Amanda Rogers is a teacher at Success Academy, a Groves Literacy Partnerships® (GLP) school.
My mother-in-law has been a kindergarten teacher for over 20 years and she has had to find out some of this research (that the curriculum is based on) on her own. I feel so lucky to have learned the Groves Method early in my teaching career and to have this impactful way to teach reading with the curriculum.
How long have you been a teacher?
I have been a teacher at Success Academy for five years.
Please describe the student population at your school.
The student body is mostly Somali and East African. The majority of the students speak another language in addition to English at home.
What’s it like having a GLP coach in your classroom? How has it changed your classroom?
It is nice to have someone in my classroom that I can ask questions as soon as I have them instead of sending an email and waiting for a response. I learned so much being able to watch her work with the Groves Method™ Literacy Curriculum. It is so much easier to do it once you see someone else do it and this has allowed me to teach with fidelity. My students respond well to our coach in the classroom.
How is the Groves approach and curriculum expanding what you have learned as a teacher?
I have enjoyed learning all of the science behind the curriculum and knowing it is rooted in decades of literacy and brain research. In college I was not taught the “why” behind how to teach reading. For example, I have learned with the curriculum the reasons a “G” makes different sounds, and many more examples along these same lines. It has been fascinating to learn the ins and outs since this was not taught to me in college.
What do you think is possible with GLP?
I think GLP is opening up doors for kids who prior to this curriculum were struggling with reading. The curriculum is made easy for the teacher to teach it and in an effective way. It is great to have explicit instruction especially when it comes to spelling and writing.
Groves is making it easy to get the information needed to be effective in teaching reading.
What do you like about the Groves Method curriculum?
I like how scripted it is – the curriculum lays out what you have to do and how exactly to do it and takes out all the guesswork for the teacher.
Describe a magic moment you’ve observed with your students?
I had one student who could not spell at the beginning of the year. I could not figure out what he was writing. Now after the Groves Method curriculum his writing has improved where I can read and understand his writing. He is using what he has learned and using the spelling patterns. He has come so far from the beginning of the year. At the start of the year he was getting a 0 or 1 on his spelling tests and has now improved to getting 5 or 6 correct. I can see the material is starting to click for him.
What do you wish others knew about the work Groves does in the community?
As a teacher, I understand that you do not want another thing added to your plate but this curriculum is planned out and made easy for you. The curriculum also makes an impact on the student. I am so passionate about this curriculum that I go home and tell my family the new things I have learned through teaching it.
My mother-in-law has been a kindergarten teacher for over 20 years and she has had to find out some of this research (that the curriculum is based on) on her own. I feel so lucky to have learned the Groves Method early in my teaching career and to have this impactful way to teach reading with the curriculum. Groves is making it easy to get the information needed to be effective in teaching reading.
This interview originally appeared in 2022 Connections.
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