elementary teacher who moved to a new school and a new job as a literacy specialist, and found herself tackling everything from teacher study groups to state-mandated assessment plans. The book is rooted in Jennifer's belief that teachers know what they need when it comes to professional development in literacy, and the best literacy leaders are those who listen to and respect the educators in their midst. Grounded in research but thoroughly practical, Jennifer shares advice on:

  • organizing a literacy room with resources for classroom teachers, including book lists, bins of children's books tied to craft and strategy lessons, bulletin board ideas, and files with instructional materials;
  • developing intervention classrooms for struggling readers and writers built on collaboration between teachers and literacy specialists;
  • setting up assessment notebooks for teachers, and preparing new and veteran teachers for student assessments across grades;
  • creating model programs for dealing with schoolwide problems like reading fluency, and then moving from the pilot to implementation in many classrooms;
  • coaching new and veteran teachers in the latest literacy practices, without taking on the role of expert;
  • analyzing and using books, videos and journals in professional development programs;
  • infusing routine staff meetings with discussions of new literacy curricula;
  • leading teacher study groups using a variety of formats;
  • finding and budgeting money for professional development programs in literacy;
  • protecting time and scheduling priorities, to ensure the literacy specialist position doesn't become a “catch-all for the random needs of teachers or administrators.

At a time when all administrators are urged to be literacy leaders, this insider's view helps to define what leadership looks like and shows how to create an environment that fosters professional development. Jennifer Allen shares the balance leaders struggle with, as they strive to support and honor the fine practices of teachers, even as they nudge colleagues to improve their literacy instruction. Ultimately, Becoming a Literacy Leader is a hopeful book, an optimistic and realistic portrait of life in schools among teachers committed to doing their jobs well.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Jennifer Allen is a literacy specialist in grades 3–5 for the Waterville, Maine, school district, where she works as a reading coach and leads professional development programs for teachers. Jennifer has presented her work to regional and national audiences through state literacy organizations, the International Literacy Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a frequent contributor to Choice Literacy and Lead Literacy. 
 

Review:

Jennifer Allen's second edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader (9781625310965, $33.33) covers the author's work as she moved to a new school and position as a literacy specialist, and examines what it means to assume such a role in supporting learning and change. While the first edition of this book detailed her work and move, this latest continues the process of evaluating her newfound role as a literacy guide, adding more information gleaned from the ten years since her first discussion and surveying the basics of how she applied her job to the school community. The result is more than just an update of events, but a re-assessment gained from further experiences in the blossoming school system and new position, and is a highly recommended reference for any teacher considering the role of a literacy leader.
Midwest Book Review, Bookwatch, November 2016
Education Shelf
 

The second updated edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change provides a revised new edition of her basic work, which detailed the author's move to a new school and job as a literacy specialist which required she put the most basic of teaching environments into place. This revision ten years later reflects new developments in the field of literacy teaching and new ideas she has designed as her profession evolved, and shares with other teachers the basics of both professional development and the process of building a student literacy framework. Chapters include discussion questions of literacy meetings, consider the key components of such processes as literacy intervention rooms, and assess progress and programs with a two-year track record and how data indicates the reading and writing development process. The result goes far beyond the first edition, making this a winner for aspiring literacy teachers who want field-tested assessments of what works and the challenges involved in shaping effective literacy programs.
Midwest Book Review
 

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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