By high school, many people think that you can’t improve your reading. Very few high schools assess their students’ reading skills, except on summative high-stakes assessments, and even fewer tell their students where they stand.
This is partly why, I believe, that students think reading is an ingrained skill, similar to intelligence, that is fixed.
I do not subscribe to that view. I’m proud to work in schools whose teachers care about reading and reading instruction.
Every ninth grader is assessed three times a year — Fall, Winter, and Spring — on a quick online reading test, and teachers conduct one-on-one conferences with students to discuss the results and to encourage students to make personal goals to improve their reading.
I really like the variety of goals. It seems like Tess’s students have internalized that reading is important, that it’s personal, and that growth is possible. By making reading such an important part of her curriculum, and by making reading data transparent, students rise to the challenge.
It’s inspiring to work with excellent teachers like Tess.
Tess also happens to have one of the best classroom libraries in the Bay Area. More about that in an upcoming post!