"I want students to learn to be literacy decision-makers. I believe that individuals should reflect on and refine their own practices as they gain knowledge."
My career highlight was when I began to try out the literacy strategies that I had been teaching for years with my own sons, who have very different personalities and interests. My teaching practices and thoughts about literacy have evolved as a result of my day-to-day home literacy experiences with my own children.
In which online degree programs do you teach?
Which classes do you teach online?
Emergent Literacy, Principles of Literacy Cognition, and Practicum I
What do you want students to learn in your classes?
I want students to learn to be literacy decision-makers. I believe that individuals should reflect on and refine their own practices as they gain knowledge. As literacy decision-makers, I want my students to be able to know why they participate in particular literacy practices and know why they work in order to teach literacy effectively.
When did you start teaching?
In 2000, I began teaching 5th grade at a public school district in Arkansas.
What's the best advice that you ever received?
Stay humble. Pride comes before a fall.
What advice would you give to those considering this program?
I believe that learning more about literacy can improve the classroom practices of teachers from diverse content areas, so I would recommend that an individual decide what he/she wants out of a degree in reading because it can have a widespread impact on one's career in the education field.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in this degree program?
I think that reflective and critical thinking are necessary skills for this type of degree program. Again, the goal is to develop education professionals who can become effective literacy decision-makers.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that teachers face today?
I think many educators are faced with mandates, and although one may not feel right about a mandate or a newly prescribed program, he/she may not have the necessary tools to offer alternative suggestions, in particular better education practices.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
"For Every Child: The Rights of the Child in Words and Pictures"