Nearly all students can learn how to read, yet only 35 percent of them are reading proficiently. This widening gap seems insurmountable, but the bottom line is that teachers are the most essential factor in student reading success.
However, here’s the problem as I see it: only about half of all teaching institutions effectively prepare teachers for literacy instruction. And while it’s easy to assume that the schooling, master’s degrees, and pre-service training adequately prepare us to walk into the classroom and teach students how to read, the reality is that this training isn’t enough.
To truly master reading instruction, teachers need more. Fortunately, our cooperative’s previous director recognized this and started using LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Suite. The program teaches the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction, including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing and language.
I was already familiar with the professional learning platform when I joined Monroe One BOCES and knew it provided a comprehensive learning experience for teachers. In fact, it supports educators professional learning through a modern, blended approach with the availability of digital and print resources and it offers virtual face-to-face interactive sessions and an interactive platform for asynchronous professional learning specific to each unit. At Monroe One, we encourage the use of the interactive platform as a supplemental tool, but we do not require it.