LE 1: Reading Leadership

ETFO Reading Specialist AQ, Fall 2014

We challenged ourselves to consider our role as leaders outside of the classroom. The Specialist course asks us to become leaders in the broader sense of the word. We need to use what we know about effective reading practice as we work with colleagues, parents, and the community. We also need to look at the opportunities available within our boards to share our knowledge and expertise.


Within this Smore you will find the key concepts that were discussed in this LE along with some of your own ideas. I hope you find this a useful summary of our collective learning.

Shared Reading Experiences

These are a few of the reading experiences you shared. I meant to get them all in, but ran out of time. If I have time, I'll come back into this Smore to add them.

Guest Reader Program (Brian)

I developed a Guest Reader program where I invited specific adults in my students’ lives to come and read in our classroom, then to discuss everyday ways that they used reading and perhaps their experience of reading as a child. We had dads and big sisters, mothers and our school principal. Not every visitor was dynamic, and that’s okay. But it was amazing to see how differently individual students would react to different guests. The most powerful experience for me was one student’s mother who came in and read a story entirely in Mandarin with her daughter as translator. It was amazing to see my English Language Learners and students with multiple languages respond to valuing a non-English language in the classroom. It was a scary thing for me to let go of control enough to have that happen, but what it brought about was an empowering experience for many and an eye-opening experience for native English speakers who had never experienced this kind of marginalization. It was a popular initiative with our class and ended up catching on with several other teachers as well.

Literacy in Context (Sandra)

The activity that I implemented was using literacy in context, which was a concept I took from the Think Literacy Resource for grades 7-10. I used the Britannica website with students on the chrome books to read about the various animal kingdoms. We first reviewed taking “dot jots” and how to create your own thoughts from what they read. They then took their thoughts and wrote a paragraph. I differentiated the reading level with giving them the option of using the elementary level or intermediate level of reading. There is also an option to have the information read to them, which I used with two IEP students. Finally I showed my ELL students the translate option, that seemed to be helpful for them.

Wonder--Revisited (Natasha)

I ran out of time at the end of the year, and couldn't get to the end of Wonder. I had 6 returning students and on the first day of school, they begged me to read to them so we could finish the story! (Intermediate behaviour boys....?!) They were rapt. The ending was so important, and satisfying, it generated an early project of 'words of wisdom' and important/clever things people have shared with us in our lives to help us get through, be resilient- in the face of ignorance and difficulty. We now have various posters around our room that were inspired from that book- things our families have said to us, things a wise teacher told us, even things that famous people have said that resonated... 'Stop having fun, this is supposed to be educational.' Charles M. Schultz
Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Leadership Styles: Which one are you?

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Here are some resources about teacher mentorship from the course as well as some additional resources that you might find helpful.

Resources we Shared

Through our discussions, some great additional resources were shared. If you can think of any that I missed, let me know and I'll add them!