Jill Oestmann Reading Educator Award
About the Award: This award goes to a secondary-level teacher who works with struggling readers.
Amount Awarded: $500
Nominated By: Raffeale Calafiore, the Associate Principal at Lefler Middle School
How has the nominee provided instruction and created reading environments that positively impact students struggling with reading? If you walked into Josh’s class you would see all students immersed in the literacy experience. Josh continually shares his love of reading with his students. He develops positive relationships which help to foster a caring learning environment. His students are always engaged in a variety of reading activities, while he might be working in small group instruction. Josh engages students in language and literacy in which he emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing. Josh uses materials/resources that will facilitate and engage all students. He presents class objectives, encourages discussion, and provides consistent feedback. Josh then uses a variety of formative assessments to check for understandings.
This means supporting the belief that assessment, in all of its forms (formative, summative, formal, and informal) is part of teaching. As a result, Josh does not teach to the test, he often teaches beyond the test. Josh is the type of teacher who can readily recognize good practices when he sees them because of student response patterns. Josh effectively detects the students’ needs and adds interventions.
Early on as Josh’s appraiser, I noticed that Josh always had an open mind in adjusting and changing his instruction according to the needs of his students, I watched him change his instruction multiple times based on an evaluation, and re-evaluation, of the way his students responded to instruction. Over the years, I have continued to see even the toughest students make significant progress in his class.
How have the nominee’s professional contributions enhanced reading instruction or support at the building and/or district level? Josh’s contribution to our program focuses on his ability to engage his students in comprehension and vocabulary. The skills and concepts he uses in the classroom are planned in sequences aligned with the curriculum. Josh also incorporates explicit instruction. He clearly states what is going to be taught and the key is how he models to improve reading skills. Professionally Josh is always looking for new techniques in delivering reading curriculum. He often talks about bringing in outside resources into his classroom.
Josh is our testing coordinator and Reading Liaison. Because of these roles, it allows him to keep track of all our students reading progress through testing. He uses this information to identify students struggling and then requests their placement into reading classes. He also uses this information to move students out of reading classes who achieved the appropriate scores.
Josh is a great asset to the Lefler Community!!!!!!