by Lynne R. Dorfman
The new year is a great time for both students and teachers to reflect on literacy practices and set some new goals. I decided to share my reflections and goals with you, and hope you all will have some time to do the same. Reflection and goal-setting is something we can do for ourselves, and it is always worth the effort!
I have evolved as a teacher over a career that spans 38 years of classroom teaching, facilitation of the K-5 gifted program, and extensive work as a writing extension teacher. This year is my 6th year as an independent consultant who often serves as a literacy coach. Perhaps my biggest reason for wanting to be in this role is my commitment to the changes in instruction that take place when you put into practice what you’ve learned. I look back on my experiences with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project, and I know how important it is to “think big but start small!” – as Michael Fullan suggests.
When you begin to understand something new, you try to also figure out how it fits into what you are already doing. I think about the addition of portfolios in my own classroom, and how I first started with just a writing portfolio before eventually creating a portfolio across the content areas as well. As a literacy coach, I had to recognize when a teacher gets it – has this new understanding, and is ready to put it into practice. Then I had to think about what resources and supports he/she will need to be successful.