Recently, I joined a "fireside chat" with some brilliant literacy experts; the chat was hosted by the International Reading Association (ILA), and the topic was "What Should Equitable and Comprehensive Early Literacy Instruction Look Like in 2020 and Beyond?"
One of the speakers was Douglas Fisher. Doug is a professor of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is a member of the California Reading Hall of Fame and was honored as an exemplary leader by the Conference on English Leadership.
Doug discussed something that a lot of people are talking about, learning loss. He explained that the learning loss narrative emphasizes the wrong thing, and too much attention on learning loss and remediation can lower expectations for teachers and kids, creating negative mindsets. He cited recent 3-8 NWEA test scores for 4.4 million students in the United States; the organization reported that the students generally started school this fall about where they should be in reading. He shared that what needs to be magnified right now is that children will learn to read because of the great work that teachers are doing.
“Believe in yourself.”
Teachers across the region have been engaged in heroic efforts during the pandemic. If the "loss, gap, deficit" narrative changes, teachers will believe in themselves, their work, and that all kids will learn to read.
Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
By: Anne Mitchell, CA BOCES Professional Development