Ongoing Coaching Work

I was in my fifth year teaching when Maria and Carissa started coaching in our school. In a two day professional development they were able to tie together all of the loose components of balanced literacy into a framework that I could easily implement in my classroom. It was as though the light switch clicked on, and ever since literacy has been my favorite subject to teach. As a teacher in the middle of my teaching career, it is easy to be cynical about professional development. Enter the Chicago Literacy Group. Through the coaching of Carissa and Maria, I feel like I am able to be reflective of my literacy instruction and, even more, I find a renewed excitement about implementing new ideas into my classroom.

- 3rd Grade Teacher, Chicago -

Each and every time I work with CLG, I walk away with something that makes my practice as a teacher and now as a coach, better. Their professional development is always presented in a manner that is applicable and current, and I’m able to be immediately implement it in my classroom to enhance the level of planning, teaching, and learning. The work I do with CLG is always purposeful, meaningful, and reflective, which in turn makes my classroom a more productive place. You two are AWESOME!

- Literacy Coach, Chicago -

The Chicago Literacy Group has reshaped the way I think about literacy. I used to think that learning how to read was completely different from the actual process of reading, in the way that I experience reading. Now I see that my students can learn to read, and learn to love reading through authentic reading experiences that are unique to each one of them. Because of the work that CLG has done in my school, teachers feel empowered and energized when it comes to teaching our students through reading and writing workshop.

- 1st Grade Teacher, Chicago -

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your help this year so far. I was thinking today about how over the summer when we were at the training we kept thinking, "Oh my gosh, how will we EVER be able to do this?!" and since we have been meeting it seems much more manageable. Manageable and very exciting. I know we are still starting out and as we often say - we are building the plane as we are flying it. However, I feel really good about the progress we have made and am so excited to start this next unit. Thank you for all of your support, ideas, and encouragement. Our team is so lucky to have you!

- 6th-8th ELA teacher, Chicago -

CLG is amazing! They have changed the way our teachers think about writing through our coaching cycles. They are so supportive teachers cannot wait for them to come in so they can receive feedback on their teaching that helps them improve their practice. The teachers enjoy the workshop model because students are engaged and eager to learn. If it wasn't for the help of CLG our teachers would not have been able to craft their practice so quickly. Now students really enjoy writing workshop. Thanks to CLG for helping the teachers become better instructors not only of writing but also of reading. They have helped transform writing instruction at Armour School.

- Principal, Chicago -

CLG effectively has brought learning in a deep way around writing to Gunsaulus. Through their intensive, targeted coaching and feedback, our teachers have built a deeper understanding of how to meet the varied student needs in their classroom and feel confident planning instruction. Particularly, CLG responds to teacher needs, develops individual teacher capacity in teaching literacy, and works collaboratively with us as principals to develop an overall plan for school-wide improvement. We are thankful for the partnership we have with CLG and believe our work together is critical to developing stronger readers and writers at Gunsaulus.

- Principal, Chicago -

I also have to say, thanks so much for all your support, guidance, and feedback lately!  It's really helped to actually have someone in my room observing and guiding me.  Really appreciate it and everything you've done for me!  Loving my experiences so far and I wouldn't be there without your help!  So for all of that, THANK YOU!

- 3rd grade teacher, Chicago -

As a principal, I am lucky to have learned teaching reader’s workshop from CLG. Their coaching sessions are dynamic, interactive and practical. In examining the parts of reader’s workshop with teachers and leaders, their message is clear about how to apply the practices directly to our classrooms and school in order to make reading most engaging for our scholars. I leave their sessions with renewed energy and a deeper understanding of what workshop teaching means and how to improve our application and delivery.

- Principal, Chicago -

The ladies of CLG are truly master ‘teachers of teachers.’  Their labsite experiences are beautiful examples of "show, don't tell" as they model lessons targeted to the needs of the participating teachers. The pre-lesson conversation and debrief afterward allow teachers to see best practice in action and get direction to make it work in their own classrooms. We are always excited to work with CLG in District 30.

- Gifted Coordinator/Differentiated Instruction Specialist, Northbrook/Glenview -

Chicago Literacy Group has been our literacy partners for many years now. They helped launched our Literacy Program at our school through extensive professional development, targeted coaching, and endless support for both teachers and leaders. Their efforts have solidified our work in establishing a professional learning community and in identifying and equipping teacher leaders to help move our literacy program forward. Using a coaching-mentorship approach, or "labsites,” CLG has gained the trust of our teachers, which has been pivotal in identifying both program strengths and areas for ongoing development. They take their commitment very seriously to see teachers as adult learners and leaders in order to engage them in learning experiences that promote academic press, build coherence, and create cycles of inquiry around best practices in literacy. Chicago Literacy Group is more than an organization—they are a resource of invaluable support in urban education!

- Principal, Chicago -

CLG’s strategic professional development with staff played a direct role in helping our school raise its ISAT scores in reading. This is a direct correlation to how the Chicago Literacy Group staff developer helped our staff become more explicit during mini lessons, giving higher quality feedback during independent reading conferences, and focusing on building critical thinking during interactive read alouds.

- Principal, Chicago -

Today was really great. You took us pretty deep, and I really have a wider AND more fine-tuned view of this teaching. I am legitimately excited to get better and better through this work.

- Kindergarten Teacher, Chicago -

Summer Institutes

You two are fantastic! You are knowledgeable, positive, and inspiring. You understand that teaching is challenging and change is the only constant. You deliver information in a way that is accessible and manageable.

What worked? EVERYTHING! Carissa you are absolutely fabulous and so gifted and talented at what you do. You can tell you have a true passion for it as well and it shines through! I have never learned so much, had so many "ah ha" moments, or had so much fun at a workshop!

Carissa is so engaging, and clearly presents the work in a way that is clear and concise. She is truly a master of her craft and I love learning from her!

Fabulous PD. I'm fired up to teaching writing this school year!

It was by far the best writing professional development seminar I have attended!

Maria did a wonderful job presenting. She is extremely knowledgeable and very friendly.

I greatly appreciate the professionalism and knowledge of both literacy coaches, Maria and Carissa. They are an invaluable asset to me as a teacher, as well as to my school!!

This was a fabulous three days, and I'm thrilled to have been able to get to participate. Maria, you've made me so excited to start the literacy workshop in my classroom this year!

I love Maria and Carissa and the resources they provide for me as a teacher and teacher leader in my building. Going into my third year with CLG, I felt very confident about planning.