How Many Feet Does Your School Have on the Bus?
This idea of the bus was something that occurred to me a few years ago. It was the idea that we're all moving in the same direction, that everybody is welcome and that we are part of a network of primary teachers and leaders committed to advocating for the right of every child to be taught to read with evidence-informed teaching practice. We do this by continually developing our skills and knowledge through quality professional learning, dialogue with other teachers and actively participating in our education community. It doesn't mean that we have to be an expert. It doesn't mean that we have to be perfect to be on the bus. What it does mean is that we need to embrace explicit teaching and all that comes with that?
Being on the bus means teaching explicitly.
Half measures will not get us the results we are looking for
How do we get everyone to put two feet on the bus?
Adapting to change can be similar to a grieving process
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We must recognize that there is nuance in the conversations we have about change and committing to structured literacy. I don't think we can say that there is one single roadmap to shift practice that can be applied to every school. There are different considerations depending on whether this is a school-leader-led proposal or whether it's coming from the classroom level. Ultimately, we all want what's best for students, and we all wanna see student growth. We are not going to see that, however, with half measures and only having one foot on the bus.
As an individual, you can influence and you can support, but ultimately our leadership has to be knowledgeable; they have to know why it matters. They have to lead; they have to make decisions so that your school can have a shared vision of that one big idea through which you will view everything that you're doing in your change process. Ideally, that's around being fully committed to implementing evidence-informed practice from the science of reading and learning so that we can maximize time on task, maximize student learning, and ultimately positively impact students as they make their way through their life.