Recently, the USA Today newspaper printed pro and con editorials on rating teachers according to student test scores. As a result, letters to the editor have appeared. There is agreement with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), that teachers need to be well-prepared. But, there are other influences affecting teacher competence: resources, policies, class size, community, economics and population to name a few.
In one letter, an ex-teacher from Missouri states, “Every working day, teachers look to inspire students to do their best. Keeping that student motivation at a high level is very challenging.” With school district budgets shrinking, classroom sizes increasing, and teacher lay offs ever present, we feel that the teacher’s original goal remains to inspire and motivate our youth to become productive participants of society.
We know that teachers are thinking outside the box to achieve that goal. Streamlining curriculums, avoiding any duplication—working more efficiently and effectively, is the name of the game. Working as a community, in collaboration with parents and other agencies who can contribute toward that goal is one of the ways to think outside the box.
As we have expressed in previous blogs, it is our belief that literacy is key to any child’s success. Helping teachers and parents find ways to economically and efficiently encourage literacy is our contribution to the end goal. If children are literate, their scores will be higher. If teachers have the support they need from the community, the kids will be more interested in learning and the teacher’s dreams can remain the focus instead of the politics of education.
Exposing children to reading, getting them interested in reading, is a step in the right direction. It is true, the Leveled Reader staff can’t spend twenty minutes a day reading to the child or listening to the child, but Leveled Reader can provide an excellent selection of contemporary books that compliment the programs in today’s guided reading programs.
The leveling chart gives you a good idea of the types of books in your child’s target reading range. Once you have established the level of books we feel match your school’s reading program you can easily shop within that level to enhance your guided reading library. When you provide books that are fun to read, filled with interesting subjects, you are engaging LILY (Launching Independent Literate Youth)!!
Let our Lily help you select great books or book sets for those GREAT children and youth in your life!
“In reading, as in eating, an appetite is half the feast.” Anonymous