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Author: Kathryn Starke is an urban literacy specialist, author, and founder/CEO of Creative Minds Publications, LLC, a global literacy educational company. Visit www.creativemindspublications.com and Facebook.com/creativemindspublications to learn more about books and professional development to support teachers in the classroom. Follow @KathrynStarke on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Thank you! Sadly, it’s not a phrase teachers hear as often as they should. As a former elementary school teacher in an inner-city school system, I know that teaching is one of the most unpredictable, challenging, and rewarding careers. Research shows that nearly 20% of new teachers leave the classroom within three years. In urban school districts, it’s close to 50% of new teachers leaving the profession during their first five years. Along with these numbers, we have a huge number of teachers retiring and a growing student population nationwide.
Both new and veteran teachers deserve praise, coaching, support, mentorship, and professional development (PD) throughout their career. When I was teaching second grade, I started a literacy educational company especially for teachers. Creative Minds Publications, LLC creates engaging and educational children’s books and educational resources all written by teachers. We understand, however, that support for our teachers go beyond books. This is why we offer literacy presentations, trainings, and one-on-one coaching tailor made for elementary school teachers. I travel nationwide working with PreK-5 educators to provide quality literacy instruction for their children using their curriculum and materials.
Because of my experience and expertise in Title I/urban elementary schools, I am often called to “fix” failing schools. By providing a personalized literacy coaching experience during a school year, I’ve seen failing schools go to full accreditation in one school year. I’ve seen schools increase at least 14% in their standardized reading tests and watched students in 4th and 5th grade go from 62% to 98% on or above grade level in reading in 180 days. Our students deserve the best teachers, and our teachers deserve the most effective PD.
In the fall of 2016, a national campaign, book, and tour will kick off that will make an impact in reading education in elementary schools across the country. Tackle Reading is a brand new resource complete with stories, lessons, and guides by 45 writers including educators, literacy leaders, authors, celebrities, reading organizations, and even NFL players. The Tackle Reading tour will come to elementary schools, community events, and parent nights to motivate children, support parents, and inspire fellow teachers and educators to love literacy! Today, I still call myself a teacher just in a much bigger classroom, and to each of you I say thank you!