My Teaching Idols

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 10 of #BTBC14
Who are your teaching idols?

     There are many teachers who inspired me along the way, and many who continue to inspire me now.  I would rather not name names, as there would be too many to list.  I prefer to name qualities via catchy posters about good teaching.  

     If you believe in the beliefs behind those posters, perhaps I idolize you!  :)

     Now, anyone who knows me personally does know that I like to stalk reading gurus.  I have not been shy about my current obsession with Christopher Lehman and his book Falling in Love with Close Reading.  Truth is, I do like to be a fan.  This fall, at the Illinois Reading Council Spring Conference, I got to be a fan of many big literacy people.  I have not posted the pictures yet, because it probably does paint me as a literacy nerd.  But, here goes...  The topic is teaching idols, after all!  The lovely ladies with me are the other literacy coaches in my district.  I was lucky to travel with and learn from them at IRC.

Doug Fisher.
"We assume struggling reader is part of their identity.  It's not.  It's a situation."
Sunday Cummins
"Close reading has to have a clear purpose."

Richard Allington
"If you want kids not learn to read well, give them hard texts."

Stephany Harvey
"The most direct link to learning is engagement.  The most direct link to engagement is fun."
Mary Ehrenworth
"The biggest thing we can do is stop saying "Yes!" but what other ideas can you find?  Make them find 2-3 big ideas.  Don't let kids just stay on the surface.  Break through.  Don't let them just find the most obvious idea." 
Nancy Steineke
Point of view and alternative perspectives will make our students go deeper.
Jan Richardson
"The one-third of entering kindergartners who don't know all their letter names are likely to become the one-third or 4th graders reading below the basic level."
Susan K. L'Allier
Become a better listener.
Timothy Rasinski
Fluency is critical at every grade level and many readers who struggle in reading are not sufficiently fluent.
     That gives you a quick photo snapshot of IRC and the literacy leaders that I look up to.  Well, some of them.  Like I said at the beginning of this post, there are many teachers whom I look to in awe.  People don't need to be famous in order to inspire me.  They just need to put kids first, care about their students, and have an open mind.  I also like when they agree to take a picture with me.  :)


  1. Super fun stalking literacy celebs to take pics! :-)

  2. I really love the quote from John Dewey. I would say that he is one theorist that I consider to be an idol of mine. I agree with his views on education.

  3. I'm jealous! I love that you openly admit you're a reading guru stalker. Love it! ;)