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Why Blog?

As an educator, I have three college degrees, five areas of certification, and two decades of teaching experience. I have taught in private schools, charter schools, and public schools in four states. I believe one of the dirty little secrets of education is that unless they have a Master’s Degree in Literacy, many teachers do not know how to teach students to be better readers and writers. Some teachers realize this and do whatever it takes to find professional development courses and workshops that will help them learn these skills. Other teachers learn as they go, picking up a few strategies here and there and passing them along to students, never fully mastering the art of teaching literacy skills. Sadly, many teachers read and write with their students every day, muddling through as best they can, but never actually teach reading and writing skills . . . not because they do not want to teach these skills, but because they truly do not know how to teach reading and writing. In my experience, teaching students how to read and write well is simply not taught well in most undergraduate courses and only taught in graduate courses if one’s degree is in some sort of literacy program. There are exceptions, of course, but a good number of teachers are in this predicament -- especially those who do not teach primary grades.
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My teaching experience has been in grades 3-12 and I admit: I did not fully understand how to teach reading until I obtained a Master’s Degree in Literacy – nine years after I started teaching! At that point, I was teaching seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts and the skill of understanding how to teach reading transformed my teaching! I was a good teacher those nine years -- but I was not one of those great teachers who could actually help my middle school students increase their reading skills and progress one or two (or more!) years in their reading abilities. With a degree and certification in Literacy, I had finally acquired a toolbox of tips and strategies to help adolescent students who were struggling readers! My good readers became great readers, my struggling students started making progress by leaps and bounds, and I discovered the joys of teaching students literacy skills that would open a whole new world of opportunities over the course of their lifetimes!
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There is a myth in education that in grades K-3, students learn to read and in grades 4-12, they read to learn. The fact is, most students in grades 4-12 are still learning literacy skills and there are many strategies and concepts we can teach to help secondary students become better readers and writers!

I decided to blog because I believe I have something unique to offer. My blog is not intended to be a journal of day-to-day teaching experiences. Rather, this will be an outlet for me to share ideas, tips, tools, and strategies meant to help you teach your students – or your own children – how to develop and improve their reading and writing skills! I will offer a conglomeration of insider tips and strategies, book reviews, writing prompts, curriculum reviews, and educational ideas and philosophies – a virtual toolbox of teaching tips to help you elevate your teaching of literacy skills to a whole new level! Thanks for joining me on this ride . . . here we go!!!
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