“There are many effective ways to teach children and live our lives.  No one has a patent on the truth.  Find yours.  Read.  Reflect.  Think about what you already know about good teaching and how it fits with new learning.  Read some more.  Think about the implications for your classroom.  Collaborate with colleagues.  Try new things and spend time defining your beliefs and aligning your practices.  Once you’ve found what’s true for you, stand up for what you know is right.  Live it every day and be confident and clear about why you believe as you do.  People will listen.”

Debbie Miller, Reading with Meaning, 2002, pages 6 -7

Julie Shepherd responds:

I love this quote.  It reminds me to be an active learner and to continually trial and refine my classroom practice.  It reminds me that professional reading is an important part of my role and the conversations we have with our colleagues are vital.  It also reminds me to remain positive in my attitude and actions.

During Term 1, I am starting all my Professional learning sessions with this quote.  It is such an important one, particularly in these times when educators are being bombarded with directives, some from people who have never taught in classrooms.   Particularly, when some of our state Education Departments are directing teachers to use the Phonic Screening Check and telling them that their reading programs must include a significant portion on Synthetic Phonics.

Teachers lives are so busy – we all understand that, but each teacher must take the time to think, read and talk about what they believe about how children learn literacy skills.  Is it emphasising rote learning, set sequences of decontextualized skills in commercial programs; or is it growing through enjoyment, inquiry, engagement and explicit and accurate teaching of skills in context?  You decide …

                                                                                    Julie Shepherd, 2021