One of the most important and compelling components of the Reading Recovery Professional Development model is the Behind-the-Glass experience that all Reading Recovery teachers are continually involved with throughout the year. Teachers watch a lesson from behind a two-way mirror while the child and the teacher work together during a lesson on the other side. Through conversation with their peers about the teaching interactions, teachers are constantly testing and improving their theory. The experience helps teachers think critically about their teaching decisions. As Marie Clay, the founder of Reading Recovery, states they can “become more flexible and tentative, to observe constantly and alter their assumptions in line with what they record as children work. They need to challenge their own thinking continually.” Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders in the KVEC (Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative) area lead these Behind-the-Mirror sessions with both the new teachers in training and the experienced teachers. Reading Recovery teachers work in continuous contact sessions with their teacher leaders, always learning, always growing.
While Reading Recovery sessions in person are the ideal situation, sometimes they are not always possible. Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders at KVEC are trying something new. At the beginning of this year, teachers were trained in the use of the Zoom app. Teachers can use this app to watch a live lesson with their teacher leader and class while a fellow teacher and child work through a lesson is in his/her own classroom. The teachers then discuss the lesson after it is over and give each other support and feedback. Mrs. Christy Hicks piloted a lesson behind-the-mirror in a continuing contact session recently. This is what a teacher said about the experience, “I think the Zoom worked well for the first time. My kiddos loved seeing you on the screen, (after the lesson), and my principal loved that our kiddos got to do that.” -Leslie Burke, Jenkins
Another use of the Zoom technology is conducted by teacher leaders to lead CIM, (Comprehensive Intervention Model) sessions for the KVEC area’s teachers. Teachers can listen in and join in on discussions, watch videos of lessons, share the leader’s screen and so much more! It’s almost like being right there in the room with their class and teacher leader. Reading Recovery/CIM Teacher Leaders at KVEC have found that this cuts down on the cost of traveling while Reading Recovery teachers spend less time away from their students and schedules. This is what a teacher said from a CIM Zoom session,