As we barrel towards the start of another new school year, I want to take a moment to share one quote that syncs with my beliefs about the power of teachers to affect change for students in the gap. Each new school year renews my hope that more lives really will be impacted by the effort of passionate, innovative teachers.
“Allington and Walmsley (1995) remind us that there is no quick fix for our literacy dilemma, no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all recipe that can guarantee success for all learners. Contrary to what some people in the field of education might want us to believe, effective literacy programs cannot be bundled into child- and teacher-proof curriculum packets and distributed throughout a building for all to use, one lesson plan at a time. Rather, meaningful change must come from concerned educators who see a wrong and set about to right it, teachers who are willing to read about, reflect on, discuss, and experiment with innovative ideas in order to make a difference for their students.
“This is not a task to be taken lightly. Change is difficult. Change is slow. Change takes time, effort and unwavering commitment. It can be frightening, requiring us to take a risk, to leave behind something that we are comfortable with for the threatening shadows of the unknown. It can be confrontational, as new beliefs and concepts clash with old ones. It can be frustrating, as fresh ideas don’t pan out and untested methods backfire. But meaningful change, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, can occur. It can occur for one struggling reader, one class of lifers, one day, one week, one semester at a time. And when it does, it surely makes a difference.”
Lifers by Pamela N. Mueller, 2001