I was blessed to be able to attend the International Literacy Association Conference in St. Louis this past weekend. To be honest, I felt out of my league, but that was a good thing. Being the principal or “Lead Learner” of an elementary school, I have to observe teachers who are teaching literacy. Literacy is in EVERY subject, and for me being a music teacher, this is an area that I continually enhance my learning and knowledge to be the best coach and instructional leader for my staff who in turn will help teacher our students who will learn.
After listening to many fabulous speakers from Ruth Culham to Donalyn Miller, Kate Messner, Lester Laminack, Phyliss Hunter, my NUMBER 1 take away from this fabulous conference was to give our students VOICE and CHOICE in what they are reading and writing. It is about being in the zone of reading and writing – the process that can take you away and create adventures within your head.
Pam Allyn put it nicely about reading and writing; “Reading is like breathing in and writing is like breathing out.” What a profound statement. As adults, we need to model the love and passion for reading as well as writing. As Phyliss Hunter stated throughout the conference, “Reading is our new civil rights!” Let’s get our kids reading and writing and into worlds they would never dream they would be in!
Thank you ILA! Every building leader and principal should attend your conference, July, 2016 in Boston, MA!