I had a coaching session with Sue B. Zimmerman. Sue had success as an entrepreneur early in her life. She had an impetus within her as well as a model in her dad, who was a business owner. Sue loves talking with and helping people. She has grown into a huge success through her Instagram knowledge, activity, and courses.
I am in process of learning a new career path which is an off-shoot of my years of experience as an educator, which included roles of Reading/Literacy Specialist, ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, LAT (Language Acquisition Team) facilitator, Reading Recovery teacher, and Literacy Coach. At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I am seeking support to grow. I realize more and more each day the importance of a coach, a group of people who are like-minded; building their own brand, striving for success within their chosen market as well as getting noticed, heard, and sharing my mission.
Sue advised me to share my mission. She also suggested I get up every morning with the mantra, “Enjoy the process,” because it would be a long haul and success would not be overnight, it would be a build over time, that people would not trust me right away. In the spirit of my time spent with Sue and a gun-shot to the beginning of my run on this marathon, here is my mission statement as of right now: To kick your a** with love, into learning and understanding the underlying principles and plays that every teacher of early/primary grades/ages needs to know for teaching reading. To inspire your mindset about education so that you can advocate for yourself, your students, and what ignites the fire in you.
The mission statement is born of my own experiences, observations, and on-going passion for education. When I left my undergraduate program, I had very little understanding of what to do to teach reading or how to go about it. I had less knowledge of the underlying structures of reading for young readers. My graduate program offered much more, however, I left with lots of ideas, content, lesson planning, and strategies with little idea of how to sequence and connect it all.
After my years in the trenches, it is apparent that teaching reading has become a publisher’s job. Educators in undergraduate and graduate programs, are gaining little knowledge of how to teach reading, when is the best time to deliver reading instruction, the various road blocks, the physical and developmental milestones and considerations of readers, and how to focus on what a student “can do” versus instructing from data to teach to what the child “can’t do” or “needs to do”. The game of catch-up, meet this benchmark, or why can’t this student do this need to die, immediately. Learning is a process, not an endpoint.
The latter half of my mission about advocating and seeking what ignites comes from my sheer disgust and dismay about what has been slowly creeping into schools and education: data-driven instruction, endless assessments, diagnoses of ADD, ADHD, and others, lack of teacher support, lack of teachers speaking up for what they know and see happening and more, for sure. A current passion point is gender differentiating. I believe teachers gaining a better understanding of what boys need in school vs what girls need in school would benefit all – and potentially reduce ADD/ADHD diagnoses.