On May 11, I had the honor to sit in a virtual room with THE Regie Routman about teaching readers NOT teaching reading. Yes, we carefully thought that out because we both believe the center of instruction should be around children always. I'm delighted to share this conversation with you.
If you are an ELA teacher, you likely know Regie and can imagine how honored and thrilled I was about the opportunity to literally have a conversation about such an important topic with a leader in the field.
I was first introduced to Regie's work in the early 2000's when I taught in an elementary school. Before finding her work, I taught students the best way I knew. The curriculum guide drove my instruction, I taught from basal text books, and we learned in whole group settings rarely stopping for independent reading. But I just knew that I wasn't serving all students this way. I could feel that something wasn't right.
After reading Literacy Essentials, I changed just about everything I did with readers. First and foremost, students lead instruction (rather than curriculum). I'm not saying that I ignored the curriculum. It's just that I put students first. I became very in tuned to their needs based on the relationships I built with them. The changes I made over time continued to make a difference in how students came to love reading.
The way reading is taught is once again in question. I say once again because this is not a new topic of conversation but it's risen to the surface. How we teach readers is even being discussed by people outside of education, such as politicians.
In the Youtube video below, Regie and I discuss significant issues around teaching readers, not just and teaching reading. We discuss readers' identities and how to help children build their own. And we talk about ways that we can help children and teachers find joy in reading.
About Regie Routman:
Regie Routman is an educational leader, mentor, coach and teacher who is passionate about improving the literacy and learning lives of all learners. She works side by side with administrators, teachers, and students in underperforming schools to raise expectations, accelerate reading and writing achievement, and bring joy and authenticity into teaching and learning. She is the author, most recently, of Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners (Stenhouse, 2018) For full information on Regie’s many books, podcasts, and resources-- and to contact her-- go to www.regieroutman.org and @regieroutman on Twitter.