Differentiated Literacy Coaching: Scaffolding for Student and Teacher Success

Differentiated Literacy Coaching: Scaffolding for Student and Teacher Success

Differentiated Literacy Coaching: Scaffolding for Student and Teacher Success

Differentiated Literacy Coaching: Scaffolding for Student and Teacher Success

Synopsis

Making sure that all students read well is a top priority for schools, and literacy coaches are playing an increasingly important role in the effort. Their challenge? To deliver the kind of instruction and support best suited to the teachers they work with and most likely to help those teachers improve the literacy of their students. In Differentiated Literacy Coaching, Mary Catherine Moran presents a solution for meeting the diverse needs of literacy coaches and their charges. The heart of the book is an exploration of the Literacy Coaching Continuum, a series of professional learning formats that coaches can use singularly or in combination to design and deliver the most effective, most appropriate support.

Excerpt

My first experience with coaching was in 1977. I was a novice educator in Northern Vermont, newly hired to teach special education in a K–8 building. Although 30 years have passed, I can clearly remember the excitement I felt in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. I spent hours planning, reviewing my students' files, poring over books, and preparing “perfect” lessons. I imagined the seamless and happy collaboration that would take place between me and my students' classroom teachers. When the first day of school arrived, I was ready.

As you might guess, it didn't take more than a few hours for reality to set in. My perfect lessons, which I'd developed without knowing the living and breathing students I'd be teaching, weren't quite so perfect after all. I was responsible for educating individuals who didn't quite match my preconceived notions. What's more, the easy collaboration with colleagues that I'd envisioned was complicated by me not knowing a soul on the faculty, and by the fact that my classroom was a trailer located at the far end of the blacktop playground. Panic replaced enthusiasm.

Thank heavens for the resiliency of youth and for the Vermont State Department of Education. As a new special education teacher, I was assigned a coach who provided “job-embedded” professional development. Sara was not much older than I, but she had the benefit of a master's degree and five years of teaching experience. She visited my classroom to help me review student data, plan instruction, and reflect on . . .

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