Like a Siamese twin Faith must come with Hope. Sergiovanni (2005) defines faith as the set of assumptions people make when they have hope in something. And he points out that our faith/assumptions will suggest pathways to be taken.
Individuals with high hope possess goals, find pathways to these goals, navigate around obstacles, and develop agency to reach their goals (McDermott, Pedrotti, Edwards, and Houske, as cited in Sergiovanni, 2005, p. 81).
So here’s something I have faith in (a project I’ve begun work on at school) —
- the more children read or are read to, the better readers they will become
What is my Goal —
- to turn every one of the children at our school into a ‘reader’; each student, a child who enjoys books and stories no matter what their literacy level is.
What are my pathways?
- I’m working from the lower end of the school up. A large amount of good stories and books (fiction and non-fiction) are needed to hook students from Prep and build on their love of reading from there.
- I’m working with the Prep teacher Wendy to start on a Power Readers book bag system as suggested by David Loertscher.
- I’m going to talk to the parents of the Preps, along with their teacher. We’ll talk to them about the importance of reading, we’ll spell out the book bag program, we’ll pass on the information from Mem Fox’s website and Steven Krashen’s studies.
- I’m going to excite the kids by showing them new acquisitions on a regular basis, by listening to what they want to read and following up with requests quickly. I’ll continue to read and talk about books with them when they come to their weekly library session.
What are the obstacles?
- budget restraints (I’ll make picture books one of my collection development priorities in next years budget and try to get the parent support group on board)
- parents who don’t have time/inclination to read to their children (education, constant reinforcement needed, make it matter to them)
How will I measure my efficacy?
- books are being taken out by the child on a regular basis on their card
- I see them reading a book in ‘library’ time on a regular basis (photos for reference?)
- anecdotal evidence from teacher/parent – follow up on class meeting nights.
- student developmental reports done by the classroom teacher.
I’ll keep you posted about how it all goes.
Sergiovanni, T. (2005). Hope, Trust, Community, Other Virtues. In Strengthening the heartbeat: Leading and learning together in schools (pp. 75-100). San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.