Perspectives and Provocations
After a long day of Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings at the Title I elementary school, where I served as a literacy coach, I was left alone in my room with the echoes of conversations with teachers throughout the day. I was particularly unsettled this day due to the recurring comments about the kids who “can’t read,” about the families using “Obamaphones,” about the families that “don’t care” enough to send in crayons but will send in candy to decorate milk carton gingerbread houses, and about the families who lack literacy skills to help with reading and homework. As an elementary literacy coach and a former early childhood educator, I recognize that partnerships with families offered rich opportunities for mutually beneficial learning. I began to question: what was my role, as an elementary literacy coach, to guide educators into critical awareness of the cultural assumptions we make about families and students, which, as Gorski (2013) reminded us, negatively affect our abilities to scaffold students to reach their full potential?
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Wells, Melissa. “Critical Coaching: Approaching Literacy Coaching through a Critical Lens.” Perspectives and Provocations 7, no. 4 (2018): 1–36. https://www.earlychildhoodeducationassembly.com/uploads/1/6/6/2/16621498/4.fall2018__1_.pdf.