Hello! It is with a great big sigh of relief, nervous anticipation, and love, that I announce the launch of The Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools: Instruction that Makes a Difference online course. I want to take a few moments on this New Year’s Eve Day, to reflect on how this online course came to be and share a little about me and why I embarked upon this enormous project at this point in my professional career.

I find myself in the world of education after following a series of rewarding steps over the past twenty years. My path has taken me from being a classroom instructor to becoming the Direction of Education at a dyslexia learning center in Boise, Idaho and eventually to leading professional development trainings for reading teachers across the country.

Not long after the Center opened, I worked with a State legislative committee to write the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Act. Among other components, all teachers, K-8, were now required to complete professional development to update their knowledge about reading and how to best teach reading. This kicked me into high gear and into the realm of teacher training.

There was a lot to learn. We had just learned the outcomes of the 30-year longitudinal Yale study, the NRP was working diligently to compile their findings which would be published in a year, the NICHD was investing in the study of the reading brain having declared that reading was a national health issue. It was a powerful time to be doing what I was doing and it was a powerful time to be a reading teacher!

Around this time, Louisa Moats also came into my life. She was involved in her Washington DC research project and would soon be writing Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS©). Along with a small group of dedicated individuals, we began a national movement to get reading research into classrooms where the knowledgeable teacher could truly “teach to reach” and make a difference in children’s lives.

At my core…I’m a teacher. That’s been my story all along. At this point, I have been training teachers for a lot of years and thanks to the input that many wise teachers have offered along the way, I have dreamed of creating my own reading course. I came to understand from the people on the ground, in schools, that teachers need effective tools to help them do the critical work of helping all students learn to read successfully. In-person training with a captivating presenter is ideal, but it is costly and limits the number of individuals who can participate. Online course delivery just makes sense. I discovered early on, over a year ago, that producing a course like the Ten Tools, was not going to be easy or happen overnight. There were several glitches and roadblocks along the way, but the course was meant to be and now Ten Tools is nearing completion and will be ready to launch very soon.

I invite you to join me on this journey. My blog, Reading with Dr. Deb, will serve as a source for meaningful, curated content focused on practical, applicable tools and information that can be used right now! Look for more posts coming soon and once the course is officially available, I’ll be celebrating with special offers. Please stay tuned!

With gratitude, Dr. Deb