Reading professional books and educational journals have changed my life in the classroom. Recently I had a new thought…teaching teachers, like myself, has also changed and affected my life in and outside the classroom. I have grown professionally and personally by these special men and women who wish to grow in literacy knowledge and craft in their classrooms. Judson University believes that teachers can change our world. The courses are designed for teachers who want to always be teachers. I count myself lucky indeed to be one of the part-time professors in this amazing program.
You can imagine my uncertainty and apprehension when an elementary principal decided to get a second degree in literacy in our Master’s program. I was worried, maybe because I was still teaching in the classroom myself. I wondered if she would be evaluating my every move, questioning my stance on issues that of course pop-up in schools in our area. Would she be a spy? Would the other students feel uncomfortable?
I had no one to ask about this person, because I teach the first class in the sequence of courses. I pictured her as maybe this buttoned up, suited up person in heels (I started teaching in the 70’s). What I didn’t expect was sweet, smiley and eager to learn, and someone obviously younger than myself. Lindsay was taking the class with another teacher in her building and seemed to be actually enjoying every moment. She wanted to learn more about books so that she could ‘book talk’ effectively to her staff. She wanted to learn more so she could actually be an instructional leader. She was an inspiration to me. I couldn’t believe that she took a year and a half out of her life to better understand ‘best practice’.
When I opened up Dr. Layne’s latest book, In Defense of Read Aloud, I smiled. This is what he said in his dedication:
For Lindsay Allen,
a leader who makes me believe.
And for the faculty, the staff and the students of
Southbury Elementary School in Oswego, Illinois.
You make school…a dream come true.
Administrators are leaders in schools. Teachers are leaders in their classroom. Lindsay teaches her staff and ‘walks her talk’ in their school. Currently, she is getting her Doctorate in Education, a three-year program at Judson. I’m very excited to hear about a trip she soon will be taking to Africa with other educators. They are bringing fifteen suitcases of educational supplies and books to those who are in desperate need. I’m proud of this amazing woman who brings light to a world that really, really needs it.
Matthew 5: 14-16
4 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.