Secondary Reading League

Leaders for Literacy in Grades 6-12

Upcoming 2019-20 SRL Events

  • October 3-4th: 2019 IRC 52nd Annual Conference in Peoria
  • October 3-4th: SRL strand during IRC Conference
  • November 22nd: SRL Day of Reading at the Tinley Park Convention Center

Join Us for Day of Reading

What Works May Hurt: Did You Register for Professional Development Yet?

Did you “read” it or did you READ it? Are you reading this right now or is your mind wandering and wondering if it is acceptable for you to take a minute doing something you might enjoy? Did you organize it, or is it floating around in your Shared Folder? Are you really engaged in this conversation or are you thinking about that student who seemed a little off today and you are worried about her family life...or are you thinking about crafting that summative assessment that could easily have been done by now but you have not even had time to even breathe? Let alone do laundry! Let alone eat something besides candy! (love chewy, fruity candy, myself).

After 17 years of teaching striving high school readers, amassing multiple degrees and professional development hours, and regularly feeling guilty during my prep period for reading books I enjoy and articles from the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, I can tell you something that you might NEED TO HEAR:

I am assigning you professional development. We too often worry that we will not get everything done in the time that we have. SPOILER: you won’t! It’s impossible as teachers to get everything done...even in June there is curriculum development and committees and getting a start on the next school year!

We only have so much time - we need to use it wisely. I am not getting all philosophical here, just practical. We need time to:

  1. Reflect- and that happens during times of relaxation. Release the cognitive load and brilliant ideas will come!

  2. Talk with our people - adult people, who have opinions and ideas in the way of teaching reading and literacy and all the important things we teach kids. Let the sub handle the kiddos - they, and you, will survive!

  3. Learn something “new” that maybe you had heard of but never got around to implementing.

  4. Learn something that allows you to think about something differently or to take on a new perspective.

  5. Not learn anything! But just take the time to apply something you learned - wrap up something. Saying, “When I have the time” is not going to get you the time - you need to TAKE it.

Recently, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy featured a professional development resource entitled, “What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education,” a text written by Yong Zhao who explores the ways in which educational researchers may only be looking at the positive output of educational reforms while possibly overlooking the “side effects, interactions, or effects on diverse populations” (39). While Zhao may be looking at the impact on students (which I will find out when I string together enough prep periods to read it), what it made me consider is that maybe some of the things that we are asked to do WORK, but what about the toll it takes on us as teachers? We are human beings, ya know (albeit superhuman, human beings). It might have a positive impact on students, but we also need to make sure we find things that have a positive impact on us!

That being said, find a day, put in for professional release, sign up for a conference, and take the time to develop yourself professionally. Recognize, too, that all development involves emotional, mental, and physical benefits. Go beyond eating an apple a day, and consider being fully present in a professional gathering where you and others can thrive and take the benefits back to your children who deserve you at your best!

Rachel Lesinski-Roscoe, Ed.D

The REAL Messy Podcast

Tune in to the REAL Messy podcast where the speakers explore issues in education and the ways in which they strive to employ Relevant, Engaging, Authentic Learning in classrooms and beyond! This podcast is broadcasted from Grayslake Central High School and features the voices of a Literacy Coach, two Instructional Coaches, and a Library Media Specialist. Their diverse backgrounds make the podcast applicable to many in secondary education!

Welcome to New Members

Thank you to all of our members who have renewed their memberships. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past 12 months. We value all contributions to Secondary Reading League, and memberships make up the lifeblood of our organization. Your involvement is extremely important to us and very much appreciated.

Welcome to our new members. We look forward to forming a partnership with you in promoting adolescent literacy. Thank you for your support!

Below is a list of members that have renewed or joined in August. Use this list as proof of membership for a Domain 4 artifact.

If you have any questions regarding membership, please contact Angel Kalat at

2019 IRC Conference