About seven years into teaching literacy, I honestly didn’t feel that I was the best educator I could be.
I was putting a lot of heart and planning into every lesson, I’d earned a masters and numerous endorsements, and my students were consistently scoring well above the average on our standardized writing assessment.
But somehow, I still felt that something was missing. I worried that I wasn’t teaching to my students’ learning potential, or guiding them to really access the true power of literacy.
I began to research and experiment with different approaches, and that’s when I discovered the Concept-Based work of Dr. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois Lanning.
It was a total “aha moment.” This was the missing piece in my teaching!
Despite the fact that it was midyear, I decided to design and implement my first Concept-Based literacy unit. And even though that first attempt was far from perfect, the outcome was unbelievable.
The quotes I shared above are exactly what my students told me at the end of the year. They also said:
“In the past, it was about having good grades but now it is about learning the true meaning of things.” — 8th grade student
“[Before] we only really asked questions to the teacher and that would be it. But now we have whole class periods devoted to just asking other students questions and trying to figure things out together.”— 8th grade student
And I even got this:
“It is more fun. You actually want to go to school.” — 8th grade student
What teacher doesn’t want to hear that?
I was seeing the power of conceptual teaching firsthand, and from that moment in time, I’ve never looked back.
That was only the beginning...