Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Years of Teaching: 25
If you had to describe yourself as an educator, what six words would you use and why?
Passionate. Motivated. Optimistic. Collaborative. Caring. Reflective. I am passionate because I love what I do; motivated because I have high expectations of myself, my students, and my colleagues; optimistic because our attitude frames our experiences; collaborative because I enjoy working with others; caring because I genuinely care about what others are experiencing; and reflective because I am always looking for new ways to reach students as I tweak my approach and lesson plans to adapt to the learners who are in front of me.
What drew you to Reading Apprenticeship?
When I was working on aligning the English Language Arts curriculum with the Common Core State Standards, I was immersed in the shift from teaching content to teaching skills. After researching several best practices with my colleagues, I discovered the Reading Apprenticeship model of instruction, and after one Reading Apprenticeship workshop, I was hooked. Many teachers in our district are now trained in Reading Apprenticeship, and for the last several years, we have been meeting as an interdisciplinary instructional professional learning team, discussing routines that are working for our students across and within the disciplines. As a result, our students are active participants in their learning process, which has led to improvements in our students’ literacy levels, content mastery, and writing assessment scores!
What is your go-to Reading Apprenticeship routine?
#1 Think-Pair-Share and #2 I Think/My Group Thinks/My Community Thinks. These routines set an important purpose for writing: students have an opportunity to articulate their thoughts independently, but they know that they are writing in preparation for discussion. Once they capture their thoughts in writing, sharing in a small group creates a safe environment for students to engage in thoughtful discussion. Students are more willing to share their thoughts with the whole class when they are reporting out what their group thinks, which increases student engagement and collaborative meaning making.
Can you share a story about a time when you or a student had an “aha!” moment with Reading Apprenticeship?
A student recently said, “I love that in this class because we create our own questions, and as a result, we have the space to have important conversations that are relevant to us. Giving us the opportunity to create our own questions motivates us to find the answers to those questions.”
If you could describe Reading Apprenticeship in a sentence, what would you say?
Reading Apprenticeship transforms classrooms into places where all students are engaged as leaders in the content area.
What are you reading right now?
I am rereading All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir